DAN Gosling and Haris Vuckic were both stretchered off last night as Newcastle's development side claimed a 2-1 victory at Aston Villa.
Goals from Adam Campbell and Mehdi Abeid earned the Magpies' second string a win at Villa Park, but the success came at a cost as both Gosling and Vuckic sustained injuries.
Gosling was the first to depart, succumbing to a heavy challenge that earned Nathan Baker a booking.
Worse was to follow minutes later as Vuckic was also involved in a painful clash that resulted in him requiring oxygen as he had a protective brace fitted to his left leg.
The Slovenian forward was eventually able to hobble back onto the team coach with the aid of crutches, and will undergo a scan today to ascertain the extent of the damage
Newcastle, who fielded Spanish misfit Xisco for the first time this season, claimed the lead when Campbell slotted past Ben Siegrist in the second half.
Villa equalised through Graham Burke in the 70th minute, but Abeid cut in from the right flank to drive home a winner three minutes later.
PHIL Bardsley stepped up his return to fitness with a 75-minute run out as Sunderland's development side secured a 1-0 win at Stoke.
Bardsley, who has missed the first two months of the season following summer ankle surgery, looked to suffer no ill effects as he returned to action.
The Scotland international, who will play no part in this week's latest round of World Cup qualifiers, will hope to be involved in the Wear-Tyne derby a week on Sunday.
John Egan scored the only goal of the game at the Britannia Stadium, sliding home from close range after build-up play from Craig Lynch and Jordan Laidler.
MIDDLESBROUGH'S development side slipped to a 1-0 defeat to Liverpool in a rare second-string outing at the Riverside.
Adam Morgan rounded Boro goalkeeper Connor Ripley to claim Liverpool's winner on the stroke of half-time.
Boro's best effort came in the second half, with Jake Fowler seeing his effort cleared off the line following good work from Wilson Kneeshaw and Ryan Brobbel.
Matty Waters also went close for the hosts, who were forced to substitute Cameron Park after he picked up a knock in the second half.