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Season 2009-10
Plymouth Argyle (a) FA Cup Third Round

In association

Date: Saturday 2nd January 2010, 3pm.

Venue: Home Park

bright and clear 

Admission: £24



Plymouth Argyle

Newcastle United

0 - 0



Half time: Argyle 0 United 0

Full time: Argyle 0 United 0

We Said

Newcastle manager Chris Hughton said:

The changes I made had no adverse affect. We have a squad which we’ve got to use, and if you look at the starting line-up, quite a good percentage of those players have played regularly this season.

"We made a few changes, but the side we put out was very much an indication that we wanted to win the game.

"We’ve got a group of players who all wanted to play today – no one wanted to be left out – but I’ve had to make decisions on who to rest.

"We will endeavour to do our best: it’s a cup we want to stay in. Of course, the league is the biggest priority, but as soon as the Cup comes around, excitement builds up and you have lads who want to play in it.

"And although today was a tough game on a tough playing surface – exactly as we expected – I thought that, overall, we deserved to win.

"For large periods of the game, we were in control. But the area we needed more fortune in was the final third, and in turning the positions we had into good goals opportunities.

"We got into a lot of good areas in wide positions but, credit to Plymouth, they dealt very well with things defensively. 

"So goalscoring opportunities were lacking, but on the balance of play, we dominated. The most important thing is we didn’t want to lose today.

"As yet, we don’t know (about Smith). He’s taken a whack to his eye and gone away to hospital with the doctor. Hopefully, that just turns out to be a precaution.

"I thought he (Kadar) did very well. One thing Tamas does have is pace, and Plymouth’s biggest threat wasn’t going to be Rory Fallon running on beyond, but Jamie Mackie doing that. 

"Tamas coped with that very, very well. He’s always composed on the ball, and this is a very good learning curve for him.

”Amongst everything, you have to make some decisions, and I decided I was going to only bring one – Colo or Steven Taylor.

"I decided to bring Colo. Steven's played more games than Colo, and Kevin Nolan's played every game, apart from one. I wanted to give them a complete rest.

"There were some real pluses – experience for Tamas Kadar and Tim Krul – and, of course, an opportunity to start Nile Ranger, which I haven't done too often.

"I wanted to do it in the 90 minutes, but after 90 minutes, the overriding feeling was that we were still in the competition.

"We'd have preferred to have finished it, but if there was a choice of losing it or being in the next round, then we'd rather have an opportunity of going through to the next round. We had a lot of lads who wanted to play, and I'm sure there'll be a lot of lads who'll want to play in the replay.

"I don't think anybody would disagree that we should have won. All that was lacking was clear-cut opportunities. We were the better side in possession, and coped with everything they had very, very well.

"It's a game we haven't lost. It keeps the run and the momentum going, and it's another clean sheet. There's a decent feeling in the changing room, as it wasn't lost, and we're still in the hat.

"We'll go back to St James's, and it's another opportunity to get a good crowd and, hopefully, go through, but it's now about Reading."

They Said

Pilgrims boss Paul Mariner came over all sentimental, recalling the good old days of his playing career and trips to Tyneside:

"The first-half was even but it was fair to say Newcastle put us under pressure in the second-half. The pleasing aspect for us was that we kept a good team shape and the players dug in very deep. 

"All we wanted to do is build on what we have been doing and I think it is safe to say that we're in the process of doing that. It is a work in progress. We're asking the players to do a lot and they're responding magnificently.

"We're taking care of each other, looking after the ball, and working very hard off the ball when we're out of possession. We just need to keep competing and be consistent in what we're doing.

"It actually brought a smile to my face because you could see he
(Nicky Butt) knew exactly what he was doing. He took a little bit off the volley and tried to just stroke under the crossbar.

"Ro got his quick feet going and tipped it onto the bar and away to safety, so it was a nice moment. If it had gone in, I wouldn't have been too pleased but it was a nice piece of skill.

(Carver) came to the house this morning wearing his black and white scarf. He is black and white through and through.

"He's a great bloke and a fantastic coach, and he loves Newcastle United, but obviously he works for us now.

"It is about team-building and team-performance. We have got to not lose sight of the fact that, a few weeks ago, everybody was saying we were down and out.

