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Season 2023-24
mackems (a) FA Cup Third Round


Saturday 6th January 2024, 12.45pm
Live on

stadium of plight

Conditions: Unrivalled

Tickets: £32 adults





0 - 3





35 mins: Joelinton exchanged passes with Bruno Guimaraes on the United left, before firing over a low cross that Ballard turned into his own net as he reached it ahead of Alexander Isak. 1-0

Half time: mackems 0 Newcastle 1

46 mins: Play restarted following an offside call against Miguel Almiron, home goalkeeper Anthony Patterson finding Pierre Ekwah on the edge of his own area. The defender turned and tried to step infield to elude Almiron, but the Newcastle player stole it off him and cued up Alexander Isak to fire into the far side of the goal, away from Dan Ballard who had made it back to the goal line.

Previous taunts from home fans of "no noise from the Saudi boys" resulted in chants of "2-0 to the Saudi boys" at this point, but like the Adam Johnson/Peado nonsense wasn't universally sung. 

90 mins: Jack Clarke's deep cross from the mackem left was thumped away by Fabian Schar and returned to the same home player, whose weak header fell to Alexander Isak in the centre circle.

Accelerating away from Ballard and riding an attempted swipe by Luke O'Nien, the Magpies forward laid the ball off to Anthony Gordon who was overlapping him on the left. The United number 10 made his way into the box and was then unceremoniously shoved over by the retreating Ballard.

Ignoring the pleadings of Guimaraes, Isak stepped up to send Patterson the wrong way before leading the celebrations behind the goal. 3-0

Full time: mackems 0 Newcastle 3

We Said


Eddie Howe said:

"We were on the right side of the fine balance between patience and trying to score. Recently we maybe haven’t always been on the right side of that balance. But we handled the early stages of the game and the occasion very well. We drew the sting out of it. We didn’t want it to be a transition game, we wanted to control it. Winning meant a hell of a lot to us.

"I never felt that way about the draw
(being a banana skin). It was a good thing for us, if you win it of course. If you don't, it's a little different, but the boys did a professional job.

"I thought we handled the occasion very well, brave with the ball and composed. And we didn't let them get a head of steam and use the crowd, especially in the first half. It was better, I still feel we were a bit off our best. But it was a big step in the right direction.

"Physically today was a big strong performance, the rest we had in between the last game served us well. Energy levels looked at their maximum. That's been the hallmark of us for a long period of time. Not through a lack of effort, but the extra gear was missing from our performances in recent weeks and that's made a big difference.

"The bigger the game, the more you enjoy it. We enjoyed the occasion, there was nothing new for us in terms of the high profile games we played in and the grounds we visited. I don’t think it was too dissimilar to Milan or PSG, & other places we’ve been this season….so I think those experiences helped us. 

"Without downplaying it, it was a normal day for us. We were here to do a job and thankfully we’ve done it. We had to do the little bits right today and that’s what happened. It keeps us in an important competition and that brings hope.

"Today we knew the result was big for our supporters and the way they've supported us away from home this season, it was good we could do that for us.

"We were very professional. We took control and had our extra gear back today. We hope our confidence levels return now. One negative is injury to Joelinton. He felt his thigh switching play. We don’t know what that looks like yet.

”When you haven’t won for a while, relief is definitely an emotion you feel. It’s a relief for everybody, including the players, but hopefully we can use it.”

On Kieran Trippier:

“Kieran was excellent. He showed his experience. He made good decisions.”

They Said


Michael Beale:

"We went in at half time and talked about being bold, made a couple of changes to get people higher up the pitch and bring the back four higher — and then we have the worst possible start and that’s clear for everyone to see.

"After that, we started to get into some interesting areas and if we had scored I think the fans would have done the rest for us because we they were fantastic. Then the third goal is really poor.

"There was a gap between to the two teams when we arrived today, my young team tried to close it but weren’t able to. They have to be really honest with themselves about today, because then I think we can improve and we can use in the Championship. The big thing is about being honest and not hiding away from the fact that there is a gap.

