The second half wasn’t even ten minutes old when Newcastle Under-21s coach Ben Dawson turned to the substitutes bench and prepared to make his first change of the night.
For 45 minutes, the young Magpies had put up a good fight against Sunderland’s senior side in the Checkatrade Trophy, yet two quick-fire goals at the start of the second period had abruptly burst the visitors’ bubble.
And with 55 minutes gone, three minutes after Charlie Wyke had made it 2-0 to the Black Cats, Dawson made the call to withdraw his top scorer, Elias Sorensen, replacing him with Yannick Toure.
Sorensen, who recently signed a new three-and-a-half year deal with the Magpies, has been the subject of significant hype in recent weeks, after netting his 19th goal of the season for Newcastle’s youngsters.
The 19-year-old has even been called-up to Rafa Benitez’s senior side this campaign, so his early withdrawal would have been something of a shock to those who have followed his progress.
Sorensen was clearly surprised too, as the teenager angrily punched the dugout in frustration after being withdrawn while in the heat of battle.
But based on his 55-minute cameo alone, the Dane’s departure from the field of play wasn’t really a surprise.
It didn’t help that his team were set up to defend and offered little support to their frontman, or that Sorensen appeared to pick up an early knock midway through the first half.
But this appeared to be a sobering moment for the promising youngster, who has reached dizzying heights in recent months, but was sent back to reality against a side fighting for promotion in League One.
It was hard to question Sorensen’s work rate and desire on the night, as the teenager chased lost causes, while trying to hassle and harry Sunderland’s backline.
Yet the Black Cats’ defensive duo, Alim Ozturk and Tom Flanagan, were rarely troubled throughout the contest, and were quick to close down the striker whenever he dropped deep to receive the ball.
After a season full of highs it is easy to forget that Sorensen is still learning the game and has limited experience when it comes to first-team football.
When the striker was replaced against Sunderland, the final result felt inevitable - Newcastle’s main attacking threat now out of the equation.
So it proved, as the hosts ran out comfortable 4-0 winners - maybe that was always going to be the case.
Yet it’s worth remembering Sorensen has only just turned 19 and still incredibly raw.
When the dust settles and emotions have soothed, last night’s game could act as a major learning curve for the Dane.