As a boy Joe Ironside relished watching his idol, Alan Shearer, play centre ahead for Newcastle United.
on Saturday afternoon Ironside was again at St James’ Park sporting Cambridge United’s No 9 shirt and suggesting he had realized a factor or two from all these afternoons spent finding out Shearer’s motion.
Within the 56th minute the Middlesbrough-born striker scored the form of aim his function mannequin would have treasured to not merely e book Mark Bonner’s excellent League One facet a fourth-round place however topic Newcastle to the form of giantkilling that makes the FA Cup so particular.
Cambridge are 41 locations beneath Eddie Howe’s workforce on the league ladder however you wouldn’t have recognized it for a lot of a tie that ended with Newcastle nonetheless having received just one recreation all season and Bonner’s gamers cavorting throughout the pitch, hugging everybody in sight.
Earlier it had appeared destiny is likely to be being tempted when, across the 10-minute mark,the primary choruses of “Premier League, you’re having amusing” drifted down from the vertiginous prime tier of the Leazes Finish that housed 5,000 travelling Cambridge followers.
Their workforce had began nicely, defending with trade, intelligence and compactness as they persistently second-guessed the intentions of the theoretically sturdy Newcastle beginning XI. Though Kieran Trippier raised the tone courtesy of some high-calibre touches on his debut, Howe’s facet performed with a definite, and disturbing, uncertainty.
After registering just one victory since August, Newcastle continuously didn’t appear to belief their capacity and instincts, usually taking a contact too many or delaying a move a few seconds too lengthy. One of many few gamers who appears immune to such introspection and is aware of higher than to over assume issues is Allan Saint-Maximin however even Howe’s nice improviser continuously discovered himself cleverly shadowed by his League One minders.
Furthermore Saint-Maximin suffered the indignity of, on multiple event, being all too simply brushed apart by Bonner’s captain, Paul Digby. Deployed in a defensive midfield function, Digby served as a quasi sweeper, screening the visiting backline fantastically.
With the house passing radar awry and urgent recreation malfunctioning, Cambridge sensed alternative and Ironside troubled Howe’s again 4 with a mixture of artful motion and edgy presence.
Even at this comparatively early stage Howe lower an uneasy technical-area determine. If Trippier’s tone-raising cameos in all probability afforded him a level of reassurance, it grew to become more and more clear that, good because the England right-back undeniably is, this was most undoubtedly not the form of debut he dreamed of when he accomplished his £15m transfer from Atlético Madrid on Friday.
Trippier mentioned he likes “a problem” and in signing up to assist repair the considerable disconnect between Newcastle’s present travails and the Saudi Arabian owned membership’s new discovered standing as theoretically the world’s wealthiest, Howe’s new full-back has definitely embraced one.
Usually, Trippier’s right-wing deliveries are stellar however right here they appeared to persistently hit a wall in the formidable form of Bonner’s commanding centre-back Jubril Okedina and his fellow defenders.
On these inevitable events when Okedina and co had been bisected, the superb Dimitar Mitov made some vital saves, most notably as, late in the primary half, Newcastle loved their finest interval of the tie.
Certainly Cambridge’s goalkeeper carried out acrobatic wonders to twice deny Jacob Murphy after which Saint-Maximin after the latter, albeit briefly, started confounding his markers. The second Mitov someway tipped Murphy’s volley onto the bar will linger in the reminiscence.
On the different finish although, Ironside retained a capability to unnerve Emil Krafth and Fabian Schär and Bonner appealed for a official wanting penalty when Harvey Knibbs collapsed in the world after showing to be tugged again by Matt Ritchie however, contentiously, a VAR assessment revealed no foul.
Schär is usually a lot better at creating than deconstructing and the Switzerland defender momentarily thought he had scored after tapping in the fallout from a Ritchie nook however was nicely offside.
Murphy, too, had an effort disallowed for offside early in the second interval however it was not lengthy earlier than Ironside confirmed a surprised north-east viewers exactly the way it must be completed.
When Newcastle failed to clear a free ball, in the wake of Schär heading Adam Could’s shot off the road, Bonner’s key striker pounced, swivelling sharply earlier than lashing the ball past the helpless Martin Dubravka. Newcastle’s goalkeeper injured himself in the method, taking part in on in obvious ache.
After an inordinately lengthy VAR examine for a attainable offside, the aim stood and from then on Cambridge shone, with Bonner’s slim configuration resembling the form of insurmountable yellow barrier sure to stalk Howe’s nightmares.
Newcastle’s supervisor regarded haunted when Jack Lankester shot beneath Dubravka however he had strayed fractionally offside and it was disallowed. Irrespective of; Ironside had already completed sufficient.