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Season 2021-22
Cambridge United (h) FA Cup Third Round


Saturday 8th January 2022, 3.00pm

 St. James' Park

Conditions: Incompetent

Tickets: £10 adults, £5 concessions
(Were planned to rise to £20 and £10 on match day,
 but the tie sold out some days earlier)



 Cambridge United


0 - 1





Half time: Magpies 0 U's 0

56 mins Ben Worman's forward ball to Adam May was touched on by Jonjo Shelvey and that should have seen Martin Dubravka gather it. However he spilled it and Harvey Knibbs hooked it back towards the Leazes goal.

Fabian Schar's clearing header fell to Teessider Joe Ironside (son of former Boro goalkeeper Ian), who hooked it first time past the players on the line with Dubravka still down. Viewing of the footage from various angles does support the view that Schar ducked away from Ironside's shot.

Full time: Magpies 0 U's 1

We Said


Eddie Howe said:

"Ultimately we found a goalkeeper in superb form and a team that defended for their lives and we couldn't break them down.

"I don't think there was anything wrong with our attitude, we just couldn't deliver the quality to score. The players are very disappointed. They know the importance of the FA Cup and they wanted to win.

"We did have some good moments but we lacked that killer instinct every team needs. Then when you don't put the game to bed there's always a chance you leave yourself open and, unfortunately, one of those moments cost us the game.

"The size of the task remains what it is. I just hope the game doesn't damage our players' confidence.

"The next group of games could potentially be season-defining. Feeding the players and giving them the confidence to execute is the challenge I face.

"It's a good group of players with a good attitude but we have to take this defeat on the chin and come back again."

On the decision by some of the players to head straight for the dressing room at full time:

We have a way of working, and my personal opinion is we should always appreciate the fans and thank them for coming, thank them for supporting the team.

"Sometimes, thatís very difficult to do when you havenít had a positive result, and some players probably want to immediately just leave that situation. But we encourage them to recognise the supporters.

"Sometimes, thatís the most important time to do it, when the result hasnít been good we have to stand up, take the criticism, but still acknowledge the support of people who have paid big money to come and watch us.

"Iíll never want to run from that moment, I donít think thatís right. From my perspective especially, you have to be brave enough to front it up, even if youíre aware you potentially might be criticised for that. Iíd still much rather it that way than not being seen.Ē

The cup romance of Newcastle United

On reports that NUFC chairman Yasir al-Rumayyan and directors Amanda Staveley and Mehrdad Ghodoussi visited the home dressing room post match:

"Yes, they did pop in to see the players. I personally wasn't in there Ė they saw me with my coaching team after.

"I believe they were very supportive to the players, highlighting the fact that they are in this fight to stay in the league together and they're very much behind everybody, and I can't thank them enough for that support.

"It was really beneficial for the players to see that and feel that because this journey that we're going on currently and the fight we're in to stay in the division is a united effort from everybody in the club.

"The supporters are playing their part, no doubt Ė they've been magnificent Ė and the owners wanted to show their support for the players, and it was really welcome for me.Ē

They Said


Mark Bonner said: 

"What an occasion. Thereís always a fairytale and an upset in the FA Cup and we hoped it would be us this year but then we saw how strong Newcastleís team-sheet was.

ďOur goalkeeper was brilliant but I am so proud we kept them at bay. We only got promoted last year so keeping a clean sheet is an incredible achievement.

"This day will be remembered for decades. These are the moments you never forget and you never know how long it will be before you experience anything like it again.

"Newcastleís an incredible football club and an incredible city and the noise got big at times but we coped with the atmosphere and, although we rode our luck at times, we also had periods of control and managed to turn it into a great day for our supporters.Ē

Paying tribute to the goalscorer, Joe Ironside:

"This was the game he wanted when the draw came around last time and he dreamed of scoring against them.
(Alan) Shearer was his idol, so itís a major moment for him and Iím really proud of him and the contribution that heís made to the game.Ē

The goalscorer commented:

I'm a bit lost for words to be honest: it's just one of those days that you'll never forget and you don't want to end.

"It's a massive result and one we won't forget, and the fans won't forget for a long, long time. It's just amazing to be a part of it.

"In hindsight now, when you look back it's just been basically a dream come true for me today. I can reflect on it now after it's all calmed down, and it's just a really brilliant day.

"The ball was just above me, and I was just thinking if I could get on the half-turn here, I'm in, and I've scored. I was just focusing on getting a contact on the ball, and it's hit the back of the net.

