FA Cup: Premier League club Newcastle humiliated by third tier Cambridge on day of shocks

Cambridge United's Joe Ironside (R) celebrates scoring the goal that knocked Premier League club Newcastle United out of the FA Cup. Picture: STUFF SPORTS.

At least Newcastle’s fight to stay in the English Premier League won’t be hampered by a deep run in the FA Cup.

In further embarrassment for a club with the world’s richest owners, Saudi-controlled Newcastle was beaten by third-tier Cambridge United 1-0 in the biggest shock yet in the third round of the FA Cup.

The cup provided no respite for Eddie Howe’s beleaguered team, which is in next-to-last place in the Premier League and has just one win in all competitions this season. Newcastle were even eliminated from the English League Cup in its first game in that competition, back in August.

At least that was against a fellow top-flight club in Burnley. On Saturday, it was a team in 16th place in the League Cup delivering the humiliation, with Joe Ironside – a striker who grew up idolising Newcastle great Alan Shearer – scoring the 56th-minute winner at St. James’ Park.

“I am a bit lost for words,” Ironside said. “It panned out how I dreamed about it last night.”

Now backed with more resources than any other soccer club after being bought out by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund in October, Newcastle has been able to attract England right back Kieran Trippier to start what could be a month of heavy spending in the January transfer window.

Trippier even started against Cambridge, a day after signing from Atletico Madrid, but couldn’t make a difference in what will go down as one of the biggest financial mismatches in soccer history.

In a dramatic finish, Newcastle striker Joelinton had a header from a corner tipped over the crossbar acrobatically by Bulgarian goalkeeper Dimitar Mitov in stoppage time.

“Ultimately, we found a goalkeeper in superb form and a team that defended for their lives and we couldn’t break them down,” Howe said. “I don’t think there was anything wrong with our attitude … I just hope the game doesn’t damage our players’ confidence.”

There will be a team from the sixth tier in the draw for the last 32.

Playing a team 79 places higher in English football’s pyramid, Kidderminster Harriers rallied to beat Reading 2-1 and spark a pitch invasion by its fans after 15 nervy minutes of second-half stoppage time.

It was Kidderminster’s first third-round match in eight years.

In a less sizeable upset in the round that sees Premier League clubs enter the world’s oldest knockout competition, second-tier Huddersfield came from behind to beat top-flight Burnley 2-1.

Josh Koroma and Matty Pearson scored in the final 16 minutes at Turf Moor, where Burnley manager Sean Dyche wasn’t present after contracting the coronavirus. All Whites striker Chris Wood was substituted at halftime after helping set up Jay Rodriguez’s first-half goal.

Watford manager Claudio Ranieri made a return to Leicester, which he led to an unlikely Premier League title in 2016. It didn’t go so well.

Leicester began their title defence with a 4-1 win, with the player who scored a long-range winner in the final against Chelsea last season – Youri Tielemans – starting off the scoring by converting a penalty. James Maddison, Harvey Barnes and Marc Albrighton also scored for Leicester.

The match was delayed for seven minutes in the second half because of floodlight failure. Players hung about the field as fans shone light inside the stadium by using torches on their phones.

An inspired second-half display by winger Michael Olise helped Crystal Palace rally to beat second-tier Millwall 2-1.

Olise, a skilful winger, has mostly been used as a substitute in his first season at Palace since joining from second-tier Reading but should see more game time in the upcoming month because key Palace forwards are competing in the African Cup of Nations.

The 20-year-old Olise started against Millwall and was instrumental in his team’s recovery from falling behind in the 17th minute after goalkeeper Jack Butland’s mistake allowed Benik Afobe to score.

Olise bent a shot into the bottom corner in the 46th and then crossed for Jean-Philippe Mateta to head home the winner in the 58th.

Olise was also at the centre of an incident in the second half when he appeared to be struck by a bottle thrown from the crowd while he was taking a corner. British broadcaster ITV also picked up homophobic abuse by fans aimed toward Palace midfielder Conor Gallagher.

Brighton was taken to extra time at second-tier West Bromwich Albion before emerging a 2-1 winner.

In other cup upsets, non-league Boreham Wood beat All Whites goalkeeper Nik Tzanev’s League One club 2-0 while League Two four tier side Hartlepool knocked out Championship second tier club Blackpool, 2-1.

European champions Chelsea cruised to a 5-1 win over non-league Chesterfield, whose goal came from Akwasi Asante.

Emiliano Marcondes grabbed a hat-trick in Bournemouth’s 4-1 away win at Yeovil Town.

An Andros Townsend extra-time strike earned Everton a 3-2 win at Championship side Hull City.

Queen’s Park Rangers won a penalty shoout 8-7 after a 1-1 stalemate with Rotherham after 120 minutes.

Third tier Wigan scored a 3-2 win with an added time to oust northern rivals Blackburn Rovers, who are flying high in the Championship.

Fourth-tier Barrow put up a game fight, playing with 10 men for over an hour, before succumbing 5-4 in a nine-goal thriller against Championship side Barnsley.

The third-round stage began with Manchester City having no problem seeing off fourth-tier Swindon 4-1 on Friday.

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