Remi Streete scored the only goal of the game four minutes into the second half with James Wilson's continued absence through illness leaving Warren Joyce's side without a recognised striker and lacking punch in attack.
Both sets of players struggled to keep their footing in slippery conditions as the rain lashed down at Whitley Park and there was little goalmouth action in the first half despite the Reds pressing. Schoolboy keeper Paul Woolston tipped over a Paddy McNair header from a first corner in the 20th minute, taken by Joe Rothwell, but was disappointingly not tested by Andreas Pereira's wayward free-kick after Lubo Satka hauled down James Weir on the edge of the box.
Captain Reece James collected a Weir pass and cut in to shoot straight at debutant Woolston before Ben Amos was extended for the first time when gathering a long-range effort by Callum Roberts. Despite barely providing a threat in the first period, the Magpies were soon ahead after the restart and playing with more confidence to belie their lowly league position. Following a clearance out of the box by Weir, the two centre-backs combined with Satka showing neat footwork to slide in Streete and he clipped past Amos.
Only a fine save by Amos, blocking a Rolando Aarons effort after a mistake by Guillermo Varela, kept United in the hunt while Roberts and Liam Smith offered off-target attempts as the hosts appeared to be handling the atrocious conditions far better.
Pereira came closest to salvaging a point when his free-kick was parried onto the bar by Woolston, who remarkably managed to keep the