Newcastle United may have become one of the richest football clubs in the world with Saudi support, but that hasn’t stopped them from being humiliated at home by Cambridge United’s third tier in the FA Cup.
- Newcastle entered the game against Cambridge having won just one game so far in all competitions this season
- Cambridge’s Joe Ironside sealed the game-winning goal in the 56th minute
- Ironside was “at a loss for words” after the remarkable victory
The famous old Cup offered no respite for beleaguered Eddie Howe, who sit second-to-last in the League with just one win so far in all competitions this season.
Cambridge, finding themselves in 16th place in Ligue 1, delivered the humiliation with Joe Ironside scoring a winner in the 56th minute to stun home fans.
Ironside, who grew up idolizing Newcastle great Alan Shearer, said: “I’m a little lost for words. That explains how I dreamed about it last night.”
Now backed by more resources than any other football club after being bought out by the Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund in October, Newcastle have just bought England right-back Kieran Trippier to start what could be a month big expenses in the transfer window.
Trippier started against Cambridge a day after signing with Atletico Madrid, but couldn’t tell the difference in what will become one of the biggest financial imbalances in football history.
That wasn’t the only surprise on the day of the third round, as the Cup will also see a sixth tier team in the final 32 draw.
Playing a team 79 places higher in the pyramid of English football, Kidderminster Harriers rallied to beat the Reading championship team 2-1 and sparked an invasion of the pitch by fans after a nervous 15 minutes of downtime in the second half.
Elsewhere, Boreham Wood manager Luke Garrard was “on top of the world” after his National League side (fifth tier) beat AFC Wimbledon to reach the fourth round for the first time.
An early goal from Tyrone Marsh and a late strike from substitute Adrian Clifton sent the Dons to a 2-0 loss.
In a smaller upheaval in the round which sees Premier League clubs enter the world’s oldest knockout competition, second tier Huddersfield has come back from behind to beat elite Burnley 2-1.
Josh Koroma and Matty Pearson scored in the final 16 minutes at Turf Moor, where Burnley manager Sean Dyche was not present after contracting COVId-19.
Premier League Crystal Palace survived a scare, rallying with an inspired second-half display from winger Michael Olise to beat second tier Millwall 2-1.
Leicester started their Cup defense with a 4-1 win over Watford, led by Claudio Ranieri, the man who led the Foxes to the most unlikely of all Premier League triumphs in 2016.
Youri Tielemans, who scored a game-winning goal from a distance in the final against Chelsea last season, started Leicester well by converting a penalty, before James Maddison, Harvey Barnes and Marc Albrighton also scored.
A number of Premier League teams have had to make returns to face lower league opponents, some in overtime.
Everton conceded in the first minute of their game at Hull, Second Division, but recovered and won 3-2 after overtime thanks to Andros Townsend’s long-distance howler in the 99th.
Southampton played with 10 men from the 30th minute against Swansea’s second tier, trailing 2-1 early in extra time but fought back to win 3-2 thanks to a decisive strike from Shane Long.
Brighton scored a goal against West Bromwich Albion before a local player was sent off in the 69th minute.
Jakub Moder’s 81st minute equalizer carried the game into overtime, where Neal Maupay sealed a 2-1 victory for the Seagulls.