By Dan King - Newcastle United Club Reporter
In only the second senior appearance of his career, Conor Newton helped St. Mirren reach the final of the Scottish League Cup after an unlikely 3-2 semi-final win over Celtic at Hampden Park.
Earlier this month the 21-year-old midfielder joined the Saints on loan until the end of the season and started the big game at Scotland's national stadium. And, after fellow Magpies youngster Curtis Good helped Bradford into the final of the Capital One Cup during the week, Newton did the same in the equivalent competition north of the border on Sunday.
Few gave the Saints much hope of beating the reigning Scottish champions but it was Newton who set up the opening goal on eight minutes, with his superb delivery volleyed home by Esmael Goncalves, who was making his debut.
Newton was then booked before Gary Hooper equalised on the stroke of half-time, but a huge turning point came as Buddies keeper Craig Samson saved Charlie Mulgrew's penalty shortly after the restart.
With ginger general Newton a driving force for the underdogs, Paul McGowan restored St. Mirren's lead from the spot before Steven Thompson made sure of the Paisley side's place in the final, where they will face Hearts in March, despite a last second strike from Mulgrew.
On Saturday, only one Newcastle loanee was in action due to the weather. Bradden Inman started for Crewe in their League One fixture at Bournemouth but was substituted after 63 minutes, with his side losing 3-1.