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Season 2019-20
Oxford United (a)
FA Cup Fourth Round Replay


Monday 4th February 2020, 8.05pm
Live on BBC1

 Kassam Stadium

Conditions: Engorged
Tickets: £24

£3 (home and away versions 
were available, with two different covers)

Oxford United


2 - 3




15 mins Miguel Almiron centred from the left and Joelinton took a couple of touches to laid the ball off to Sean Longstaff in the area. He took advantage of hesitation from home players, sidestepping to work an opening before curling a right footer into the net from the edge of the box. 1-0

30 mins An unsuccessful attempt at winning a free kick by Boro loanee Marcus Browne on the edge of our area saw Miguel Almiron emerge in possession and laying the ball off to Sean Longstaff. 

His probing forward ball picked out Joelinton as he sped over halfway, leaving defender Rob Dickie in his wake before bursting into the box and clipping the ball beyond 'keeper Simon Eastwood. 2-0

Half time: Oxford 0 Newcastle 2

80 mins Matt Ritchie stopped Dan Agyei in his tracks around 22 yards from goal and Feyenoord loanee Liam Kelly stepped up to crack a right-footed effort that Karl Darlow reached but could only help into the left hand side of his net. 2-1

90+4 mins
Another Kelly free kick - this time just over halfway in the Newcastle half was played to the right hand side of the box and flicked infield. Sean Longstaff won the next header but his clearance fell to Nathan Holland just inside the box and he caught it perfectly on the volley. 2-2

Full time: Oxford 2 Newcastle 2

Half time of extra time: Oxford 2 Newcastle 2

Kicking against the pricks (not pictured)

116 mins The visitors broke over halfway through Christian Atsu, who found the overlapping Allan Saint-Maximin to his left. The number 10 bore for goal and eluded two back-pedalling defenders before cutting inside as a third hesitated and a fourth criminally turned his back on the play.  

Having seen two previous efforts in extra time stopped by Eastwood, Saint-Maximin achieved both power and precision when a third opportunity arose, sending the ball screaming into the far corner of the net, where it made a satisfying swishing noise. 3-2

Full time of extra time: Oxford 2 Newcastle 3

We Said


Steve Bruce said:

"I thought we deserved it. 

"I know it turned into a hairy cup tie in the last 10 minutes and was great for the neutral although bloody awful for myself. If you're a Newcastle fan, I'm sure parts of it weren't great.

"It wouldn't be Newcastle without a story and if that's the story let's go to West Bromwich Albion and carry it on. When you look back and put your slippers on the FA Cup final is still a huge moment in this country. 

"It was rekindled for me when I got there as manager of Hull City against Arsenal in 2014 and I vowed that I would never play weakened teams.

"A club like Newcastle can win five games and get to Wembley. I know what it means for the city and the supporters, who have come a million miles to get here tonight, a couple of thousand of them.

"We are into the next round. We have made hard work of it against Rochdale and now Oxford but I think we thoroughly deserved to get through. I think it is significant for the club to get into the fifth round for the first time since 2006.

"Joelinton got a whack to his ribs. Heís sore in there. Letís hope thereís no fracture or break. Almiron - I think heís just sore and stiff and tired.

"We lost our focal point when Joelinton went off. We had three or four real big chances to make it three
(in normal time) and didnít, and they made a cup tie of it.

(It was) A magnificent winning goal. That bit of quality has won us the tie. I think, overall, we deserved it but we made hard work of it. You want to get the third one to kill the game but I thought the better team won.

"I thought we were in control up until the last ten minutes. We had a difficult 5/10 minutes at start of extra time but I thought overall the better team won the cup tie.

"Weíre into the fifth round for the first time in 14 years, and a club like ours has got to be doing better than that. Letís enjoy it."

They Said

Karl Robinson said:

"I thought we outplayed them. I don't know what the stats are but we created good chances, even in the first half. Their first goal is a worldie and the third is an outstanding finish. It is all ifs and buts unfortunately but I am really proud of my players.

"I thought we dominated the ball. We created good chances, even in the first half. Iím really proud of my players and the club. I think we have shown we can cope with the big nights.