"You could argue that it was not a full-powered Newcastle team but they did bring some of their big names on, and Chris paid us a big compliment.

"If you're not looking forward to going to one of the big stages in world football, there's something wrong with you - you may as well pack it in.

"Playing up there in the old days was just fantastic because of the noise and the knowledge of the people. They love the game and let's hope we can put in a decent performance, and make it a good game."

Muffler-wearing John Carver added:

"You could say it was a good result for me, but nobody else!"

"Newcastle didn't need a replay, and Plymouth Argyle didn't either, but, for me, this was the best result I could have hoped for, because it gives me a chance to go back to St James's Park for the first time since I left.

"My heart was in my mouth when Nicky Butt hit the bar, but, other than that, I don't think there was that much in it. There weren't too many clearcut chances created. We've got an honest bunch of lads who are working extremely hard.

"We just lack that little bit of quality in certain areas. If I'm totally honest, Newcastle showed that they had that quality.  They obviously didn't put the ball in the back of the net, but the pitch came into the state of play. It wasn't the best surface.

"We know that the pitch will be a huge factor in the replay, but let's face it, Newcastle aren't top of the league for nothing – they're good players – and that's why we're pleased with the clean sheet.

"We're pleased the club will earn some money, and I'm pleased that I'm going home for a few days!

"We could have a couple of new signings, but we'll go up there with the same attitude and commitment."


Mags @ Argyle - all time:

2009/10 drew 0-0 (FAC)
lost 0-2
1990/91 won 1-0 G.Peacock
1989/90 drew 1-1 McGhee
1979/80 won 3-0 (FR) Martin, Shoulder, Withe
lost 1-2 McGarry
1963/64 won 4-3 Thomas 3, Taylor
1962/63 won 2-0 Thomas, McGarry
1961/62 drew 1-1 Allchurch
1957/58 won 6-1 (FAC) White 3, Eastham 2, Mitchell
1954/55 won 1-0 (FAC) Keeble
1954/55 lost 2-3 (FR) Milburn, White
1947/48 lost 0-3
1946/47 won 1-0 Shackleton
1938/39 won 1-0 Mooney
1937/38 lost 1-2 Pearson
1936/37 drew 1-1 Imrie
1935/36 lost 0-1
1934/35 won 3-1 Boyd, Leach, Smith
1904/05 drew 1-1 (FAC) Gosnell

Full record v Argyle:
  P W D L F A
SJP 15 11 3 1 39 15
HP 14 6 3 5 17 17
League 29 17 6 6 56 32
SJP(FA) 2 1 1 0 3 1
HP 4 2 2 0 8 2
SJP(LC) 0 0 0 0 0 0
HP 0 0 0 0 0 0
Cup 6 3 3 0 11 3
Tot 35 20 9 6 67 35

Newcastle's Third Round Record - last 20 years:

Plymouth (a) drew 0-0 (replay to follow)
Hull City (a) drew 0-0 (lost replay)
Stoke City (a) drew 0-0 (won replay)
Birmingham City (a) drew 2-2 (lost replay)
Mansfield Town (h) won 1-0
Yeading (a) won 2-0
Southampton (a) won 3-0
Wolves (a) lost 2-3
Crystal Palace (h) won 2-0
Aston Villa (h) drew 1-1 (lost replay)
Spurs (a) drew 1-1 (won replay)
Crystal Palace (h) won 2-1
Everton (a) won 1-0
Charlton (a) drew 1-1 (won replay)
Chelsea (a) drew 1-1 (lost replay on pens)
Blackburn (h) drew 1-1 (won replay)
Coventry City (h) won 2-0
1992/93 Port Vale (h) won 4-0
1991/92 Bournemouth (a) drew 0-0 (lost replay on pens)
1990/91 Derby County (h) won 2-0

It's now twelve games unbeaten for the Magpies (eight wins and four draws). That equals a run of form we last managed in both 2005 and 2006 (Jan to April 2005 and April to August 2006).

There were United debuts in this competition for Tim Krul, Ryan Taylor, Danny Simpson, Tamas Kadar, Nile Ranger, Fabrice Pancrate and Peter Lovenkrands. Plymouth-born Ben Tozer however failed to get off the bench.

