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08th Jan 2022

Cambridge shock Premier League Newcastle in third round upset

Patrick McCarry

Joe Ironside’s winner caused one of the shocks of the round

Newcastle United may have been bought for a dump-truck full of money and just got back from a January shop with an England international full-back, but they could not figure out Wes Hoolahan, Joe Ironside and the Cambridge lads.

The FA Cup third round has thrown up a fair clatter of shocks, today, as the likes of Boreham Wood and Kidderminster marched on, and Huddersfield beat Burnley, but Cambridge United did the biggest giant-killing of a fun day.

With Allan Saint-Maximin the brightest light for an otherwise poor Newcastle side, it was Ironside – a Toon fan, growing up – who swivelled to put Cambridge ahead after 56 minutes.

With Eddie Howe responding to the 1-0 scoreline by going all out attack, Cambridge had a sly reply of their own. On came Republic of Ireland international Wes Hoolahan and, with it, some extra control and an out ball when their defence was under pressure.

Wes Hoolahan rolls back the years

Newcastle had Kieran Trippier – signed from Atletico Madrid during the week – in their starting XI, but the club is still a few signings short of getting out of the funk that has put them in relegation trouble.

Their best chance of the game arrived in stoppage time but Joelinton was denied by Cambridge goalkeeper Dimitar Mitov.

Hoolahan was at his canny best in his 30 minutes on the pitch. The 39-year-old did he does best and found the feet of teammates even when under major pressure. Fans watching the game marvelled that Hoolahan, last seen on a major footballing stage at Euro 2016, was still out there balling.

That Joelinton chance was as close as Newcastle got and they were dumped out of the FA Cup by the League One side.

Cambridge boss Mark Bonner told the BBC, “We are delighted. There is always a fairy tale and an upset in this competition, we always hoped it would be us but then saw the teamsheet and how strong they were.

“So proud, we rode our luck at times but the goalkeeper was outstanding. The fact we kept them at bay and kept a clean sheet is a major result for the team and the players and a great day out for the supporters too.”

Other shock FA Cup results

  • Boreham Wood 2-0 AFC Wimbledon
  • Burnley 1-2 Huddersfield
  • Kidderminster Harriers 2-1 Reading