Blackburn Rovers res (h) Premier Reserve League North
35 mins Chopra
77 mins Harkins shot 2-1
82 mins Barker shot 2-2
Tommy Craig said:
"It was a game we never controlled, it was scrappy and untidy.
"We were fortunate not to be losing at half-time, Blackburn created more chances than we did.
"We were better in the second half, but I looked at the clock when we were 2-0 up with 15 minutes left and thought this isn't finished."
"He (Chopra) has four in three and he is looking likely to score in each game now, he is looking very sharp for us."
A strange night at Kingston Park, as our second string led 2-0 with 13 minutes of the game remaining, but ended up with what was a slightly fortunate point.
Despite fielding a front trio of Michael Chopra, Shola Ameobi and the recalled Marc Walton, the Magpies were second best in the opening half hour of the game.
During that spell debutant reserve 'keeper Tim Krul had been beaten twice - only for the frame of his goal to deny first Irishman Keith Treacy on seven minutes and then German midfielder Sergio Peter quarter of an hour later.
And Rovers were denied again on 30 minutes, when Craig Barr found himself unmarked in the United area but fired wide.
Newcastle were gifted a goal five minutes later, after David Thompson handled Chopra's shot from close range.
The former Liverpool player was yellow-carded and up stepped Michael Chopra to fire home his third penalty in as many games and his fourth goal since returning from injury.
Rovers responded by trying to up the tempo, but collected two more bookings before the interval - Jemal Johnson for back-chatting referee Varley and Gary Harkins for chopping down Martin Brittain.
The second half threatened to become a total non-event, only for Brittain to come up with a second goal from nowhere on 67 minutes.
His strong run down the left took him past Kane and gave him an opportunity to cross for Chopra and Walton, who had both made runs into the Rovers box.
Instead though, Brittain floated the ball over 'keeper Lee from a tight angle and into the far corner of the net - whether by accident or design only he will know.
That should have wrapped up our third successive home win of the season, but Ameobi's profligacy in front of goal was to cost us dear.
On 77 minutes Rovers halved the deficit after United surrendered possession, Harkins blasting a low shot past Krul after Keith Barker had controlled Kane's deflected shot.
Worse was to come five minutes later, when Taylor was allowed to cross from the Rovers left and when Ramage failed to deal with the ball, Keith Barker levelled with a soft shot that looped over the helpless Krul.
With United down to ten men as Walton limped to the halfway line to be replaced, we were unable to work the ball back down the field to try and press for a late winner.
So, four goals for the crowd to watch, but a below-par performance from the home side, for whom Ameobi was particularly disappointing.