Not The 'Cracking' Tie Hughton Hoped For

Last updated : 03 January 2010 By Footy Mad - Editor


PLYMOUTH: Larrieu, Duguid, Arnason, Barker, Sawyer, Judge (Noone 90), Summerfield (McNamee 73), Fletcher, Clark, Fallon, Mackie. Subs Not Used: Saxton, Barnes, Gow, Folly, Joe Mason.

TOON: Krul, Simpson, Kadar, Coloccini, Ryan Taylor, Pancrate (Lovenkrands 79), Butt, Smith (Gutierrez 71), Guthrie, Ameobi, Ranger (Carroll 68). Subs Not Used: Harper, Jose Enrique, Tozer, Donaldson.

Att: 16,451

Hughton: "I think their fans are certain to serve up a real cup-tie atmosphere.

"Newcastle coming to town is a big occasion this season for a lot of sides, and, certainly, that has told in the gates and the crowds we've played in front of.

"We're getting used to that, but the fact that this is the FA Cup third-round brings something extra to it.

"2,400 are heading down and I'm sure our fans are looking forward to it, and we have to deliver for them."

But Hughton made seven changes to his starting line-up and he ended up with a replay ... something he didn't want as he insists the FA Cup takes a back seat to his promotion campaign.

The Toon shaded the first half, with Danny Guthrie twice going close to giving them the lead, but it was never the cut-and-thrust cup tie we hoped for.

The second half descended into a war of attrition but Newcastle captain Nicky Butt came close to winning it late on when his 25-yard volley was superbly saved by Plymouth goalkeeper Romain Larrieu.

However, Plymouth held out for the draw and with it an 800-mile round trip to the north east for the replay.

The result was Newcastle's second consecutive goalless draw while Plymouth boss Paul Mariner saw his side extend their unbeaten run to three matches.

Newcastle's new-look line-up struggled early on, with Rory Fallon having a header saved by visiting goalkeeper Tim Krul.

However, soon after, Newcastle fashioned the first real chance of the game when Ryan Taylor crossed for Fabrice Pancrate, who reacted too slowly and allowed the ball to bounce off his standing leg.

In-form Plymouth looked dangerous going forward and Carl Fletcher was off target with an effort from distance before Luke Summerfield had a shot blocked by Tamas Kadar.

Alan Judge volleyed wide as the home side continued to press forward while at the other end Pancrate was inches away from getting on the end of a dangerous free-kick from Taylor.

As the half wore on, Newcastle began to dominate and Shola Ameobi had the ball in the back of the net after Pancrate hit a post but referee Alan Wiley ruled the effort out for a dubious foul by Pancrate on Gary Sawyer.

Ameobi was giving the Plymouth defence plenty of cause for concern and five minutes before the break his cross found Guthrie, who back-heeled just wide.

The former Bolton man came even closer on the stroke of half-time when his powerful strike from the edge of the box was superbly tipped round the post by Larrieu.

The second half got off to a feisty start, with Plymouth's Karl Duguid and Newcastle striker Nile Ranger both receiving yellow cards from Wiley following a tussle.

That skirmish set the tone as the clash descended into a scrappy affair, with neither side able to mount any sort of purposeful attack.

Plymouth's Chris Clark produced a poor final ball when well placed on the left before slicing a poor effort towards the corner flag moments later.

At the other end, Danny Simpson beat a couple of challenges only to drive the ball wide with options ahead of him limited.

With four minutes remaining, Butt saw his looping volley tipped over by Larrieu as Plymouth managed to hold on for a draw.