Newcastle United 3 Plymouth Argyle 0

Last updated : 13 January 2010 By Footymad Previewer
Peter Lovenkrands inspired Newcastle United to victory against Plymouth Argyle and set up a fourth round FA Cup clash at Championship promotion rivals West Brom.

The mighty Dane grabbed his first hat-trick in English football as United brushed aside Plymouth with ease to comfortably account for the West Countrymen in their third round replay.

This was the third meeting between the two sides this season with Argyle having already lost 3-1 at St James' Park in the league before a goalless draw at Home Park in the cup a fortnight ago.

Skipper Alan Smith was rested in preparation for next Monday's home showdown with the Baggies.

If the long trek through wintry conditions was not punishment enough for the Plymouth faithful, it got even worse after just ten minutes when they fell behind to a goal from Lovenkrands.

The spadework was done down the United left flank with Jose Enrique heavily involved before picking out Jonas Gutierrez whose slide rule pass was superbly finished by the former Rangers striker who raced clear to loop the ball over Romain Larrieu.

Chris Hughton promised a strong side and was true to his word as he recalled leading scorer Kevin Nolan, Lovenkrands, Gutierrez, Steven Taylor and Andy Carroll while skipper Nicky Butt made his 150th start in United's colours.

Carroll had a couple of good chances that he was unable to finish, the first, a header, landing on the roof of the net.

Carl Fletcher produced the first Argyle effort of any merit after 25 minutes when he forced Tim Krul in to a good save.

Gutierrez and Jose Enrique again linked up well on the left and the Argentine winger finally got in a shot that was well dealt with by Larrieu.

Nolan had a good opportunity to add to his already impressive goal haul this season when presented with a good opportunity but suprisingly spooned his effort over the bar from 15 yards.

United doubled their tally five minutes before the interval and it was a case of 'same again' as Gutierrez was once again the provider and Lovenkrands the finisher with his second of the night.

Gutierrez supplied the ammunition from the left and Lovenkrands darted forward to plant a 12-yard header that Larrieu will have been disappointed to have allowed to slip through his grasp.

Hughton's merry men were in total control after the break with chances galore to add to their tally against a completely outplayed Argyle.

Gutierez fired just wide on the hour mark and, in another move, although he fell to the ground, still managed to climb to his feet before his goalbound shot deflected behind unwittingly off the heel of Kari Arnason.

But there was to be no denying United a third and a third for Lovenkrands after 72 minutes - his first hat-trick in English football.

Again the goal was created from the left flank where Jose Enrique powered down the wing to hit a high back post cross that Carroll headed into the path off Nolan to tee up Loverkrands who celebrated with style.

Butt departed soon afterwards with what appeared a head injury, replaced by Nile Ranger with Nolan taking the armband.

Late in the game substitute Cillian Sheridan barged his way through the United rearguard but his determination was not met with a shot that troubled Krul.

It turned out to be a cup evening with some promise for United as the youth team progressed to the fifth round of the FA Youth Cup following a 3-1 win at Reading.