Newcastle United U23s 2 Norwich City U23s 2
Newcastle United FC
A second half fightback from Norwich City meant Newcastle United Under-23s had to settle for a point as they drew 2-2 at St. James' Park on Monday night.
Quickfire strikes from Luke Charman and Macaulay Gillesphey put Peter Beardsley's youngsters in command early on, but Devonte Aransibia's goal shortly after the restart got the visitors back in the contest.
And they snatched a point with just seven minutes remaining, as Adam Phillips slotted home from the penalty spot to draw his side level and hand the Canaries a share of the spoils.
And, after Aarons had tested visiting goalkeeper Aston Oxborough with a low shot, Shelvey - who completed the full 90 minutes - gave the Canaries a scare when he took aim from well inside his own half. His audacious attempt, however, dropped just past the post, with Oxborough beaten.
After those early warnings, United eventually made a breakthrough with ten minutes gone, and Shelvey - in a masterful display in the middle of the park - was at the heart of the move.
The England international's beautifully-weighted lofted pass found Callum Roberts in the middle and, though he couldn't shoot, he combined well with Aarons to tee up Charman, who coolly slotted home.
Norwich barely had time to regroup before the Magpies added to their lead. Dan Barlaser swung in a corner from the left, and former Carlisle United loanee Gillesphey rose to nod home his side's second of the night, barely two minutes after their first.
Shelvey then went close twice - the first with a low, raking left-footed drive and then with a curling free kick from a tight angle - before the Canaries threatened at the other end. They should have pulled a goal back on the half hour, but Pierre Fonkeu nodded Aransibia's enticing delivery over Woodman's crossbar from close range.
At the break, Aarons and Sterry were replaced by Stefan O'Connor and Victor Fernandez and just four minutes into the second half, Norwich halved the deficit. Todd Cantwell fed Aransibia on the left-hand side of the box, and he lashed past Woodman to set up an intriguing final 40 minutes.
United looked to Shelvey to create once more, and he almost produced, bursting into the box before Oxborough rushed off his line to snuff out the danger.
But Newcastle were now in a battle, with the visitors' spirits raised. Cantwell's superb turn gave him a sight off goal, but his wayward shot let him down before Middleton dragged an effort past the post when well-placed.
Savvas Mourgou then saw an effort deflected over soon after as Norwich rallied, and with 83 minutes on the clock, they found an equaliser. Referee Glen Hart pointed to the spot when Aransibia went down in the box, and Phillips stepped up to send Woodman the wrong way.
There was still time for United to carve out a golden chance, but when Charman broke away at the death, he could only drag his shot past the post and the game ended all-square.
Newcastle United Under-23s: Freddie Woodman; Jamie Sterry (Stefan O'Connor 46), Curtis Good (Josef Yarney 72), Macaulay Gillesphey, Kyle Cameron; Dan Barlaser, Jonjo Shelvey; Callum Roberts, Liam Smith, Rolando Aarons (Victor Fernandez 46); Luke Charman.
Substitutes: Paul Woolston, Jack Hunter.
Norwich City Under-23s: Aston Oxborough, Emmerson Sambu, Max Aarons, Savvas Mourgos (Bilal Kamal 75), Timi Odusina, Owen Wallis, Glenn Middleton, Adam Phillips, Pierre Fonkeu, Todd Cantwell (Kieron Higgs 60), Devonte Aransibia.
Substitutes: Jake Hallett, Anthony Spyrou, Anton Ekumah.