"I thought the two goals in the second half were poor, the one at the beginning and the one at the end. The first half our shape was good but we were untidy when we got the ball back. But the second half we got to the worst possible start.

"In the second half, Pritch was unlucky with hitting the bar and the goalkeeper makes one fantastic save. The difference between the two games was experience and know-how. It won't be good words for the lads to hear right now but it's the reality for us right now. This result today could help us in the Championship campaign for sure.

"If it was easy to do what we're doing, then everyone would be doing. We give young players a real opportunity to grow, and that's a big growing experience for them. 

"We had higher hopes for the game today than the outcome for sure, and I think one or two in our team are better than what they showed today. That's fine, that's the feedback and I think in this
(transfer) window we'll try to improve but within the vision of this football club, which is to give young players an opportunity to learn and grow.

"On a day like today it's going to be highlighted, but ultimately in the Championship this season that's not been highlighted. At the level we're competing at, it's not been an issue but actually a reason for optimism. 

"We spent four years in League One and got in the play-offs last year, are in a good position this year....I don't want anyone to think there's anything but positivity around our football club.

"We’ve got 20 huge games now, and the focus has to be on what happens on the football pitch. Ultimately, I’m not in and around any of the other stuff. I would have liked our players to have scored a goal for the fans, and stayed in the game for longer in the second half because I thought it would have been interesting, even given there was a gap in quality. 

"If we’d stayed in the game at the start of the second half then anything could have happened, and I knew the fans would then have pushed the team onwards and upwards. We didn’t, but we’ve got 20 games to go in the Championship and we’re in a really good place. 

"We’ve got as good a chance of anyone of getting into those play-off positions, but we’re going to need to be united as a football club for that to happen, for sure. We’ve got the biggest away following in the Championship, and we’ll be counting on that next week away at Ipswich.”

"I felt that at 2-0, if we went and got one
(goal) then the fans would do the rest. Looking behind me, the bench only gets younger and you don't want to destabilise the team. That's just the decision we decided to make as a management team today  to only make one substitution."


Newcastle won their first derby since August 2011 (1-0, Ryan Taylor over the wall) ending a run of nine winless meetings with the mackems (six losses and three draws, all in the Premier League).

That winless run of nine games is the joint-longest in the history of these fixtures, matching the "feat" of the mackems between 1967 and 1978. 

Derby games - PL era: 
(all PL unless specified)

2023/24 won 3-0 (a) og, Isak 2 (1 pen) (FAC)
2015/16 drew 1-1 (h) Mitrovic
2015/16 lost 0-3 (a)
2014/15 lost 0-1 (a)
2014/15 lost 0-1 (h)
2013/14 lost 0-3 (h)
2013/14 lost 1-2 (a) Debuchy
2012/13 lost 0-3 (h)
2012/13 drew 1-1 (a) Cabaye
2011/12 drew 1-1 (h) Ameobi
2011/12 won 1-0 (a) R.Taylor
2010/11 drew 1-1 (a) Nolan
2010/11 won 5-1 (h) Nolan 3, Ameobi 2 (1pen)
2008/09 drew 1-1 (h) Ameobi (pen)
2008/09 lost 1-2 (a) Ameobi
2007/08 won 2-0 (h) Owen 2 (1pen)
2007/08 drew 1-1 (a) Milner
2005/06 won 4-1 (a) Chopra, Shearer, N'Zogbia, Luque
2005/06 won 3-2 (h) Ameobi 2, Emre
2002/03 won 1-0 (a) Solano
2002/03 won 2-0 (h) Bellamy, Shearer
2001/02 won 1-0 (a) Dabizas
2001/02 drew 1-1 (h) Bellamy
2000/01 drew 1-1 (a) A.O'Brien
2000/01 lost 1-2 (h) Speed
1999/00 drew 2-2 (a) Domi, Helder
1999/00 lost 1-2 (h) Dyer
1996/97 drew 1-1 (h) Shearer
1996/97 won 2-1 (a) Beardsley, Ferdinand
1992/93 won 1-0 (h) Sellars (D1)
1992/93 won 2-1 (a) og, L.O'Brien

Newcastle won away from home for the first time in nine league and cup games since the 3-0 victory over Manchester United in the Carabao Cup during November 2023. This success was also their first clean sheet away from SJP since that night at Old Trafford.  

