Well we know who they are now…
Despite a spirited and convincing display from the hosts, a young and inexperienced Newcastle side just about deserved their victory in the 2nd Round of the Carling Cup at The Crown Ground. But not before Tim Krul produced an impressive second half display to repel a determined late surge by Accrington.
Deploying a brand new first eleven to the field, to that which overcame Villa with consummate ease on Sunday, Hughton will have no doubt been impressed with the attitude and application of the youngsters he put out.
And other than a week penalty claim by Parkinson, when Ryan Taylor smashed a drive from fully 30 yards out into the top corner to make it 1-0, the home fans could have been forgiven for doubting there was any way back for their side. And yet with just seconds on the clock before the halftime whistle went, former Liverpool youth player Ray Putterill lashed a superb curling shot from outside the box past the despairing Tim Krul to equalise.
After the break though, Newcastle turned the screw and after good work from Ranger and Lovenkrands, Ameobi turned and eased the ball past Dunbavin to restore the one goal lead. And when Peter Lovenkrands extended that lead with an acrobatic finish from close range, it looked like it might be curtains for the League 2 side.
Yet once again, they came back at their Premiership counterparts, and only great work from Krul denied earlier chances to reduce the deficit. At least three outstanding saves prevented the second goal from going in until right at the death, when Hessey made it 3-2 with an unstoppable drive.
Hughton will look upon this as a good run out for his more experienced players to improve on their fitness. It was also an ideal opportunity to see fringe players step up at first team level. Notably Kadar had a very steady game, as did Nile Ranger and one of the most impressive of the lot was arguably LuaLua.
What will have pleased the manager most is that this side displayed the tenacity and spirit that Newcastle fans are starting to recognise by players at all levels of the club. There was a professionalism and determination which is refreshing to watch as a Newcastle United supporter.
And on that note, Accrington Stanley should take a bow for their approach to the game. Their play belied their lowly league status and they can be proud that they really took this one to the wire. Without the interventions of Tim Krul, the scoreline could have been a lot different.
Their supporters too, should be complimented for the constant noise throughout and for a particularly pleasant gesture in hanging a Sir Bobby Robson flag up in tribute. That kind of welcome doesn’t always occur when the big boys come to town.
And so Newcastle make their way into the 3rd round draw for the Carling Cup. Most people connected to the club feel concentration on the league is paramount. But after such a long wait for silverware, the romantics amongst the supporters are surely already dreaming of a trip to Wembley?
Krul 9, R Taylor 7, Ferguson 7, Tavernier 6, Kadar 8, LuaLua 8, Donaldson 7, Vuckic 6, Ranger 8 Ameobi 6, Lovenkrands 6
Tim too Krul to be kind to Accrington
Well we know who they are now…