Newcastle struggled to advance past League Two Newport County this evening. The Exiles almost held out for a historic win but for a moment of magic from Jonjo Shelvey in the 87th minute. Then Newcastle surprisingly kept their nerve and finished Newport in the penalty shootout.
Newport played their hearts out and defended like their lives depended on it. They blocked shot after shot as Newcastle just couldn’t get a good percentage of their shots on target to challenge Nick Townsend in the Newport net.
It wasn’t for a lack of trying though as Newcastle launched 27 shots, a good many of those from winger Jacob Murphy. Murphy came alive at around the 20-minute mark as he tried to pull Newcastle level with some blistering efforts.
But it was a poor sequence from Newcastle that put them under the cosh so early in the match. The Exiles won the ball deep in the 4th minute and were allowed to waltz up the pitch unfettered before launching a shot from 30 yards.
The ball rebounded off the crossbar and Emil Krafth couldn’t clear it. Tristan Abrahams, whose been on fire of late, skidded in a shot that Mark Gillespie couldn’t handle for the early goal.
Newcastle struggled to get a grip on the game and in fact, Newport looked more like scoring as the first half came to a close. The second half was an improvement from Newcastle but Newport still had their moments in possession.
The Magpies threw everything at the hosts until Jonjo Shelvey’s bit of individual magic leveled the proceedings. Then we kept our nerve and bested the Exiles in the penalty shootout but an early miss from Joelinton made it very nervy.