A strange night for Rob Elliot as in front of a very sparse St James Park crowd, he had next to nothing to do but picked the ball out of the net twice.

It was the first game in nine months for the Irish international, as he turned out for Newcastle United Under 23s (reserves) against Aston Villa.

His first action was to return the ball to the centre circle as Aston Villa broke quickly from a Newcastle corner, Andre Green giving the visitors the lead from close in.

However, Newcastle scored four goals in between the pair from Villa, two in each half.

Defenders Stuart Findlay and Curtis Good scored with headers to put United 2-1 up at the break, then Heardman and Smith made it 4-1 after the break.

The final seconds saw Satka concede into his own net, Rob Elliot powerless to stop that one, just as was the case with the opener.

Just before that sixth goal of the night, Rob Elliot was called into serious action and made an excellent save when the visiting Jerrell Sellars failed to score when through on goal thanks to the Newcastle keeper.

Another important step on the comeback trail and interesting to see what happens when Rafa has Elliot join Darlow and Sels as a trio to choose from for the matchday 18.

Newcastle United 4 Aston Villa 2

Newcastle United Under 23s:

Elliot, Williams, Gibson, Hunter, Good, Findlay (Satka 83), El-Mhanni (Holmes 68), Barlaser, Heardman, Charman (Smith 62), Roberts

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