| Date: Saturday 5th January 2019, 5.30pm
(late kick-off overseas TV coverage)
Venue: St. James' Park
Admission: £10 adults, £5 concessions
(£20 and £10 on match day)
1 - 1
time: Magpies 0 Rovers 0
Rovers free-kick inside the United half was switched by Charlie Mulgrew to
Elliott Bennett and his
deep cross from the right was nodded past Freddie Woodman from ten yards out by
Bradley Dack, who got ahead of Jamie Sterry at the Leazes End.
A long forward ball from Jonjo Shelvey inside his own half found Joselu on
the edge of the Rovers box and he nodded it back to Perez.
After an initial mis-control, the substitute dribbled into the box before some
nifty footwork induced a trip by Corry Evans.
After an unnecessary VAR delay, Matt Ritchie stepped up and coolly slotted the spot-kick
to his right, sending the Rovers 'keeper the wrong way.
Full time: Magpies 1
"A replay is bad news. I am disappointed because we have to
play another game.
"At home we have to try to finish and we didn't play at the level we
expected. I was pleased with the reaction. It is now another situation we have
to manage, use more players, more risk.
"We tried and they pushed hard. You could see them running for every
single ball. Overall the reaction was good in the final minutes and I will
take that as a positive.
"We didnít want another game - we wanted to win - but, after losing,
we needed to react, and the reaction of the team in the final minutes was
quite good. Itís a pity we have to play another game but itís better than
"When you have players in these kind of games, where they have not been
playing, then at least they have to try and I think they tried. Confidence is
something you have to keep going and searching for. That's the only way.
"I can give them confidence, training every day and talking with them. At
the end of the day it depends how games go. We have to keep going. On a day
like this I had to make substitutions to try to save the game. They have to
perform and that's it.
"We have to keep working with him (Murphy), you can see the prices
in the market so I think we are still short in terms of how much we have spent
so we have to keep going and working with him.
"All of them on the pitch who had not been playing (had an
opportunity), they have to decide what commitment they show and I think
they did that.
"Murphy still has the potential and I hope (he will fulfil it). You have
to play well to play more games, that is the circle that players find
"I think the fans know that if we go through, it has to be with the
squad. We have two or three players away, and some with (injury)
problems, so we had to pick a team that we think could compete against a
"The positives are the reaction of the team, some players playing that
were not playing, especially (Florian) Lejeune, who has been out for
four and a half months with the operations. Itís really good news because it
means that we have another body.
"More minutes, more players, more risk.
"We were trying, but they were pushing hard. You could see how they were
running for every single ball and then sometimes itís more difficult for you
to play with the confidence that you have to play with.
"It was important for the young players to have an opportunity to play
here, with a lot of fans - thatís always a good experience.
On the possible targeting of goalkeeper Freddie Woodman at set pieces -
something which had Benitez remonstrating with the fourth official
"There's a FIFA rule about the six-yard box and the
keepers, but sometimes they forget about this rule. It's not Wimbledon of the
past - I was in Spain and we were watching these kinds of games - it's not
Bolton, who were doing the same.
"You have to protect the keeper, that's it. The referee knows that. In
the second half, the approach was different. I think sometimes we forget the
rules when the ball goes into the six-yard box. We had to protect him in the
ďItís a disappointed dressing room at the end, pretty quiet.
ďWe couldnít really see them scoring, but they started to bring on their
big guns, Shelvey started hitting forward balls and Perez and Atsu
started running in behind.
ďThat put us more on the back foot.
ďThat was about what we get from our team every week. Weíve just come
out of a run of playing the top four teams in the Championship at a high
intensity level and it was just the same here. They keep producing.
ďItís just disappointing for them that we didnít come away from the game
with the result we felt we deserved.
Asked if nine changes to the NUFC line-up had given him encouragement:
"My job is to drive the team hard, I need to make sure they doní take
their foot off the gas against a team in the Premier League in front of
"You realise they need to stay in the Premier League so he left some of
his players on the bench, so maybe the team got a lift.
"But for me it was about our performance levels, our desire to get a
result and we nearly did.
"I thought we were going to score from a set play. I said the other day
that it wasnít a fluke to see (Charlie)
Mulgrew score from a corner.
