Joe Ironside scored the winner as League One outfit Cambridge claimed a huge scalp in the FA Cup, upsetting Newcastle United at St James’ Park.
Newcastle United crashed out of the FA Cup in the third round for the second year in a row after losing 1-0 to League One side Cambridge in front of a packed St James’ Park. Joe Ironside grabbed the spotlight with the game-winning goal just before the hour mark.
Eddie Howe chose a strong team to face the League One side, with new signing Kieran Trippier named in the starting lineup. However, with only one victory all season, they lacked confidence in their ability and instincts, often taking too many touches and misplacing passes, while they also missed the outlet provided by Callum Wilson.
The visitors, meanwhile, defended with industry, remaining solid and compact. They rode their luck at times, but goalkeeper Dimitar Mitov was impregnable on the day and made spectacular saves to deny Jacob Murphy and Joelinton. Newcastle also had two goals ruled out for offside from Murphy and Fabian Schar.
Even though they had the lion’s share of possession, Newcastle were made to rue their missed chances when Ironside gave Cambridge a shocking lead by pouncing on a loose ball inside the Toon box. Newcastle became increasingly frantic as the game progressed and threw the kitchen sink to find the equalizer, with Joelinton having a golden chance late on.
Cambridge’s determination and Mitov’s heroics helped them overcome a superior opponent. It was a historically embarrassing defeat in the FA Cup for the Magpies, and it also showed the scale of the task ahead of Eddie Howe’s side if they are to avoid the drop from the Premier League. After a dismal display at St James’ Park, The Hard Tackle will now run the rule over the Newcastle stars.
Martin Dubravka: 4/10
Did not have much to do throughout the game, but will feel he should have done better when he spilled the ball in the build-up to Cambridge’s winning goal.
Kieran Trippier: 6/10
Kieran Trippier showed off some classy touches and brought composure to the backline on his debut. The England international displayed signs of his quality and took little time settling in. He brought a more creative approach to Newcastle’s attack. Unlike most of his teammates, he showed urgency, quick passing and was a real threat going forward. His leadership qualities could come in handy in the Magpies’ relegation battle.
Emil Krafth: 5/10
Krafth handled the threat well for large parts of the game but was slow to respond to the loose ball in the chaos that led to Cambridge’s game-winning goal. To be fair, he was relatively steady while playing out of position in a central defensive role.
Fabian Schar: 5/10
Schar was often much better at creating than deconstructing The Swiss international briefly thought he broke the deadlock after tapping in the ball from a Ritchie corner, but he was ruled offside. He attempted to find Trippier with several diagonal balls, but again failed to keep a clean sheet and was perhaps unlucky that his headed clearance fell to goalscorer Ironside.
Matt Ritchie: 4/10
Matt Ritchie was caught out of position on multiple occasions and was very fortunate not to concede a penalty for wrestling Harvey Knibbs inside the penalty box. He got himself into several good situations down the left flank, but the quality of his crosses into the box let him down time and time again.
Jonjo Shelvey: 4/10
Despite having ample possession, Shelvey could not find a way to break down Cambridge’s stubborn defence. Shelvey kept possession effectively in midfield but could not provide enough support and supply for the forward players. He also went missing for long stretches in the middle of the park, while his long balls over the top were frequently wayward without a focal point.
Sean Longstaff: 4/10
An underwhelming display from the Newcastle academy graduate and he was rightly hooked off after sixty minutes. Longstaff was reckless in possession and struggled to get into the game’s flow while he could not provide any defensive assurance whatsoever.
He came close to scoring a couple of times but was thwarted by Mitov’s superb goalkeeping. He nearly saved the day for his side with a strong stoppage-time header, but was denied by a brilliant save. The most advanced of Newcastle’s three midfielders, Joelinton frequently charged forward to support the attack while he also pressed intensely. He tried to become that focal point with his hold-up play but was largely let down by his poor first touch.
Ryan Fraser: 4/10
Midway through the second half, he was moved to the left-wing, although his effect on either side was negligible. Quality was lacking on his crosses. Despite seeing plenty of the ball, he could not do anything meaningful with it or be creative.
Allan Saint-Maximin: 5/10
Saw a lot of the ball and had moments of brilliance but very little came off for him after he dragged an early shot wide. He was often brushed aside by Paul Digby and looked out of place at times in the centre-forward role. His display highlighted why Newcastle sorely need a replacement for Wilson in the January market. The Frenchman headed straight down the tunnel in anger at the final whistle.
Jacob Murphy: 7/10
Murphy was denied by Mitov multiple times and was also ruled offside when he got the ball in the net. He was on the end of most of Newcastle’s finest chances, and he would have scored towards the end of the first half if it had not been for a superb stop from the opposition keeper.
Joe Willock: 4/10
Willock struggled to get into the game and could not provide the goalscoring threat for which he was introduced on the pitch.
Miguel Almiron: 5/10
Almiron was lively after coming off the bench and constantly appeared eager to get on the ball but could not create anything meaningful in the final third.
Javier Manquillo: N/A
Did not play enough to warrant a rating.