Newcastle 3 Luton 1 – Saturday 6 January 2018 3pm

We asked a number of our regular writers to give us a brief instant reaction after the final whistle.

Newcastle United into the fourth round of the FA Cup!

Jamie Swan:

“If my nose wasn’t frozen I’d now have a nose bleed from getting through to the 4th round under the fat cockney chap.

“Full strength team toiled, then strolled, then stumbled.

“Couple of scrappy goals from Ayoze topped with a quality third from Jonjo made the second half seem a formality. Erm it wasn’t.

“We turned in a weird one and could have scored another four or five but over cooked or under cooked everything, whilst at the back we wobbled to allow Luton back in with a goal, bar rattled and a comedy disallowed goal celebration.

“Either way, in the hat.

“Hope Luton fans enjoyed their day out and judging by how mortal half were, I’m sure they will have.”

Ben Cooper:

“As Rafa said, with only one game a week for the rest of the season we can afford to play a first team in this competition and though we have been in that position in the past, it looks like this year we have a manager who wants to do just that.

“Even if it is just to stick it up Ashley as much as he can, I welcome our new ‘play a first team’ Cup approach.

“After today, I would suggest our first team is Lascelles and 10 others.

“Again, defensively we were a different team without him.

“We were a bit of a shambles at times but that made it good fun and a good cup tie.

“Cagey for a bit, comfortable for a bit, entertaining for a bit, UFC for a bit, nervy for a bit, jumpers for goalposts for a bit.

“The FA Cup does have everything.

“Even a Fourth Round, which I had never noticed before.”

Toon Bano:

“Comfortably through.

“Well done to Rafa for picking a very strong team.

“If you are like me and think Shelvey & Merino is our best centre midfield combo, plus Gayle & Perez is our best partnership up top, you could say this team was stronger than a lot of our Premier League games so far.

“Banana skin avoided…who’s next?”

Jamie Smith:

“Probably the very best outcome as an attacking display will have boosted confidence among the likes of Murphy, Ritchie and the two goal scorers.

“For round four I want a home tie against the lowest ranked team left in the hat and anyone who says different is mental.

“Luton had a real go second half and made it a real match when you might have thought we’d run away with it at the break.

“The only negative to take is the early injury.

“Someone needs to tell me what happened to Lascelles (ED: Rafa says a precaution and NUFC Captain is ‘fine’, looking after a groin problem) and that he’s absolutely fine now.”

Nat Seaton:

“Great to be in the 4th round of the Cup.

“Great to see a few goals at home.

“Not so great that Captain Lascelles could be out.

“All in all though, a great day!”

Paul Lyon:

“Pleased to see a strong line up put out for this one, with the hope the lads would get back to winning ways at home with a few goals.

“All was going well in the first half but we got sucked into a game in the second, which I’d put down to our inability to hit the target more often that we did.

“Happy to be in the hat for the next round!”

David Punton:

“A thoroughly professional first team has got the job done.

“That’s what you get when you put a strong side out in the cup.

“A few edgy moments after the break but the game was pretty much killed off clean with that nine minute burst – a Perez brace and one for Shelvey.

“The Ashley era has been characterised by FA Cup misery, so it’s nice to see the fourth round for a change.

“It’s all about the draw now. We’ll need a nice draw to make further progress, so fingers crossed.

“Final mention to Luton Town. Fantastic following from them today.

“Their team gave it a right good go when the game looked gone.”

Paul Patterson:

“Thoroughly professional job.

“All about being in the next round.

“Keeps the momentum going and bring on Swansea next week.”

Stats from BBC Sport:

Newcastle 3 Luton 1

Goals – Newcastle Perez 30, 36 Shelvey 39

Goals – Luton Hylton 49

Possession was Luton 51% Newcastle 49%

Total shots were  Luton 9 Newcastle 25

Shots on target were Luton 2 Newcastle 7

Corners were  Luton 7 Newcastle 7

Referee: Neil Swarbrick

Newcastle United:

Woodman, Manquillo, Lascelles (Hayden 31), Clark, Dummett, Ritchie, Merino (Saivet 80), Shelvey (Diame 71), Murphy, Perez, Gayle

Unused Subs:

Darlow,  Joselu, Haidara, Aarons

Crowd: 47,069 (Approx 7,500 Luton)

  • Whickhamrobbie

    Decent first half wastefull second half but at least we are in the hat .
    Gayle poor , as was Dummett but Murphy and Moreno did ok ‘
    It shows we are a poor squad in the big league ,Luton to their credit gave it a go

    • anyobrien

      Gayle had zero service today

  • Great to see Rafa take the cup seriously with his team selection. Woodman can only learn by gaining experience. He now has his senior debut out of the way and his career starting. Good luck to the lad.

