As a boy Joe Ironside idolized Alan Shearer and was overjoyed to see the England center forward play for Newcastle United at St James’s Park.
n Saturday Ironside was back on Tyneside wearing the No. 9 shirt for Cambridge United and the Middlesbrough-born forward scored a goal, Shearer would have treasured Mark Bonner’s stellar League One side to give a colossal kill victory to the FA Cup What makes the third round so special. ,
Cambridge are 41 places down the league ladder below Newcastle, but you wouldn’t know much about the tie that ended with Eddie Howe’s side still winning only one game throughout the season and Bonner’s players. Walked around the pitch and hugged everyone looking at him.
After about the 10-minute mark the first chorus of “Premier League, You’re Huffing Laugh” went down from the top level of Lies’ End where 5,000 traveling Cambridge fans were housed.
His team had started off well, defending with industry, intelligence and compactness as they anticipated the intentions of a strong Newcastle starting XI for a second consecutive finish. Although Kieran Trippier picked up the tone on his debut at the right-back courtesy of some high-caliber touches, Howe’s side initially played with a distinct uncertainty.
Having registered only one win since August, Newcastle often did not rely on their ability and instincts, often taking too many touches or passing seconds too long. One of the few players who seems immune to this kind of introspection, and knows better than to overthink things, is Alain Saint-Maximin, but even Howe’s great reformer initially took the plunge himself. cleverly overshadowed by his League One minds.
In addition, Saint-Maximin suffered, on more than one occasion, the humiliation of being stripped too easily by Bonner’s captain, Paul Digby. Positioned in a defensive midfield role, Digby served as a half-sweeper, effectively screening the visiting backline.
With the home passing radar somewhat messed up and the game slightly muddled, Cambridge got a chance and their centre-forward, Ironside, troubled Howe’s back four. Yet when an unmarked George Williams presented himself with a free header, he could have directed it straight at Martin Dubravka who made the save comfortably.
Howe cut an uncomfortable technical field figure at this stage—even if Trippier’s tone-enhancing cameo might have convinced him to an extent. As is fitting for the first established England international to sign for Newcastle since Michael Owen in 2005, the former Atletico Madrid received a warm welcome from his new public.
Yet for much of the first half, Trippier’s right-wing delivery seemed to hit a wall the size of Bonner’s commanding centre-half Jubril Okedina and his fellow defenders.
Nevertheless, the excellent Dimitar Mitov made some significant saves, as the interval drew near, the Cambridge goalkeeper eventually began to confuse his markers after twice denying Jacob Murphy and then Saint-Maximin, performing an acrobatic miracle. . The moment Mitov somehow tipped Murphy’s volley onto the bar will live on in memory.
At the other end, Ironside retained the ability to discourage Emil Kraft and Fabian Schaar and Bonner appealed for a penalty when Harvey Nibbs fell in the area after being pulled back by Matt Ritchie, but, controversially, a VAR. Nothing wrong was found in the review.
The Sharks are often much better at building than at deconstructing and the Switzerland defender briefly thought he had scored Newcastle’s breakthrough goal after tapping into a fallout from a Ritchie corner, but he was well offside and scored goalless. Stayed.
Murphy didn’t have a “goal” allowed for offside at the start of the second period, but it wasn’t long before Ironside showed a stunned St. James Park exactly how it should be done.
When Newcastle failed to clear a loose ball, when Schaar caught Adam May’s shot out of line, Bonner’s leading striker quickly swung the ball past the helpless Dubrawka. The Newcastle goalkeeper injured himself in the process, playing in apparent pain.
After an unusually long VAR check for a potential offside, the goal was awarded and Howe, who promptly introduced Miguel Almiron and Joe Willock, faced the challenge of undoing Bonner’s narrow configuration by any means. Had to do what was turning into a hard yellow wall.
In the middle of defending Cambridge substitute Jack Lancaster, he thought he had scored his team’s second goal after shooting down Dubravka, but he partly strayed from offside. No matter; Ironside had already done enough.