"First half, Bradley (Dack)
could have scored back stick, it whizzed past him
unmarked at the back stick.
"Mulgrew practices set plays every day, generally shooting at goal.
If you can bend it in to the top and corner like he can, then why not
shoot from a corner?
"If we can get people across the front of the goalkeeper, they
don't need to make contact, or foul the goalkeeper, but run across the
front and if you can get a touch then it will fly in. And if you miss
it, then it might fly straight in.
"It's no surprise to us with Charlie, he scored 14 last season and
has already scored eight this season, and they will be a danger to every
"We were a threat and we will be a threat from set plays. We leave a bit disappointed, but we competed against the top four teams
in the Championship and against a Premier League side.
"Although they made eight changes, those players have all played in the
Premier League. Jacob Murphy - who I worked with at Coventry City - cost
them £12m. I donít think we played a reserve team.
"Every player in our team played in League One last season, and
Newcastle were in the Premier League, so itís great credit to come away
from home and put in the performance we did.Ē
Matt Ritchie scored his third FA Cup goal for the club, having netted
twice against Birmingham City in a Third Round replay at SJP in January 2017 -
one a penalty.
The Scottish international now has 20 league and cup goals for Newcastle,
today's effort coming 25 games after his 19th - at home to Arsenal in April
Ritchie's spot kick conversion was our first of the season, after Kenedy
missed at Cardiff City in the Premier League last August. Last season saw us
awarded just one (at home to Burnley in January 2018) That was missed by
Joselu, meaning this was our first successful competitive senior penalty since
Ritchie scored at the same end against Preston North End in the Championship
in April 2017.
There were club FA Cup debuts for Fabian Schar, Florian Lejeune, Kenedy and
Goalkeeper Nathan Harker was named in a senior Newcastle squad for the
first time, the 20 year-old an unused substitute and taking squad number 29.
There was a third club appearance and a home debut for Sean Longstaff,
following a start away to Nottingham Forest in the League Cup and a substitute
outing at Liverpool in the Premier League, both coming this season.
Jamie Sterry made his seventh appearance for United and the second of
the season, following on from the League Cup defeat at Championship side
Nottingham Forest. His debut came in the final Premier League game of the
2015/16 season, at home to Spurs.
Freddie Woodman made his second senior competitive appearance for
United, 12 months after the first - against Luton Town at SJP in the FA Cup
Third Round (won 3-1.)
NUFC v BR - FAC all-time:
2018/19 FAC3 drew 1-1 (h)
2011/12 FAC3 won 2-1 (h)
1999/00 FAC5 won 2-1 (a)
1998/99 FAC5R won 1-0 (a)
1998/99 FAC5 drew 0-0 (h)
1994/95 FAC3R won 2-1 (a) 1994/95 FAC3 drew 1-1 (h)
1992/93 FAC5 lost 0-1 (a)
1951/52 SF drew 0-0 (n) 1951/52 SFR won 2-1 (n)
1927/28 R3 lost 1-4 (a)
1909/10 R3 won 3-1 (h)
NUFC last 10 FAC3 ties:
2018/19 Blackburn Rovers (h) drew 1-1
2017/18 Luton Town (h) won 3-1
2016/17 Birmingham City (a) drew 1-1 (won replay)
2015/16 Watford (a) lost 0-1
2014/15 Leicester City (a) lost 0-1
2013/14 Cardiff City (h) lost 1-2
2012/13 Brighton and Hove Albion (a) lost 0-2
2011/12 Blackburn Rovers (h) won 2-1
2010/11 Stevenage (a) lost 1-3
2009/10 Plymouth Argyle (a) drew 0-0 (won replay)
FA Cup campaign is still alive but it's difficult to know how, after an awful
display against Championship opposition at St. James' Park on Saturday evening.
Once Rovers had gone ahead the hosts looked odds-on to exit the competition until substitute Ayoze Perez was tripped in the box and Matt Ritchie
grabbed a late leveller from the penalty spot.
A fantastic turnout of over 36,000 fans waited in vain for an outbreak of
football from a Magpies lineup showing eight changes from that which had started
Manchester United in the Premier League on Wednesday.
Freddie Woodman, Jamie Sterry and Sean
Longstaff all stepped up, while Florian Lejeune made his first appearance of
the season following surgery on a knee injury suffered in the summer.