FA Cup record v mackems:

2023/24 mackems (a) won 3-0
mackems (h) lost 0-2
1912/13 mackems (n) lost 0-3
1912/13 mackems (h) drew 2-2
1912/13 mackems (a) drew 0-0
1908/09 mackems (a) won 3-0
1908/09 mackems (h) drew 2-2
1901/02 mackems (h) won 1-0

(for completeness, there was also an FA Cup meeting with the wearsiders in the 1888/89 season, when our forerunners East End lost 0-2 away from home).

Alexander Isak made it four goals in his last three games. He moves on to 13 strikes in all competitions this season, three of which were penalties.

The Swede becomes the fifth Magpie to net in four different competitions for the club during the same season and the first since Alan Shearer in 2005/06.

1968/69 Pop Robson (D1/LC/FC/FA)
1996/97 Alan Shearer (PL/UE/LC/FA)
1998/99 Alan Shearer (PL/CWC/LC/FA)
2003/04 Laurent Robert (PL/UE/LC/FA)
2004/05 Shola Ameobi (LC/UE/PL/FA)
2005/06 Alan Shearer (IC/PL/LC/FA)
2023/24 Alexander Isak (PL/LC/CL/FA)

Isak's brace makes him the first Newcastle player to score more than one goal in an away derby since Ollie Burton hit two in the 3-3 draw at Roker Park in December 1967. His spot kick conversion was the 100th goal that Newcastle have scored on wearside.

Delayed Derby delight for Dummett - he may only have been on the pitch for a matter of minutes, but the Newcastle defender broke his duck against our local rivals at the fifth time of asking:

Oct 2013 lost 1-2 (a)
Feb 2014 lost 0-3 (h)
Dec 2014 lost 0-1 (h)
Oct 2015 lost 0-3 (a)
Jan 2024 won 3-0 (a)

Newcastle won an FA Cup Third Round away tie at the first attempt, for the first time since beating non-league Yeading 2-0 at the Loftus Road home of QPR in 2005. Victory here today came at the thirteenth time of asking:

2004/05 Yeading won 2-0
Birmingham City drew 2-2
2007/08 Stoke City drew 0-0
2008/09 Hull City drew 0-0
2009/10 Plymouth Argyle drew 0-0
2010/11 Stevenage lost 1-3
2012/13 Brighton & Hove Albion lost 0-2
2014/15 Leicester City lost 0-1
2015/16 Watford lost 0-1
2016/17 Birmingham City drew 1-1
2019/20 Rochdale drew 1-1
2020/21 Arsenal lost 0-2
2022/23 Sheffield Wednesday lost 1-2
2023/24 mackems won 3-0

NUFC last 10 FAC seasons:

2023/24 mackems (a) R3 won 3-0
Sheffield Wednesday (a) R3 lost 1-2
2021/22 Cambridge United (h) R3 lost 0-1
2020/21 Arsenal (a) R3 lost 0-2aet
2019/20 Manchester City (h) R6 lost 0-2
2019/20 West Bromwich Albion (h) R5 won 3-2
2019/20 Oxford United (a) R4R won 3-2aet
2019/20 Oxford United (h) R4 drew 0-0 
2019/20 Rochdale (h) R3R won 4-1
2019/20 Rochdale (a) R3 drew 1-1
2018/19 Watford (h) R4 lost 0-2
2018/19 Blackburn Rovers (a) R3R won 4-2
2018/19 Blackburn Rovers (h) R3 drew 1-1
2017/18 Chelsea (a) R4 lost 0-3
2017/18 Luton Town (h) R3 won 3-1
2016/17 Oxford United (a) R4 lost 0-3
2016/17 Birmingham City (h) R3R won 3-1
2016/17 Birmingham City (a) R3 drew 1-1
2015/16 Watford (a) R3 lost 0-1
2014/15 Leicester City (a) R3 lost 0-1


The buses carrying Newcastle fans to their first away derby in over eight years may have gone along the Scotswood Road, but it was anything but a summer's afternoon and aside from the police escort, the only folks they passed on it were curious early morning joggers.