"Weíre a League One team and if youíre honest I donít think you could tell which was which.

"Iím devastated. People who know me will know thatís going to hurt. I thought my players probably deserved more than they got tonight.Ē

"What was surprising was their celebration (of the winning goal, by the NUFC coaches and subs). Everyone was on the pitch and that just shows you how far we pushed them. Thatís the ultimate respect, I donít mind that because it shows how much it meant to them.Ē


The Magpies are now unbeaten in eight league and cup fixtures since losing 0-3 at home to Leicester City in the Premier League on New Years Day. That's their longest run since going nine games without defeat during February and March 2017 - those all coming in the Championship.

This was our second visit to the Kassam Stadium, following on from our regrettable debut in 2017 when second tier Newcastle were defeated 0-3 in this competition by the third tier U's.

Isaac Hayden and Matt Ritchie were the only two survivors of that first tie in action tonight.

Sean Longstaff's
first goal of the season was his third for the club and second in the FA Cup.

Joelinton extended his Toon tally to three, two of which were in this competition.

Allan-Saint Maximin's first FA Cup strike was his second for the Magpies.

Newcastle ended a run of six successive defeats in the Fourth Round of the FA Cup with a first win at this stage since a 2-0 success at Cheltenham Town in 2006.

Victory extends United's record of replay successes in this competition to five, since a 0-1 home defeat by Hull City in a Third Round replay at SJP in 2009:

2019/20 Oxford United (a) won 3-2
2019/20 Rochdale (h) won 4-1
2018/19 Blackburn Rovers (a) won 4-2
2016/17 Birmingham City (h) won 3-1
2009/10 Plymouth Argyle (h) won 3-0

This is the first season that
we have won more than one FA Cup replay in a season since 1975/76, chalkingd up no less than three en route to a Quarter Final exit to Derby County.

Our FA Cup campaign now extends to five games (not rounds) for the first time since 2004/05, when we progressed to the Semi-Finals, only to lose 1-4 to Manchester United at Cardiff.

Newcastle progressed during extra time for the second time in as many seasons, having beaten Blackburn Rovers 4-2 in a Third Round replay at Ewood Park - that also 2-2 after 90 minutes.

Magpies @ Oxford - all-time:

2019/20 won 3-2 (aet) S.Longstaff, Joelinton, Saint-Maximin (FAC)
lost 0-3 (FAC)
1992/93 lost 2-4 O'Brien, Clark
1991/92 lost 2-5 Scott, Peacock
1990/91 drew 0-0
1989/90 lost 1-2 Quinn
1987/88 won 3-1 McDonald, O'Neill, Mirandinha
1986/87 drew 1-1 Goddard
1985/86 won 2-1 Gascoigne, Beardsley
1985/86 lost 1-3 Cunningham (LC)
1983/84 lost 1-2 Keegan (LC)

All but the 2016/17 game were at the Manor Ground.

NUFC last 10 Fourth Round appearances:

2019/20 Oxford United (a) won 3-2 (0-0 h)
2018/19 Watford (h) lost 0-2
2017/18 Chelsea (a) lost 0-3
2016/17 Oxford United (a) lost 0-3
2011/12 Brighton (a) lost 0-1
2009/10 West Bromwich Albion (a) lost 2-4
2007/08 Arsenal (a) lost 0-3
2005/06 Cheltenham Town (a) won 2-0
2004/05 Coventry City (h) won 3-1
2003/04 Liverpool (a) lost 1-2

PS: 19th man in the playing squad tonight was U23 midfielder Jack Young, called up to the senior ranks for the first time and omitted from the second string game at Swansea a day earlier. 




Saint saviour

To paraphrase Laurel and Hardy, well that's another fine mess you got me out of.

Newcastle made it to the Fifth Round of the FA Cup for the first time since 2006 - contriving to lose a 2-0 lead with just six minutes remaining before Alain Saint-Maximin summoned up a magnificent extra time winner that caused team mates to lose their heads. And one fan lose his trousers.

