Newcastle United discover the identity of their next potential FA Cup third round giant killer
Monday night has revealed the identity of who Newcastle United will face in the FA Cup third round.
A very entertaining game saw National League North side Boston United put in a great effort.
Up against Rochdale from three levels higher they matched the League One side pretty much all the way.
The possession stats were 50/50, whilst Boston had more shots (17 v 10), more efforts on target (5 v 4) and only one less corner (3 v 4).
Unfortunately, the most important stat went Rochdale’s way.
Before the kick-off there was a minute’s applause in memory of former Newcastle manager Jim Smith, who passed away last week at the age of 79. He began his managerial career with Boston United in the late 60s.
Once the game did then kick off, Boston had a nightmare start, a fourth minute own goal putting the visitors ahead.
The non-league side never stopped battling though and deservedly equalised on 49 minutes.
Pressing for the winner and a dream tie against Newcastle United, it was a penalty that decided the contest, Rochdale converting 11 minutes from time.
Boston had already got successfully through four rounds of the FA Cup before defeat, which is three more rounds than Newcastle have ever managed under Mike Ashley.
These past 12 years have seen six exits in the FA Cup third round and six in the fourth round.
Losing third round clubs get £54,000 in prize money and with £150,000 for both clubs due to BT Sport showing the Rochdale v Newcastle game live, NUFC will earn a minimum of £204,000 from this season’s FA Cup run, the game to be played Saturday 4 January 2020 (with a 12.31pm kick-off).
No doubt the TV people would have loved it to have been Boston United, though surely even Newcastle United couldn’t manage to lose to a club five divisions lower.
However, now it is Rochdale away, I doubt a single Newcastle fan would be really surprised if we lost it.
We shouldn’t but we could, having lost to clubs such as Stevenage and Oxford during Mike Ashley’s ambition free reign.
Rochdale are currently sixth bottom of League One, six places and five points below Sunderland who are 12th, 16 points off the top.
Back in August, Sunderland came here and beat Rochdale 2-1 in League One.
All eyes will also be on Steve Bruce’s team selection in 19 days time, having made seven changes in August for the League Cup defeat to Leicester, despite having insisted Newcastle would now be attacking the cup competitions.
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