Fast forward eight hours though and those making the return trip were definitely all with smiling faces, having seen their team deservedly banish a lamentably bad record against their rivals and revive a season that had gone sadly awry in recent weeks.
In addition to righting that particular wrong, an own goal and a brace from Alexander Isak gave Eddie Howe a maiden FA Cup victory as Newcastle boss at the third attempt, following Third Round exits at the hands of lower league Cambridge United and Sheffield Wednesday in the previous two seasons.

A third giant-killing was never on the cards though; Michael Beale vastly overestimating the talent of his Championship side and playing out from the back with disastrous consequences. Had they simply lumped the ball upfield or focused on set pieces then they may have caused us more problems; their acknowledged lack of a centre forward limiting that option.   

Having redecorated parts of their ground in honour of their neighbours before the game, the mackems proved to be equally generous on the pitch; netting an own goal, laughably losing possession in their own box for the second and then crudely conceding a penalty for the third.

United had already missed several presentable scoring opportunities - three falling to Sean Longstaff - and were denied a penalty by useless referee Craig Pawson when Isak was downed by Dan Ballard. The only debate seemed to be whether the offence would be punished by a free kick or penalty, depending on the interpretation of where the first foul was. VAR would have called it differently.

The breakthrough came when Joelinton exchanged passes with Bruno Guimaraes in the 35th minute, firing over a low cross that Ballard turned into his own net as he reached it ahead of Isak.

Ending the half strongly but without a second goal to show for their efforts, the black and whites rectified that straight after the interval; Miguel Almiron robbing Pierre Ekwah and setting up Isak to fire home with just 30 seconds gone. 

That was the signal for Howe to substitute Joelinton, who struggled with a thigh problem towards the end of the first half but remained on for the second half. Not uncoincidentally, the hosts then had their best period of the tie as they found some space in central midfield, Ekwah's shot deflecting off Sven Botman and blocked by the outstretched leg of Martin Dubravka.

Alex Pritchard shaved the crossbar from distance before Luke O'Nien blocked a goalbound effort from Almiron with his head at the other end, as Newcastle again prospered from their pressing ploy - the Paraguayan having his best game in recent memory as he hassled and harried his opponents.

And as disconsolate home followers exited with taunts ringing in their ears, Anthony Gordon strode forward to be clumsily manhandled by Ballard in the box - Isak burying his spot kick to inherit the ceremonial title of mackem slayer from predecessor Shola Ameobi, celebrating behind that goal.

The full time whistle sounded soon after, with the joyous throng behind the goal then afforded a starring role thanks to coach Jason Tindall, who positioned players and staff in front the away support for an outdoor version of the usual post-match dressing room victory photo.

The club's earlier gesture to give all bus travellers a free scarf added to the iconic images that resulted, as those behind the goal formed a black and white wall - something doubtless noted by United's marketing department in the wake of calls for the club to ape Dortmund's fan organisation.

Our own thoughts though were that the photos echoed the equally iconic shots of Newcastle fans gathered on the Hillsborough Kop ("going up into the clouds" as Supermac said) brandishing scarves after the 1974 semi-final victory over Burnley in the same competition. Knowing our luck, we'll probably play bloody Liverpool in the next round, just as we did half a century ago...

Initially reluctant to join in those onfield celebrations, Howe did appear punching the air with delight and relief following the trickiest period of his time in charge. His side may play better, but they'll struggle to conjure up a result that was more celebrated - or timely - for him and the fans. 


Page last updated 08 January, 2024