UNDER-21S

Barclays Premier Reserve League
St James' Park, 30 March 2009

NEWCASTLE UNITED 3
Xisco (pen 42), Doninger (47), Guthrie (85)

MANCHESTER UNITED 3
Macheda (pen 13, 75 & 89)
30/03/2009 20:20, Report by Steve Bartram
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Reserves: Newcastle 3 Utd 3

Kiko Macheda's clinical hat-trick earned United a point as the Reds twice came from behind at St James' Park.



A draw was the very least United deserved from a see-saw encounter which ebbed and flowed until the final minute of stoppage time, when Lee Martin could have taken all three points for the Reds.

The result ends a run of three straight victories for United, but the pluck and guts on show in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's team - plus an hour of action for club captain Gary Neville - provided a gleaming silver lining on Tyneside.

The first half was a relatively tight affair in which both sides converted penalties. Macheda slotted in for United after Claudio Cacapa had been penalised - perhaps a touch harshly - for handling the Italian's cross.

If that decision was soft, the award of Newcastle's own spot-kick was bewildering. Xisco's attempt to head a cross was slightly impeded by a combination of Neville and Ritchie De Laet, and the Spaniard's half-hearted appeals incredibly met with reward.

Xisco duly stroked the kick past substitute goalkeeper Conor Devlin, who had made a stunning reaction save from Cacapa's shot inside the six-yard box just moments earlier. The Irishman had earlier replaced Ron-Robert Zieler, who had injured his right arm.

The Reds could have retaken the lead almost immediately. Cameron Stewart fired Matty James' pass against a post, via a fine save from Fraser Forster, and then stabbed a subsequent cross over the bar.

Within three minutes of the restart, however, United were behind as Jonny Godsmark pulled a cross into the six-yard box for Mark Doninger to slide home.

The game lulled briefly as both teams drew breath, and Macheda superbly hauled United level again with 15

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