Steve Bruce's side added a further "WTF" moment to what is becoming an increasingly bizarre season, with the antics of that visiting supporter then leaving us firmly in the twilight/red light zone.

And at the end of an epic 120 minutes, Steve Bruce had outdone Glenn Roeder (once), Kevin Keegan (once), Joe Kinnear (once), Chris Hughton (once), Alan Pardew (four times), John Carver (once), Steve McClaren (once) and Rafa Benitez (three times) in emulating Graeme Souness and leading the club to the promised land of the last 16 clubs left in the FA Cup. Uncharted territory indeed.

It almost didn't happen though, Newcastle doing their best to wrest defeat from the jaws of victory and adding another entry to their FA Cup role of dishonour. That elusive first Fifth Round spot since Freddie Shepherd ruled the kingdom had seemed certain after 83 minutes but almost vanished after 94.

We had of course lost here before, but given the ragbag XI selected that day in 2017, our FA Cup exit was as well received in the visiting dugout as the home one that day.

Buoyed by a league points tally that defies logic and a lack of striking choice that left him no option but field Joelinton and Miguel Almiron, Bruce kept his word about giving this competition a "go", citing the positive experience of taking Hull City to Wembley in 2014. His Tigers side beat five lower league ones to make the final that year, also finishing 16th in the top-flight, four points off the drop zone. 

It's unclear what Hull's owners felt about that cup run, but Mike Ashley seems fully behind Bruce. He was present tonight and showed an awareness of what was up for grabs when announcing that he wanted "to go to West Bromwich" - a phrase that we've never knowingly uttered ourselves...

Although they had nobody to blame but themselves, Oxford rightfully felt rueful that this tie had extended to a second game and not gone in favour of the League One side at St. James' Park.

Karl Robinson's side for the second meeting was rather different though, losing a pair of midfielders to Brentford on transfer deadline day and playing second fiddle to Newcastle from the start here.  

A crisp strike from Sean Longstaff gave the visitors a fifteenth minute lead here and when Joelinton added a second on the half hour, it seemed that the lessons of Rochdale had been learnt and we were intent on getting the job done within the regulation 90 minutes.

Our ongoing fitness issues were evident again though; our number 9 visibly clutching his ribs after scoring and withdrawn before half time. With no ready-made replacement on the bench (or at the club), what attacks Newcastle then fashioned came via Saint-Maximin and Almiron - the latter a model of perpetual motion as he gave everything to the cause.

Despite the occasional moment of alarm, a two goal cushion looked sufficient for our purposes. As Carlo Ancelloti and Everton will attest though, 2-0 is a most dangerous lead and the first signs of grave concern came Liam Kelly fired a free kick past Karl Darlow after 84 minutes.

For followers of this side, what happened next was eminently predictable: the hosts came alive and Sean Longstaff missed a good chance to restore our two goal lead. You've seen this film before.

With U's 'keeper Eastwood joining attacks, the last minute of four added saw Nathan Holland volley home to force extra time amid frenzied rejoicing from home fans. We looked spent at that point; the goal that we'd need to avoid penalties utterly beyond us and the hosts surely destined to win it.

However the arrival of Ciaran Clark steadied the defence - wandering minstrel Isaac Hayden as usual occupying multiple positions following his introduction from the bench. We also benefited from using the fourth substitute now permitted after the 90 minute mark, Christian Atsu boosting the attack - although his decision-making and shooting prowess as usual left much to be desired.

Both sides had chances to win the game but it was left to Saint-Maximin to steal the glory with a thunderous effort following a typical mazy run. He raced to the jubilant away section, not far from where another Alan was applauding - Shearer present on BBC pundit duty. He was in the team the last time that we won a Fourth Round tie and our opening scorer tonight was eight years old.

The squad now get a much-vaunted break - although truncated due to their collective indolence in the first meeting with Oxford. In theory we should have the boost of some forward options by the time we return to action on Sunday week, but given the nature of the season to date it's unwise to take anything for granted. This all may be enormously flawed, but it's engrossing if nothing else.


Page last updated 18 February, 2020