We planned to beat them 5-0, says Stevenage's 'Mourinho-lite'

Stevenage 3 Newcastle United 1

Newcastle complained when these teams last met, in the fourth round 13 years ago, that Stevenage had exploited their "15 minutes of fame" and tarnished the name of the North-east club. The unfashionable Hertfordshire lot certainly enjoyed their share of the limelight this time, while Newcastle didn't need any help damaging their reputation.

The League Two side played their Premier League opponents off the park at the rebranded Lamex Stadium in Saturday evening's televised clash to avenge their defeat in a replay at St James' Park in 1998. Back then, much of the bickering went on in the build-up with Newcastle concerned about the safety of Stevenage's ground for the tie.

The bad feeling returned as Alan Pardew's vintage, if that's the right word, were reduced to 10 men by the dismissal of substitute Cheik Tioté and a mindless minority in Newcastle's largely excellent travelling support further let their side down. Coins and other missiles were thrown at the stricken Chris Beardsley when he stayed down after the over-worked Fabricio Coloccini's heavy challenge with the score at 2-0.

Events took a more serious turn when the Stevenage full-back Scott Laird was punched to the ground by a fan during what was meant to be a celebratory pitch invasion by the home supporters at the end. The Football Association confirmed they would look into the matter when they meet today and police will also investigate.

"Scott Laird was stood celebrating and a fan just came over and smashed him from the side," said Stevenage's manager Graham Westley. "He went to the ground and it is a shame for the afternoon to end in that way. He is a bit bewildered. He [the fan] gave him a right-hander, just smashed him across the cheek and knocked him to the ground."

However, there was romance as well as rancour, for this was Newcastle's biggest Cup upset since the fabled defeat by Southern League Hereford in 1972, courtesy of Ronnie Radford's thunderbolt. Stevenage have progressed from the Conference, Westley guiding them to promotion last May, but that hardly reduces their status as giant-killers.

Indeed, Westley's team have endured an inconsistent League season, although their fortunes improved in a 4-2 home win against Barnet the previous weekend. Newcastle demolished West Ham with a 5-0 triumph in midweek and made only four changes to that starting line-up. The Stevenage manager had an interesting approach to the tie. He was manager of the Farnborough side that lost 5-1 in the FA Cup at Arsenal seven years ago but decided to go for broke with home advantage.

"The focus before the game was how we would win 5-0," he said. "We established that if we did just 20 per cent of what it would take to win 5-0 we would still win the game. Our game plan was to get to five. Three wasn't five but it was a decent result." Westley is dubbed Mourinho-lite by locals but this was pure Ian Holloway.

The vaunted Toon Army had been in good voice, not least because of Sunderland's embarrassing exit against Notts County earlier in the afternoon. Kevin Keegan was greeted with acclaim as he made his way around the tight pitch to take up his position as a television pundit, while Alan Shearer, derided by home fans for his part in the 1998 affair, was also given vocal Geordie support. Topless, tattooed and tipsy, this was going to be a proper Cup away day. Only Stevenage's players preferred their manager's script. They had the better of the first half and made their superiority count with three goals after the break, Joey Barton's long-range strike little more than a consolation for the visitors.

Five minutes after the resumption, Stacy Long and Laird exchanged passes out on the left before Long cut in and let fly with his right boot, the ball beating Tim Krul with the aid of a deflection off the unfortunate Michael Williamson.

Stevenage poured forward in search of more and got their reward five minutes later when the bearded midfielder Michael Bostwick rifled home from outside the area. Shades of Radford there, no doubt.

How would Newcastle respond? Not well. Tioté's 13-minute involvement came to an abrupt end when he was sent off by Andre Marriner for upending Jon Ashton and, although Barton struck a fine goal in stoppage time, Peter Winn made up for an earlier miss when he lifted the ball over Krul from a fine pass from John Mousinho.

"We couldn't have asked for more," said Winn, who reserved high praise for his manager. "He's better than Mourinho," quipped Winn. "He's the best manager I've ever had. He knows everything – what to say, how to motivate. He gets the best out of you."

Leaving Stevenage to concentrate on Chesterfield next weekend, Newcastle headed back up the A1 licking their wounds. "A few players need to understand what this game is all about," said a shell-shocked Pardew. "We got caught out with the passion and the physical side of Stevenage, who I thought bossed patches of the game with their enthusiasm and endeavour. We have got to match that and we did not do that. I can only say we are sorry for the result and for the performance." Sorry just about summed it up.

Stevenage (4-5-1): Day; Henry (Bridges, 85), Ashton, Roberts, Laird; Wilson, Mousinho, Bostwick, Long, Winn (Odubade, 90); Beardsley. Substitutes not used Bayes, Foster, Griffin, May, Sinclair.

Booked Mousinho, Winn.

Newcastle United (4-4-2): Krul; Simpson, Williamson, Coloccini, Perch; Routledge, Nolan, Smith (Tioté, 58), Barton; Lovenkrands (Airey, 78), Best (Ranger, h-t). Substitutes not used Guthrie, Kadar, Ferguson, Soderberg.

Booked Coloccini, Smith, Best. Sent off Tioté (71).

Possession Stevenage 8 Newcastle 5

Shots on target Stevenage 53% Newcastle 47%

Man of the match Bostwick. Match rating 8/10.

Referee A Marriner (W Midlands). Att 6,644.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Under the skin: Sarah Kane in May 1998
theatreThe story behind a new season of Sarah Kane plays
Arts and Entertainment
Preening: Johnny Depp in 'Mortdecai'
filmMortdecai becomes actor's fifth consecutive box office bomb
Bradford City's reward for their memorable win over Chelsea is a trip to face either Sunderland or Fulham (Getty)
Lars Andersen took up archery in his mid thirties
Focus E15 Mothers led a protest to highlight the lack of affordable housing in London
voicesLondon’s housing crisis amounts to an abuse of human rights, says Grace Dent
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Woman who was sent to three Nazi death camps describes how she escaped the gas chamber

Auschwitz liberation 70th anniversary

Woman sent to three Nazi death camps describes surviving gas chamber
DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

The inside track on France's trial of the year

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
As provocative now as they ever were

Sarah Kane season

Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea