Lovenkrands hat-trick sees off Plymouth's limp challenge
Newcastle United 3 Plymouth Argyle 0
Thursday 14 January 2010
Chris Hughton's Chas and Dave dream lives on. The Newcastle manager, part of Tottenham's FA Cup winning side of the Eighties who forged a reputation as much for their collaborations with the Cockney knees-up merchants as for their free-flowing football, has joked how he'd love to see the recently split duo re-form to pen a 2010 final song with a Geordie theme.
Newcastle must, of course, keep their side of the bargain by reaching Wembley for the first time in a decade, but they took a first step towards that goal with consummate ease.
A hat-trick from Peter Lovenkrands – left foot and head from Jonas Gutierrez centres before the break, right foot from a Kevin Nolan cross with 18 minutes left – sealed a second meeting with West Bromwich Albion in five days next week to contest a place in the last 16, although both clubs will attach far more onus to Monday's Championship fixture at St James' between the two promotion rivals.
"It was a win with a good performance, and we came through without any injuries so I'm delighted on all fronts," manager Hughton admitted after his side clocked up a 14th game unbeaten at home this season in front of the lowest domestic senior crowd at St James' Park in almost two decades, a shade under 16,000.
Plymouth made an 880-mile round-trip, but failed to turn up. Hopeful long-distance efforts from Carl Fletcher and Luke Summerfield were contemptuously dealt with by goalkeeper Tim Krul, and were scant reward for the 200 travelling fans who would finally have made it back to Devon shortly before six o'clock this morning.
"I thought the first half was even but the finishing from Newcastle was the difference," manager Paul Mariner conceded. In truth, his side failed to show any of the fight they displayed here in the league in September.
Had Andy Carroll brought his shooting boots, the margin of victory would have been rather more handsome. With an unflustered efficiency, Lovenkrands showed the young pretender how it should be done, with a trio of deft, high-quality finishes.
Newcastle United (4-4-2): Krul; R Taylor, S Taylor, Coloccini, Enrique; Pancrate (Guthrie, 70), Nolan, Butt (Ranger, 75), Gutierrez; Lovenkrands (Donaldson, 88), Carroll. Substitutes not used: Harper (gk), Ameobi, Tozer, Ferguson, Donaldson.
Plymouth Argyle (4-4-2): Larrieu; Duguid, Barker (McNamee, 76), Arnason, Sawyer; Judge (Sheridan, 59), Fletcher, Summerfield, Clark; Fallon, Barnes (Wright-Phillips, 59). Substitutes not used: Saxton (gk), Noone, Gow, Folly.
Referee: A D'Urso (Essex).
Latest in Sport
Frank Lampard's face drops when Holly Willoughby introduces him as a 'Man City legend'
What time does Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao start?
Arsenal transfer targets: The summer signings that would please Thierry Henry, including Sami Khedira and Edinson Cavani
Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao: What time does it start and where can I watch it?
Thierry Henry 'singles out' Mesut Ozil, picking up on the Arsenal midfielder's embarrassing stats
- 1 Migrant crisis: Greek soldier saved 20 people singlehandedly off Rhodes beach
- 2 The confessions of men who ordered mail-order brides
- 3 UK weather: Britain braced for snow as arctic air mass moves in
- 5 'Isis' schoolgirls: Missing British teenager tweets picture of her Syrian takeaway
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
General Election 2015: Britain would become a 'communist dictatorship' under Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon, claims wife of Michael Gove