Stoke City 0 (0) v Newcastle United 0 (0) – FA Cup 3rd Round

Big Sam is again making changes on his team and it was quite surprising me to see Rozehnal and Duff playing on the right hand side of Newcastle team.

Eneique making appearance in left-back and Allardyce pushed N’Zogbia to field in Duff position. Faye and Taylor guard the heart of United defence today. Big Sam is look to forcing a win as he came up with 4-3-3 formation using Alan Smith operating just behind the two target men Owen and Viduka.

The home side, although unbeaten in Championships league, with 5 wins and 5 draws so far, they never had any win against any team from higher level for the last 43 years. While playing against Newcastle team, Stoke only can manage two draws and beaten four times from their last six meetings.

The game start with United team attacking, but the chance was come for the home side in four minutes when Ricardo Fuller managed to shot on goal, but not much trouble for Given to save his effort.

Soon after that early threat, United team dominated the game and the travelling Toon Army starts to singing to give the support for United team. But from all the United attacking effort, there’s only one real chance on goal, it was in the 25 minutes Viduka tries to get Owen away one-on-one with Simonsen.

Owen attempted to lob the ball but Potters goal keeper manage to hosts clear. Soon after United best chance so far, the Stoke breaks in.

Fuller’s run the clear ball on the left-wing, skip the challenge from Taylor and the sliding tackle of Alan Smith, he races towards the Newcastle box but Faye who playing his best today block Fuller’s shot for a corner.

Nicky Butt receive his tenth yellow cards today after going in sliding challenge to Lawrence who tries to work an angle for a shot 25 yards out. Nicky Butt will have to serve a two-match ban which means he will be absent on Toon visit to Old Trafford next week.

The second-half action was a table turns for United, as the home side is having the greater chance and wins the most of corner kick.

On the 67 minutes, after Tony Pulis making changes to take off Simide and bring in Parkin. His first ball on the game was immediately causing trouble for Toon defence. His passing to Jamaican striker Ricardo Fuller gets the better of Taylor and Given.

He is then pulls the ball back for the supporting Parkin, who sees an empty net but somehow a combination of Taylor and Faye manages to block on the goal-line. The delivery was dangerous and Eustace wins it at the back post before Shawcross tries to volley it inside the six-yard box that force Given to make a save. A breathtaking moments.

Big Sam making changes in 74 minutes with Damien Duff making the way for 17 years-old Kazenga Lua-lua to make his first team debut. From what I saw, Kazenga is making several good movements, and daring to run with the ball more often than any other United players today.

With three minutes left, Sam Allardyce call off Mark Viduka, who is below the par today and give the chance to Andy Carroll who is just return from his loan at Preston North End. A replay is needed to decide who is going through the fourth round which will be drawn tomorrow.

Stoke City FC:
Simonsen, Wilkinson, Shawcross, Cort, Dickinson, Lawrence, Eustace (Pulis 90), Pugh, Cresswell, Sidibe (Parkin 66), Fuller
Subs: Hoult, Zakuani, Pericard

Newcastle United FC:
Given, Rozehnal, Faye, Taylor, Enrique, Smith, Butt, N’Zogbia, Duff (LuaLua 76), Viduka (Carroll 87), Owen
Subs: Harper, Cacapa, Edgar

Referee: Steve Bennett
Attendance: 22,861

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