The Toon Army in the Transfer Tavern were delighted to see their side comfortably progress into the fourth round of the FA Cup with a 3-1 victory on Saturday afternoon.
Rafa Benitez’s side took a break from their battle for Premier League survival this weekend, and kicked-off their FA Cup campaign with a win over favourable opposition. Luton travelled in their numbers to St James’ Park with the hope of achieving a huge upset on Tyneside, but three quick-fire goals in the first-half ensured The Magpies would progress into the next round of the competition.
Ayoze Perez was in the right place at the right time to score two close-range efforts before Jonjo Shelvey added a killer third prior to the interval. Danny Hylton gave the travelling Hatters something to cheer about in the 49th minute, but the League Two leaders failed to take inspiration from Hylton and mount a late fightback.
Despite playing against weaker opposition, Benitez made his intentions for the FA Cup abundantly clear by naming a strong starting eleven for Newcastle’s opening match of the competition.
However, the Spanish manager did hand 20-year-old goalkeeper Freddie Woodman his competitive debut for the club in a team that was otherwise at full-strength.
Woodman was criticised in the aftermath of proceedings for rushing out of his area and leaving the Newcastle goal exposed for Luton’s only goal of the game, but the majority of supporters were eager to focus on the positive aspects of his debut performance.
Here’s what the Newcastle fans had to say about Woodman’s performance on Twitter…
His distribution was decent and apart from one mistake he was decent after the original nerves. He’s got a big future
— Toon Report (@ToonReport) January 6, 2018
We like him, Rafa likes him.. what more?
— The Bean (@gillhaux50) January 6, 2018
Congratulations Freddie, don’t go changin
— Brighty (@Mark__Bright) January 6, 2018
First of many fella, one thing #NUFC always produce is quality GK’s. stick it out and you’ll end up NUFC and England number 1
— Chris Carr (@eggydipshit) January 6, 2018
Future number one keeper. Congratulations on your first start with the Toon.
— Robin Bardgett (@RobinBardgett) January 6, 2018
Fantastic Freddie – just the beginning- keep working like I know you do
— mark levey (@marklevey1) January 6, 2018
Good stuff. You’re a young lad and still learning and improving. Gained good experience today. Keep listening and learning son!!
— Mick Mahoney Supa Goalie… (@derwent1) January 6, 2018
Future England number 1 for me. And that's from a Scotsman. Outstanding goalie
— Steven Castle (@steviebronco1) January 6, 2018
Better than joe hart mate
— Charles Upex (@charles_upex) January 6, 2018
Well done freddie, surely more to come
— Jay (@NufcJay18) January 6, 2018