Lillestrom 1 Newcastle Utd 2

Last updated : 21 February 2016 By Footy Mad - Editor

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On that day, a 3-0 victory courtesy of a Shola Ameobi brace and Emre Belozoglu wonder strike, confirmed that the Magpies would compete in the following season's UEFA Cup campaign.

Ten years later, including a one-season stay in the Championship, the thought playing in continental competition is a stretch for even the most optimistic Newcastle fan.

And indeed, the nature of Saturday's game was altogether more low-stakes - a friendly, born out of the Toon's now seemingly routine incapability to progress in the FA Cup.

While the likes of Reading, Hull City and Watford fans continued to dare to dream with their fifth-round clashes, Newcastle, fresh off the back of a 5-1 humiliation at Chelsea in the Premier League, faced nearly three weeks without a match.

A five-day training camp in La Manga, Spain was soon booked up to fill the void and Newcastle ran out 2-1 winners against low-budget, Norwegian opposition. As far as placates go, this one will be short-lived.

Nonetheless, it is a victory and Newcastle's first away from St James' Park in 2016.

Newcastle went 1-0 up against Lillestrom after just three minutes, Georginio Wijnaldum latching onto Ayoze Perez's neat, nut-megged through ball before rounding the rushing goalkeeper to score.

That lead didn't last long, though, and Newcastle were pegged back to 1-1 when Bassel Jradi netted with a deflected strike.

But Rolando Aarons, on as a second-half substitute, managed to spare the Tynesiders' blushes and headed in the game's winner on 75 minutes with a looping shot from Sterry's in-swinging cross.

Aarons had been a 66th minute substitute for Andros Townsend and looked sharp as he presses to keep his place when Newcastle return to Premier League action against Stoke City on March 2.

The game had been set up to provide some much-needed game time for the Magpies given the 18-day break between league fixtures, and Steven Taylor, Henri Saivet and Seydou Doumbia all benefited from playing 90 minutes.

Returning striker Emmanuel Riviere also got a run out under his belt after missing the entire season so far with injury.

Newcastle took a third-minute lead through Georginio Wijnaldum, who rounded the keeper to score after good play by Ayoze Perez.

The impressive Bassel Jradi.levelled for the Norweigans just five minutes later, however, firing past Karl Darlow, and Lillestrom then had a number of efforts.

After the break, stand-in skipper Jonjo Shelvey tried to pull the strings but after a quadruple substitution, United found the winner when Aarons headed home a fine centre by Sterry.

Despite investing heavily over the past two transfer windows, Newcastle have struggled to consolidate their status in the top-flight.

They are 18th in the table after 26 fixtures played so far with 24 points. While the win over Lillestrom will have no doubt lifted morale slightly, their fight against relegation remains very much on.

Newcastle United: Darlow (Woodman 46); Janmaat (Sterry 66),Taylor, Lascelles, Gibson (Barlaser 82); Saivet, Shelvey (Gouffran 66), Townsend (Aarons 66), Wijnaldum (Riviere 66), Perez; Doumbia
Subs not used: Williams, Coloccini, Moussa Sissoko
Scorers: Wijnaldum 3, Aarons 75