Nile Ranger opened the scoring after just eight minutes.
Connor Wickham levelled for the home side in the 20th minute, but impressive midfielder Brad Inman netted a second for United late in the first half.
Newcastle looked to be heading for victory until injury time, when Craig Lynch levelled for Sunderland.
Despite his lack of match fitness, Ranger was a handful up front until his 58th-minute withdrawal.
Ranger – who is under contract at Newcastle until 2016 – wasn’t allowed to speak to the local media after the game.
Ranger didn’t take long to make his mark. Inman took the ball off Vaughan and found him on the edge of the box. He took a touch past goalkeeper Jordan Pickford before sidefooting the ball into the net.
Wickham levelled in the 20th minute from a Roarie Deacon pass, but Newcastle were back in front before the break thanks to Inman.
Sunderland failed to clear their lines, and the midfielder eventually rolled the ball past Pickford with his right foot to make it 2-1 nine minutes before the break.
Adam Reed missed a second-half penalty for Sunderland – his effort struck the post – after Connor Newton was adjudged to have pushed Wickham. Lynch netted in injury time to claim a point for Kevin Ball’s side.
NEWCASTLE UNITED: Alnwick; Riley, Good, Newton, Logan; Hooper, Abeid, Inman, Maddison (Miele, 68); Moyo, Ranger (Knight, 58).
Source: Newcastle United Mad