However it was those players given the chance to play their way into the
manager's thoughts for Premier League service in the coming days and weeks were universally found
lacking. The combined talents of Jacob Murphy, Kenedy and Joselu made no impression against a
mid-table second tier side and all three have actually
worsened, not improved, since moving to Tyneside.
The shortcomings of our squad were all too easily exposed by mundane
opponents including Geordie duo Adam Armstrong and Danny Graham and a disjointed and uninspiring performance verging on the criminally inept at
times only belatedly improved when
Jonjo Shelvey replaced the limp Isaac Hayden - who can count himself lucky
if a Championship club take him, never mind a top-flight one.
That raised the quality of our passing from pitiful to mediocre, but
the one inch-perfect ball that he played was completely wasted
by Joselu. The Spaniard had some rough treatment early on that went unpunished and seemed to
affect him but build-up play from his colleagues was non-existent.
Bradley Dack put Rovers ahead early in the second
half and they were only denied a second goal by Manquillo's goal-line clearance soon later, United's early promise having long
Having struggled all season on home territory in the league, Rafa's side proved no
more capable of taking the initiative and dictating play against Championship
opponents and remain shot-shy.
Their best opportunity to level arrived in the 66th minute: three efforts
on goal in quick succession - more than they'd managed in the rest of the
game. Shelvey's header was saved, Lejeune's follow up shot was blocked in the six
yard box amid shouts o handball before a combination of defender and goalkeeper then managed to deflect
Joselu's attempted effort over the crossbar.
That seemed to be that until
Ritchie's penalty conversion six minutes from the end for a foul on Perez, a decision that
Rovers manager Tony Mowbray called "soft" but which is almost
unheard of round these parts - our first home penalty award in almost 12
Referee Kevin Friend checked using VAR
before confirming the award and acting captain Ritchie sent the 'keeper the
wrong way at the Gallowgate End - just reward for showing some of the
intensity and commitment that was sadly lacking from many of his colleagues.
That goal ensured that the ninth FA Cup tie between these sides will be
settled by a replay and although United won all of the previous three against
it's an extra game that nobody of a black and white persuasion wanted:
players, fans or manager.
Following downbeat media briefings in Ireland and Portugal before the
season began, Rafa's recent "miracle" comment seems to
have ruffled feathers once again within the club and perhaps also among his
squad - always a dangerous game.
Were a manager other than one with such an extensive CV be overseeing this
mess, expressions like lost the dressing room could well be more audible than
the current mutinous whispers. As it is, to see a man who won this competition
just over a decade ago reduced to sending out a team to do no more than
fulfill the fixture is as disgraceful as it is unacceptable. We shouldn't
enter next year.
Those selected today should have been capable of much more, but in the main
just tossed it off - perhaps unhappy or apprehensive at being labelled
second-raters by Benitez?
Whatever it is, the claim of confidence sapping from the crowd's reaction to
going behind in games referred to by Ritchie is spurious - although it's nice
to see someone bothered enough to actually say something sincerely, rather
than issuing insincere apologies after the latest collapse.
No, the indulgence of supporters here means that players do not get a rough
ride. Ask Rafa, they didn't ironically applaud players leaving the field in Napoli, they
stormed the training ground and tried break their legs....
Try watching this lot week in, week out. Try watching a club renowned for its
number nines now incapable of even signing one permanently. Try having a shot
on target or even an attack worthy of that description and see what
The machinations and ramifications of the alleged takeover again overshadow
everything else at this club - and seemingly provide a convenient excuse for
some unacceptable individual performances on the field and in the
A similar situation befell us last season during the Amanda Staveley
pantomime; namely a nine game
winless run before Christmas when we couldn't pass water at St. James' Park.
A year on, we're currently on a run of one victory in ten outings and on the
wrong side of new year, without the option of resorting to loans that we
enjoyed in the absence of investment 12 months ago. Oh aye and the bugger's
muddle making the manager signing a new deal before receiving funds but not
trusting him to spend those funds runs on and on like a West End stage show.
Nice to see so many young fans today - what the future holds for
them is anyone's guess though.
8 year-old Harry Edes-Oman made
SJP debut today. Another life ruined.....