We recorded back to back no score draws for the first time since November 2008 (Chelsea away and the smoggies away)




Well, the pasties were nice.

For the diehards, 2010 began with an 800 mile round trip from Tyne to Tamar, accomplished by various methods, despite the prevailing winter weather conditions that left fans and mediamen in fear of being stranded in the North East.

For those who made it here though, there was precious little to cheer, as United started the new year in the way they ended it, with a 0-0 draw that distance lent no enchantment to.

Home Park is much changed since our trio of visits in the early 1990s, with travelling supporters no longer given the choice of limited seating in one end of the old main stand, or a spot on an open terrace behind one goal.

In terms of the entertainment on show however, this was down to the standard of previous non-events here. Be it the wet Friday night in December 1991 when we played like drains and were beaten, or the Sunday lunchtime torture 12 months earlier, when a late Gavin Peacock winner was the solitary standout moment in a pub team kickabout, masquerading as professional football. 

This time it was Nicky Butt cast in the role of late matchwinner, but like most of his colleagues he wasn't quite up to the task - although he didn't fluff his lines like Monsieur Pancrate, who was frankly dreadful. 

Will his sole contribution to our history will be that belter against Watford? Certainly he failed to stake a claim for a first team starting berth here, despite a trio of first half chances falling to him.

Miskicking with the goal at his mercy and failing to make contact with an attempted header from a Ryan Taylor free kick, Pancrate then finally struck a post on the half hour. As Shola Ameobi converted the rebound from that one though, the referee's whistle blew for an infringement - whether for offside or pushing wasn't evident from the far end of the ground.

Having had his fingers burnt when sending out a glorified Academy side at Peterborough in the League Cup, Chris Hughton opted to rotate some of his less frequently used Championship players into the starting lineup, overlooking fringe players such as Ryan Donaldson and Kazenga LuaLua.

On one level that policy was vindicated, as United kept another clean sheet and avoided injury on what was a dubious-looking pitch - save for Smith taking a blow to the face. And if nothing else it was a valuable exercise in seeing what lies behind the first-choice side. 

It certainly exposed our continuing lack of options down the left hand side, Enrique and Gutierrez watching from the bench as right footers Simpson and Guthrie patrolled that flank, unsuccessfully attempting to cut inside on various occasions rather than trust a cross from their standing leg. 


Quite why Lovenkrands couldn't play down that side from the off is unclear, given that he's started just one game in almost a month....
With Tim Krul barely touching the ball, United controlled the first half without overly impressing or threatening the home goal until shortly before the interval, when Danny Guthrie powered a curling effort goalwards, only for 'keeper, Romain Larrieu to successfully intervene.

If there had been cautious optimism that we would go on to finish the job after the break on what looked like the more playable end of the pitch, that was lost as darkness fell in this part of Devon.

Nile Ranger was booked following some wrestling on the touchline and was replaced after never winning the physical battle with Argyle's defence - also jeered by home fans following a laughable dive and penalty appeal.

Substitute Andy Carroll managed our first bona fide goal effort of the second half with just six minutes of normal time remaining, before Butt's chip from the edge of the Argyle area was tipped onto the bar by their 'keeper. ITV's Saturday evening highlights show gave a true reflection of the lack of quality and incident in this tie, when airing just 10 seconds of action - that late effort. 

As had been the case against Derby County five days earlier, there was no moment of inspiration from our "big players" against a workmanlike, but thoroughly average side. In fairness, we didn't really need to travel the length of the country to find that out, but we have only one priority this year and it's not to go to Wembley - in the FA Cup or the bloody playoffs.

Having failed to win this tie at the first attempt - and having seen the draw for the next round - quite frankly Hughton can name himself, Calderwood and Paul Barron in defence against Argyle at SJP for all the interest we have in this competition.

That might be seen as a sad attitude for a club that has won the trophy six times, but not as sad as the malaise that left us in a league below teams who drew 5,000 fans for their Third Round home game today.

We've never done a hands turn in the FA Cup in living memory, despite the roll call of big players and first choice line-ups. That isn't going to change this year, with this lot, but it could divert attention from the main event. West Brom for the cup.


Page last updated 22 February, 2017