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Brighton 1 Newcastle 0

By Anthony Marshall - Newcastle United Club Reporter

At The American Express Community Stadium

 

 

Brighton and Hove Albion 1 (Williamson og 76)

Newcastle United 0

 

 

Newcastle are out of the FA Cup after losing 1-0 away at Brighton in the fourth round of the competition at the Amex Stadium.

 

A second half own goal from defender Mike Williamson - as Will Buckley's cross struck him and diverted past Tim Krul - proved to be the difference as the Championship side triumphed.

 

Leon Best and Shola Ameobi both had good chances for the Magpies, but were unable to get past Seagulls keeper Peter Brezovan and a stubborn home defence.

 

Brighton had the majority of the early possession, but it was Newcastle who created the better opportunities in the final third.

 

Within two minutes Davide Santon had rampaged forward from his left-back role to cut inside and curl a shot narrowly wide of the far post.

 

And in the 11th minute they went even closer through Best. The forward snuck into the box to receive a long, raking pass from Yohan Cabaye, before taking a touch and firing inches off target.

 

Best should have done better immediately after when Ameobi headed back across goal into his path, but he nodded a very good chance well over the top.

 

At the other end, United keeper Tim Krul had to be alert to smother a low cross after former Watford winger Buckley darted into the area and centred for a clutch of Brighton players.

 

Just past the half hour mark, the hosts highlighted their most dangerous weapon - pace - as they turned defence into attack in a matter of seconds.

 

Goalkeeper Brezovan claimed a corner under pressure before releasing the ball to the left flank, and from there the Seagulls were on the front foot. And a rapid move eventually ended with striker Craig Mackail-Smith firing wide from 20 yards.

 

But Newcastle were straight back on the front foot and right-back Danny Simpson had a rare effort, seeing his shot blocked by Lewis Dunk and unable to latch on to the loose ball before Brighton cleared their lines.

 

It was end to end stuff and with a minute of the half remaining, a sloppy Hatem Ben Arfa pass presented the ball straight to Mackail-Smith. The striker strode towards the United goal but saw his effort deflect of James Perch for a corner.

 

Just as they had done in the first half, the Magpies forced the opening chance of the second. Ameobi wriggled away from the attentions of Brighton skipper Gordon Greer and slipped in Best, but he was denied by the legs of Brezovan.

 

As the Seagulls failed to get rid of the loose ball, midfielder Danny Guthrie fired inches over the top with the aid of a deflection, and the resulting corner saw an Ameobi shot again blocked by ex-Swindon stopper Brezovan.

 

A couple of tasty challenges had livened up proceedings, and roared on by a vociferous home support, Brighton tested Krul for the first time in the 70th minute.

 

There looked to be little on when Mackail-Smith picked up the ball with his back to goal 25 yards out, but he got past Mike Williamson and then Simpson before nearly sneaking one in at Krul's near post.

 

And Brighton finally made the breakthrough in the 76th minute. Buckley - whose pace had caused problems all evening - got a toe to a loose ball inside his own half just before Simpson and promptly raced down the left flank.

 

He was allowed to stride into the box and then sent the ball across the face of goal, with it getting a big deflection off Williamson on its way past the helpless Krul.

 

Newcastle tried to respond and Ameobi met Cabaye's corner but could only loop a header straight into the arms of Brezovan, before manager Alan Pardew made a triple change to try and alter his side's fortunes.

 

On came Dan Gosling, Ryan Taylor and Shane Ferguson, for Guthrie, Ben Arfa and Santon but they were unable to have any influence on proceedings and United's participation in the cup competition came to a disappointing end.

 

 

Brighton (4-3-3): Peter Brezovan; Inigo Calderon, Lewis Dunk, Gordon Greer (c), Adam El-Abd; Jake Forster-Caskey (Ryan Harley 65), Liam Bridcutt, Matt Sparrow (Alan Navarro 46); Will Buckley, Craig Mackail-Smith (Will Hoskins 90), Ashley Barnes

Subs not used: Casper Ankergren, Grant Hall, Romain Vincelot, Torbjorn Agdestein

 

 

Newcastle United (4-2-3-1): Tim Krul; Danny Simpson, Mike Williamson, James Perch, Davide Santon (Shane Ferguson 83); Danny Guthrie (Dan Gosling 83), Yohan Cabaye; Hatem Ben Arfa (Ryan Taylor 83), Jonas Gutierrez, Leon Best; Shola Ameobi (c)

Subs not used: Rob Elliot, Tamas Kadar, Gabriel Obertan, Peter Lovenrkands

 

 

Referee: Lee Probert (Wiltshire)

 

 

Attendance: 21,558 (2,359 Newcastle)

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