"To be honest after that, I can't actually remember what happened, it was just crazy. I could remember the VAR bit though, that seemed like it was going on for ages. That wasn't a nice moment, but then obviously it's come back with 'goal', so I'm buzzing.

"We're a really united team, we work hard for one another. We've come here today, and I think it's just worked perfectly. We've all grafted really hard today, and it's just one of those days where it was meant to be.

"We've come and had a game plan, we've nicked a goal, kept a clean sheet, Dimi (Mitov) was outstanding and it's just all fell into place. It's just been one hell of a football match."


There was a debut for new signing Kieran Trippier, following a reported £12.5m move from Atletico Madrid earlier in the week.

Eight of the players who started our last game - at home to Manchester United in the Premier League - kept their places, with Callum Wilson's absence enforced. That left Javier Manquillo and Jamaal Lascelles dropping out as Kieran Trippier, Matt Ritchie and Jacob Murphy came in.

Injury ruled out Wilson, Federico Fernandez, Jamal Lewis and Isaac Hayden, while Dwight Gayle, Ciaran Clark and Karl Darlow were omitted - reason unknown. Paul Dummett was named in a competitive matchday squad for the first time since May, although not called upon. He did play in pre-season.

Joelinton played his 100th game in all competitions for Newcastle but unfortunately was unable to add to his 11 goals (seven in the PL, two in the FA Cup and two in the League Cup).

This defeat means United will play just 40 first team games this season - the lowest first team game total since the 39 played in the 1913/14 campaign.

A momentous day for Cambridge United, who won for the very first time at SJP in their history at the ninth attempt. This was the first-ever meeting of the two sides in any cup competition.

The latest competition rules mean that there was no provision for a replay in this tie, which had to be played to a conclusion today - via 30 minutes extra time and then penalties if required.

U's in Toon - all time:
lost 0-1 (h) No scorer (FA)
won 4-1 (h) Kelly 3, G.Peacock (D2)
1991/92 drew 1-1 (h) Hunt (D2)
1983/84 won 2-1 (h) Keegan, Beardsley (D2)
1982/83 won 2-0 (h) Martin, McDermott (D2)
1981/82 won 1-0 (h) Trewick (D2)
1980/81 won 2-1 (h) OG, Shoulder (D2)
1979/80 won 2-0 (h) Withe, Shoulder (D2)
1978/79 won 1-0 (h) Bird (D2)

Today was the 24th time that Newcastle have been eliminated from the FA Cup by a lower league team since the competition resumed after WWII:

1948/49 Bradford Park Avenue (h) 0-2 (D2 beat D1)
1956/57 Millwall (a) 1-2 (D3S beat D1)
1957/58 Scunthorpe United (h) 1-3 (D3N beat D1)
1960/61 Sheffield United (h) 1-3 (D2 beat D1)
1961/62 Peterborough United (h) 0-1 (D3 beat D2)
1963/64 Bedford Town (h) 1-2 (NL beat D2)
1967/68 Carlisle United (h) 0-1 (D2 beat D1)
1971/72 Hereford United (a) 1-2 (NL beat D1)
1972/73 Luton Town (h) 0-2 (D2 beat D1)
1974/75 Walsall 0-1 (a) (D3 beat D1)
1977/78 Wrexham 1-4 (a) (D3 beat D1)
1979/80 Chester City (h) 0-2 (D3 beat D2)
1980/81 Exeter City (a) 0-4 (D3 beat D2)
1985/86 Brighton & Hove Albion (h) 0-2 (D2 beat D1)
1988/89 Watford (a) 0-1 (D2 beat D1)
1991/92 Bournemouth (h) 2-2, 3-4pens (D3 beat D2)
1993/94 Luton Town 0-2 (a) (D1 beat PL)
2002/03 Wolves 2-3 (a) (D1 beat PL)
2006/07 Birmingham City (h) 1-5 (CH beat PL)
2010/11 Stevenage (a) 1-3 (L2 beat PL)
2011/12 Brighton (a) 0-1 (CH beat PL)
2012/13 Brighton (a) 0-2 (CH beat PL)
2016/17 Oxford United (a) 0-3 (L1 beat CH)
2021/22 Cambridge United (h) 0-1 (L1 beat PL)

NUFC last 10 FAC3 ties:

2021/22 Cambridge United (h) lost 0-1
Arsenal (a) lost 0-2aet
Rochdale (a) drew 1-1
2018/19 Blackburn Rovers (h) drew 1-1 (won replay)
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

Following a 0-0 draw with Burnley in the League Cup, this result meant that Newcastle had failed to score a single cup goal this season - the first time they've failed to do so since 2015/16.



