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Match Reports

Whatever cynicism you might have for the FA Cup, this sh*t still hurts

4 years ago

No one wants to read this. It just gives everyone another excuse to spread a bit of bile around…

You shouldn’t be at the game. We should all be protesting now. Not like this, like that, ignore that group they’re peckers, follow my group. Ignore all attempts to protest, it’s futile. You won’t make any difference so sit there and take it. Get Ashley/Charnley, pile onto the pitch, but you go first because I’m not doing it, I’ve just set myself up as an ideas man.

Absolutely maniacal. The amount of items I’ve seen required to bring to the Man City match in order to pelt on the pitch is starting to resemble a scavenger list from the Apprentice. Ironically you’d actually need one of those big Sports Direct bags to hump it all in the ground.

I’m going out there to say an FA Cup run could have provided a welcome distraction from all this…and there were permutations here.

Watford now find themselves awaiting a fifth round draw with only half of the “big six” still standing. Pending replays could feasibly see Crystal Palace as the only other Premier League team in the last 16, where a couple of kind draws could see the route to wild dreams open up in the kind of way that illuminates desperate seasons.

Watford, not us, have that opportunity, after another strong contender for worst game of the season. The first half was an utter dirge of nowt, with Woodman producing a smart save to tip a fierce drive over. I don’t think Watford hit the target other than that and Newcastle didn’t bother shooting at goal. Someone was going to nick it in the second half.

Despite the accepted fact that our club’s problems are at the top, the players here today did their bit to emphasise that they too are complicit in our misery. It’s an easy target but Joselu just stood there I’m afraid. I have two memories of him in 90 awful minutes:

Firstly, for the third game running he writhed around slapping the turf after a foul in a decent impression of a career-ending injury when he was embarrassingly unhurt.

Secondly, when Ritchie whizzed over an excellent cross, Jos declined the options of rising to meet it or running on to pick it up at the back post, in favour of standing in between these attacking positions and looking at it. I thought you were a trier mate?

It is harsh to single anyone out really. Kenedy was atrocious and Murphy anonymous. Lascelles went to sleep to allow Andre Gray to run onto Will Hughes pass and fire past Woodman, who was beaten at his near post from a tight angle. This goal came in the 63rd minute and we all knew it was over then. I think most doubted whether a replay was even worth it, and should we just stand down?

Rafa effectively did this, neglecting to send on Rondon, our only attacking hope, as Schar became the third substitution. I’m not sure how many were there to see Isaac Success’ injury time smash and grab second for Watford, but I don’t blame anyone who sought the comfort of the pub.

I suppose there’s just the formality of this week’s non-activity, the inevitable defeat to City and more fan squabbling, before we can shut the door on any concept of forlorn January hope and get on with wondering whether it’s actually worth trying to stay up any more.

Whatever cynicism you might have for the FA Cup, this sh.. still hurts.

Stats from BBC Sport:

Newcastle 0 Watford 2

Goals: Gray 61, Success 90

Possession was Watford 53% Newcastle 47%

Total shots were  Watford 7 Newcastle 5

Shots on target were Watford 3 Newcastle 1

Corners were  Watford 2 Newcastle 5

Referee: David Coote

Newcastle United:

Woodman, Manquillo, Fernandez (Schar 81), Lascelles, Clark, Ritchie (Atsu 73), Hayden, Longstaff, Kenedy, Murphy (Perez 72), Joselu

Unused Subs:

Dubravka,Yedlin, Lejeune, Rondon

Crowd: 34,604 (Watford 1,350)

(Instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to the FA Cup exit go HERE)

(Rafa Benitez spoke after the game, unhappy and demoralised – Read HERE)

(Opinion – Kenedy should never be allowed to play for Newcastle again after that – Read HERE)

(Javi Gracia comments on win after changing entire team – Read HERE)

Follow Jamie on Twitter @Mr_Dolf



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