Newcastle beat Luton Town 3-1 this afternoon with three quick goals in the first half to lead 3-0 at halftime.
Luton got one back in the second half to make it 3-1, and Newcastle move through to the 4th round of the Emirates FA Cup.
Credit to Luton for coming back well in the second half and making a game of it.
The play was fairly even in the first half hour of the game, but then Newcastle scored 3 goals in a short 9 minutes.
Ayoze Perez – who scored the dramatic winner at Stoke last week – scored two quick goals after 30 minutes and 36 minutes that took Newcastle to a 2-0 lead.
And then it was Jonjo Shelvey who scored a good third goal just 6 minutes before halftime to take Newcastle to a 3-0 halftime lead.
To their credit, the Hatters came back into the game and scored through Hylton just four minutes into the second half.
Ayoze Perez – scores Newcastle’s first goal
If Luton could have got another goal, it could have set things up for an exciting finish.
Luton had their chances, and they hit the crossbar, and with a little bit more luck they may have come right back into this game.
Hylton seemed to have scored Luton’s second goal after 60 minutes, but it was ruled offside.
At the start of the game Luton almost went ahead when Freddie Woodman’s clearance went straight to James Collins just 20 yards out, but he couldn’t take the opportunity, and the chance was lost – some early nerves from the 20-year-old goalkeeper.
Luton’s goalkeeper Mark Stech could then only parry a shot from Ayoze Perez, but the Hatters defense was able to clear the ball.
But then it was a mistake from Czech goalkeeper Stech that led to Newcastle’s first goal.
Stech tried to catch an inswinging free-kick from Dwight Gayle, but he dropped the ball and Perez – at the right place at the right time – poked the ball into the empty net.
But then captain Jamaal Lascelles had to leave the field with a knock and was replaced by Isaac Hayden (at the end of the game Rafa said Jamaal was fine and it was only precaution – phew!!).
Six minutes later Stech saved well from Dwight Gayle but the ball dropped to Ayoze Perez in the penalty area, and the Spaniard volleyed home for his third goal in the last two games.
We seem to have a striker in form at the moment!
And then it was Jonjo Shelvey who scored a third for the Magpies in what was an excellent team goal from the Magpies.
But Luton were also starting to press.
Luke Berry looked threatening, and he had a couple of reasonable efforts and then right at the death before halftime he headed wide with a good chance.
It was 3-0 at halftime.
Just four minutes into the second half Hylton got to a ball and beat the onrushing Freddie Woodman to put the ball into the empty net – lack of concentration from the Newcastle defense.
Luton pressed Newcastle hard in the second half, especially towards the end of the game, but they couldn’t get another goal which would have made things interesting.
It was a good win for the Magpies this afternoon, and it takes us into the fourth round when we hope to get a good draw.
Wins are always good – a win is a win – and it will give our lads some added confidence.
Next up for Newcastle are Swansea at home a week today – if we can win that game it will be three wins in a row and things will definitely be looking up on Tyneside.
Howay The Lads!!