A man called Ironside

They may have new owners, grand ideas and an eye-wateringly expensive wish list, but some things just don't change where Newcastle United are concerned.

The club's 400th FA Cup tie over 125 seasons gave another generation of supporters a taste of this club's ongoing inadequacy in cup competitions at a sold-out Gallowgate on Saturday.

A roll of dishonour featuring the likes of Bedford Town, Hereford United, Chester City and Stevenage now includes third tier Cambridge - who took their chance unlike the hosts, and held on grimly for 34 minutes.

In fairness it's been a while since we were the victims of a giant-killing; a few near things involving replays but none since Oxford away five years ago.

Unlike that planned defeat in 2017 though, this latest disgrace was achieved with a strong starting XI that even included new signing Kieran Trippier: it was anything but a weakened team, unless you start to include the all-too evident shortcomings of the current senior squad.

Those problems manifested themselves most noticeably up front; Callum Wilson joined on the sidelines by Dwight Gayle and a forward line led at various points today by Ryan Fraser, Allan Saint-Maximin and Jacob Murphy who all proved incapable of finding the net.

There was no lack of chances for the black and whites; Murphy alone with a trio of decent opportunities before the break - the best of which was palmed on to the crossbar by U's goalkeeper Dimitar Mitov in the final seconds of the first half.

That came after a spell of belated pressure on the Leazes End goal included Fabian Schar's close-range shot being ruled out for offside and Sean Longstaff heading a Saint-Maximin cross wide when it looked easier to score.

At the other end, the League One side only rarely visited Martin Dubravka's area, but caused a genuine moment of panic after Matt Ritchie sent Harvey Knibbs flying in the box on 36 minutes - referee Michael Salisbury's refusal to award a penalty only belatedly backed up by VAR.

Making no changes at the interval, the ball was soon in the Cambridge net after a neat run and finish from Murphy, but he was rightly pulled up for starting from an offside position.

The pivotal passage of play would come 11 minutes into the second period, Ben Worman's flighted forward pass helped on by the boot of Jonjo Shelvey en route to reaching Adam May in the box.

His shot was blocked by the legs of Dubravka, but as he scrambled to claim possession Knibbs beat him to the loose ball and turned to shoot from the edge of the six yard box.

That goalbound effort was repelled by a weak header out from Schar but he succeeded only in finding Joe Ironside, who turned and found the net with a scooped right foot shot from six yards - before wheeling away to salute the travelling throng up on Level 7.

Treatment for the goalkeeper allowed for another elongated VAR judgement as to whether a visiting player was offside, but there was to be no reprieve for one United and ecstasy for the other one in what was their first-ever game to be staged using that technology.

The reaction from Eddie Howe's side was increasingly incoherent; random crosses played in from both wings but a constant lack of quality. And while basic shortcomings are often masked in PL games by our inferior possession stats, today we had maximum opportunity to showcase our limitations. 

The hosts survived yet another VAR decision on 86 minutes, a quicker one this time that endorsed an offside flag to deny substitute Jack Lankester a goal.

Five minutes of added time included a couple of corners that found Dubravka in the opposition area, but the best chance was a Joelinton header somehow clawed away by Mitov to prevent extra time.

Given that the major task this season is to avoid relegation it's difficult to get too worked up about another cup misadventure and avoiding an extra 30 minutes of play ahead of the pivotal visit of Watford next Saturday.

That doesn't mean that the lessons learnt today shouldn't be taken on board though. On this evidence, that major rebuild of the side may well have to be preceded by wholesale demolition. If we are indeed reaching for the stars, there were several players here who passed up the opportunity to earn a "wanted on voyage" pass.... 

That waste of an afternoon was exemplified by Joe Willock, who seemed to have taken personal offence at starting the tie on the bench, slouching on after the goal and doing his best not to contribute anything.
Apart from the inability to keep a clean sheet, the scoring problem obviously dominates and overshadows our future. News that Callum Wilson is likely to be missing for another eight weeks is not the worst outcome envisaged, but the lack of goalscorers completely undermines any other work we do in this window - and signing one is nowhere near enough frankly.

And what of Trippier? Having done his best to try and inspire them, the England international concluded his debut by trying unsuccessfully to wave some of his new colleagues back on to the field after they'd sloped off on the final whistle without acknowledging the support.

He could be excused for wondering just what the hell he's signed up for. We of course have a life sentence, without parole.


Page last updated 21 June, 2022