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Newcastle United 2 Lillestrom 1: Rolando Aarons shines in welcome friendly win

Rolando Aarons
Rolando Aarons

Rolando Aarons struck a second-half winner for Newcastle United as they beat Norwegian side Lillestrom 2-1 in a friendly in Spain.

The winger headed home a cross by fellow youngster Jamie Sterry at La Manga Club.

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.

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, Sissoko