By Dan King - Newcastle United Club Reporter
He watched as fellow Newcastle loanees Curtis Good, Conor Newton and Paul Dummett reached cup finals with their respective clubs - then Bradden Inman scored twice to all but guarantee Crewe Alexandra a day at Wembley.
In front of a crowd of 31,054 at the Ricoh Arena, the Australia-born midfielder rose to the occasion in the northern area final of the Johnstone's Paint Trophy to help his temporary team to a 3-0 win at Coventry.
The 21-year-old now has six goals in ten starts for the Railwaymen since joining them in November but none have been more important than his double on Tuesday night - and none as spectacular as his second against the Sky Blues.
Having already put his side ahead after 52 minutes with a close-range finish, Inman doubled his tally in the 78th minute by dribbling past a posse of defenders and slotting home.
Then, after he was substituted to a huge ovation from the travelling fans, Crewe made it three as Ajay Leitch-Smith scored from the edge of the box. Crewe must now defend their lead at the Alexandra Stadium in a fortnight's time to book a place at the national stadium.
In the slightly less glamourous surroundings of Wetherby Road, meanwhile, Workington let a half-time lead slip to lose 3-1 at Harrogate Town in the Blue Square Bet North. Jonathan Mitchell played in goal for the Reds.