Lillestrom 1 Newcastle 2
Written by Newcastle Utd
Goals from Georginio Wijnaldum and Rolando Aarons earned Newcastle a 2-1 friendly victory over Lillestrom
By Anthony Marshall - Newcastle United Managing Editor
At the La Manga Club Football Centre
Lillestrom 1 (Jradi 8)
Newcastle United 2 (Wijnaldum 3, Aarons 75)
The pair struck in either half at the La Manga Club Football Centre, as the Magpies completed a five-day training camp with the triumph.
Leading scorer Wijnaldum got United off to the perfect start, latching on to Ayoze Perez's clever reverse pass in the third minute, rounding Lillestrom goalkeeper Arnold Origi and tapping home.
At that point it looked like being a comfortable afternoon for Steve McClaren's side, but their Norwegian opponents had other ideas, equalising just five minutes later through the impressive Bassel Jradi.
Chances came and went at either end but substitute Aarons secured the win midway through the second half, glancing home a header from Jamie Sterry's delivery.
McClaren will be pleased with the work-out for his players, as they continue their preparations for their next Barclays Premier League fixture, at Stoke on Wednesday, 2nd March.
United made a bright start to proceedings and broke the deadlock with less than three minutes on the clock.
A neat passing move saw Ayoze Perez's intelligent ball release Wijnaldum in behind the Lillestrom defence and, from close range, he rounded Arnold Origi before slotting into the empty net.
Lillestrom responded but Jradi saw a 20-yard strike blocked by Steven Taylor, who bravely threw his body in front of the ball before it could get too far goalwards.
However, the Palestine international midfielder was not to be denied and Jradi levelled things up on eight minutes, seizing on a loose ball to plant a low shot past Karl Darlow.
Fred Friday was next to try his luck for the Norwegian side, dragging an effort wide, but gradually Newcastle came back into the contest, forcing a handful of corners although unable to convert any.
With the half-hour mark approaching, Lillestrom went back on the offensive and only a fine stop from Darlow prevented them from edging in front.
Again it was Jradi, riding a couple of tackles on the edge of the area before pulling the trigger with an effort that took a big deflection and looked like it was going to wrong-foot United's keeper.
However, Darlow rapidly readjusted himself, throwing out a strong right hand to stop the ball and then smothering it before Jorgen Kolstad could pounce.
At the other end, three minutes before half-time, a well-worked short corner routine between Andros Townsend and Jonjo Shelvey saw the latter threaten from the edge of the box. And even when Shelvey's eventual shot was blocked, it deflected into the path of Jamaal Lascelles, who could only prod wide under pressure.
Goalkeeper Freddie Woodman was introduced at the break in place of Darlow and was called into action almost straight away, making an unorthodox save with his chest after Jradi's shot bounced up awkwardly off the turf.
And it paid dividends less than ten minutes later as Aarons nodded the Magpies back in front.
Awarded a free-kick just outside the area, Perez and Sterry worked it short, with the latter dinking into the box and Aarons flicking home an intelligent header.
And, while there were a couple of late openings for Perez, that proved to be enough as Newcastle claimed victory.
Newcastle United (4-2-3-1): Karl Darlow (Freddie Woodman 46); Daryl Janmaat (Jamie Sterry 66), Steven Taylor, Jamaal Lascelles, Liam Gibson (Daniel Barlaser 82); Henri Saivet, Jonjo Shelvey (c (Yoan Gouffran 66), Andros Townsend (Rolando Aarons 66), Georginio Wijnaldum (Emmanuel Riviere 66), Ayoze Perez; Seydou Doumbia
Lillestrom (4-2-3-1): Arnold Origi; Hakon Skogseid (Martin Falkeborn 88), Marius Amundsen, Frode Kippe (Ole Martin Rindaroy 86), Simen Kind Mikalsen; Malaury Martin, Bonke Innocent; Bassel Jradi, Erling Knudtzon (Arni Vilhjalmsson 77), Jorgen Kolstad (Erik Brenden 66); Fred Friday
Subs not used: Jacob Faye-Lund, Petter Mathias Olsen, Sheriff Sinyan
Referee: Dag Vidar Hafsas