By Anthony Marshall - Newcastle United Managing Editor
At St. James' Park
Newcastle United 4 (Thauvin 3, de Jong 8, Janmaat 56, Williamson 63)
Northampton Town 1 (Richards 10pen)
Florian Thauvin was the star of the show as Newcastle United eased into the third round of the Capital One Cup with a 4-1 home victory over Northampton Town.
The French winger, making his full debut after arriving from Marseille last week, scored the Magpies' first goal and made their other three on a comfortable night at St. James' Park.
Thauvin volleyed United into a third-minute lead before putting a second on a plate for Siem de Jong, who glanced home his free-kick.
The Cobblers provided an immediate response, with Marc Richards scoring from the penalty spot after Cheick Tiote was penalised for handball.
But Thauvin teed up Daryl Janmaat for the hosts' third, as the Dutch full-back slotted home from close range, and then sent a free-kick on to the head of Mike Williamson, who applied a composed finish.
And it was a very positive night for head coach Steve McClaren, who handed debuts to goalkeeper Karl Darlow, centre-back Jamaal Lascelles and 19-year-old striker Ivan Toney, and saw his side play some eye-catching, attacking football.
The game was less than three minutes old when full debutant Thauvin got off the mark for his new club.
Having received a throw-in wide on the left, Rolando Aarons appeared boxed in, but produced a clever back-heel into the path of Haidara. The French full-back's deep cross was crying out for a touch and Thauvin provided it, out-muscling David Buchanan at the far post to acrobatically hook home a volley.
And just five minutes later Thauvin turned from scorer to provider as the Magpies doubled their advantage.
Awarded a free-kick around 30 yards out, the new arrival swung in an outstanding delivery that de Jong rose unchallenged to glance home.
Two up after just eight minutes, that looked like game over, but the League Two side had other ideas and halved the deficit from the penalty spot almost immediately.
It came from a free-kick, floated towards the far post, where centre-back Rod McDonald challenged with Tiote. The Northampton man won the header and planted it straight into Tiote's outstreched arm.
Referee David Coote had no hesitation in awarding a spot-kick and Richards fired the penalty straight down the middle.
It was a pulsating opening and the Cobblers could have been level in the 18th minute with a free-kick routine straight off the training ground. They caught the Magpies cold by slipping in Joel Byrom around the side of the defensive wall, but Richards prodded the resulting delivery wide under pressre at the near post.
The visitors had the bit between their teeth and Ryan Watson forced a decent save from Karl Darlow with a low drive.
But Newcastle weathered the storm and came roaring back at their League Two opponents.
Ayoze Perez almost snuck home a near-post shot, forcing Ryan Cresswell into a last-ditch headed clearance, before the Spaniard went even closer on 37 minutes, controlling Thauvin's cut-back but seeing Ryan Clarke equal to his strike.
Right on the stroke of half-time, de Jong had two opportunities to add to his - and United's - tally but was unable to convert either, while early in the second period Yoan Gouffran rippled the side netting from the edge of the area.
But it was Janmaat who managed to restore their two-goal advantage in the 56th minute, and the assist came from that man Thauvin again.
Captain de Jong split the Cobblers' defence with an inch-perfect lofted pass into Thauvin's pass, and the Frenchman proceeded to tease Buchanan before sliding Janmaat in, who made a difficult finish look simple.
And on 63 minutes it was 4-1 as Williamson added his name to the goalscorer's list. The centre-half stole in round the back to meet another Thauvin free-kick, and planted a downward header home at the Gallowgate End.
That signalled the end of Thauvin's night as, after a goal and three assists, he was withdrawn for Aleksandar Mitrovic.
Jack Colback was next to enter the fray and he was soon followed by Ivan Toney - who arrived from Northampton earlier this month. The 19-year-old striker received a great reception from both sets of fans, but was unable to cap a memorable debut with a goal.
Newcastle United (4-2-3-1): Karl Darlow; Daryl Janmaat, Mike Williamson, Jamaal Lascelles, Massadio Haidara (Ivan Toney 78); Cheick Tiote, Yoan Gouffran; Rolando Aarons, Siem de Jong (c), Florian Thauvin (Aleksandar Mitrovic 65); Ayoze Perez (Jack Colback 72)
Northampton Town (4-3-3): Ryan Clarke; Adam Yates, Rod McDonald, Ryan Cresswell, David Buchanan; Ryan Watson (Sam Hoskins 62), Jason Taylor, Joel Byrom; Nicky Adams, Marc Richards (c) (Dominic Calvert-Lewin 75), Alfie Potter (Lawson D'Ath 62)
Subs not used: Adam Smith, Paul Corry, John-Joe O'Toole, Chris Hackett
Referee: David Coote (Nottinghamshire)
Bookings: Newcastle United - Tiote (20), Perez (69); Northampton Town - Yates (61), Cresswell (85)
Attendance: 26,923 (989 Northampton)