    Thanks to Rafa for giving us a chance. By way of reminder, in the Ashley years, out history is as follows:
    2008 sacked shortly after draw against Stoke in 3rd round
    2008 won 3rd round replay v Stoke, lost away at Arsenal 4th round
    2009 lost 3rd round replay at home to Hull
    2010 lost 4th round v West Brom after beating Plymouth in 3rd round replay
    2011 lost 3rd round v Stevenage
    2012 lost v Brighton 4th round after beating Blackburn in 3rd with those two magical goals from be Arfa and Jonas, two players pushed out by the hierarchy
    2013 lost v Brighton, 3rd round
    2014 lost v Cardiff at home, 3rd round
    2015 lost v Leicester, 3rd round
    2016 lost 3rd round v Watford
    2017 Lost 4th round round v Oxford 3-1 after winning 3rd round replay v Birmingham at home

    • Wor Lass

      Have you studied under the Great Master Researcher Clar-ko?

  • Leazes

    First view of Woodman…. oh dear.

    • TheNutJob

      didn`t think he had much choice but to come out for the ball, the defence we`re certainly caught on the back foot

      • Leazes

        Bit of a shambles…..what is his forte?

        • He is a 20 year old kid with potential, in the same way that England international Fraser Forster. All goalkeepers make mistakes which they might be remembered for, Seaman against Brazil, Given here with Dion Dublin.

          Unlike Forster, Benitez had given the lad his debut. As someone who remembers Waddle suddenly coming alive with 2 goals in the FA Cup against Sheff Wed, we may have alternative philosophies. I say great that Rafa has given Woodman a debut with a platform of an almost first choice team rather than pitch him into a lions’ den with a tam selection that previous managers would have, in the hope of losing.

          Incidentally, having seen and replayed the highlights, it wasn’t even a problem. Modern approaches to goalkeeping, advocating the GK in a sweeper role, would suggest that the risk Woodman took was worthwhile. Some credit should go to the Luton striker.

          Some of the kids deserve our support, not criticism and remember, this young lad helped England win a World Cup.

          • Damon Horner

            Even if he had a bad game it was an experience for him. The lad just needs to be/feel under less pressure.

          • Leazes

            I didn’t say otherwise.

        • NUFCLX

          Your good, you can always find negatives in a positive result.

          • Leazes

            Ryder can always find positives in defeats, I call it highlighting your deficiencies in order to remedy them….Ryder hides the deficiencies they are swept under a carpet because he’s a Liverpool fan and doesn’t want United to succeed.

            We were playing a team four divisions lower, at home, with a surprisingly strong team selection….

            …. do you really need a dose of ‘happy’?

          • NUFCLX

            Being a Toon fan of 50+ years I need as many doses of Happy as I can get.
            Not sure where Ryder comes into it, think u have the red ass with the Ronny Gill because they blocked u. Don’t worry about it mate, we all know they are a Shyte paper.

          • anyobrien

            A team in the past we would normally lose to… Great result and great to meet some Luton fans in the number nine bar before kick off.

        • anyobrien

          That’s the spirit kick the 20 year old keeper in the boll ox will do his confidence wonders.

    • Peter Graham


  • Jonathan Gibson

    Was it just me or was that the worst atmosphere from newcastle supporters for many a year? I was in the leazes away from usual east stand near gallowgate corner but the library chants from luton well justified..
    Having said that, luton not much better, 7,500 were like a library compared to sheff wed few seasons ago when they brought 6,000.

    • Leazes

      It was normal…. I didn’t bother to stand up when we scored…. it was Luton we were playing.

    • gallowgate26

      There was a comment on here the other day, saying that there would finally be some noise, now that the ‘real fans’ were turning up. Well today was the quietest I’ve ever heard it at SJP!

    • Peter Graham


  • Essex_Toon

    Good win. A tricky tie against a clever team.

    Over the moon for Perez getting a few goals recently. I felt bad for him after his own goal against Leicester.

    Roll on the 4th round!

    • nufcslf

      The own goal looked like he did it on purpose. Good to bounce back, though and onto the next round.

  • gallowgate26

    I remember saying I liked the look of Lascelles after his debut in a friendly in York (I think it was), when we lost the game. I remember some fans writing him off at the time and saying he would never be good enough for the toon. Now I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s some of the exact same people, who are now amongst the crowd, calling him our best player. Funny how things change….😉

    • Paul Patterson

      Never let us down, played through the pain barrier last season. A proper captain.

  • ghostrider

    The good thing is we can look forward to the next round.
    If Rafa keeps sending out fairly strong teams then we have a very good chance of progression.
    It’s not beyond the realms of possibility.