Brighton dumped Newcastle out of the FA Cup for the second season in succession as they comfortably won their third-round tie 2-0 at the Amex Stadium.
Newcastle, who have not won away in the FA Cup since a 2-0 victory at Cheltenham in January 2006, went behind in the 33rd minute as Andrea Orlandi produced a brilliant volleyed finish, and the visitors saw their afternoon go from bad to worse as captain Shola Ameobi was shown the red card in the second half for two soft bookable offences.
The much-changed visitors were devoid of creativity and purpose throughout, and Brighton closed out another fine FA Cup performance as substitute Will Hoskins added a second for his side late on to send the Premier League side crashing out of the Cup yet again.
Newcastle boss Pardew was without midfielder Cheick Tiote, who has gone to the African Cup of Nations, as he made five changes, omitting striker Papiss Cisse from the squad altogether; Gus Poyet, meanwhile, confined winger Will Buckley to the bench after he shook off a hamstring injury.
The Championship club ended a run of five games without a win on Tuesday, with a 3-0 win over Ipswich, and the hosts started the match very brightly with midfielder Dean Hammond blasting a wild shot over the crossbar from the edge of the Newcastle box with the first chance of the match.
Newcastle came into the match having lost their last three Premier League matches and six of their last seven matches in all competitions, and James Perch had to clear Gary Dicker’s looping shot towards the far post off the line to prevent his side from conceding an early goal.
At the other end, Gael Bigirimana stung the palms of Casper Ankergren with a fierce strike from the edge of the Brighton box in a rare foray forward, and Adam El-Abd had to head safely behind for a corner under pressure from Sammy Ameobi after the goalkeeper failed to hold the shot.
Brighton, who have now won four of their last six FA Cup games against higher-ranked sides, took the lead just after the half-hour mark as Orlandi swivelled and volleyed superbly beyond Rob Elliot after Wayne Bridge crossed from the left byline.
Pardew reacted to his side going behind by making two changes at the break, with James Perch and Mehdi Abeid replaced by defender Paul Dummett and forward Nile Ranger at half-time.
Newcastle’s build-up play continued to be sluggish in the second half as Bigirimana sat deep and dictated the play, and Brighton were comfortable protecting their lead as Poyet delighted the home fans by introducing the enigmatic Kazenga LuaLua, who came on at the hour mark to face his former side.
Newcastle’s problems were compounded in the 63rd minute as Ameobi was sent off for a second yellow card. Both bookable offences were soft, and it was a late challenge on David Lopez that saw the Newcastle captain receive his marching orders from referee Lee Probert.
The Magpies eventually showed some urgency in the final 20 minutes of the match, and substitute Sylvain Marveaux had a powerful volley superbly blocked by the excellent Liam Bridcutt before another replacement Nile Ranger headed wide from close range, but Brighton never looked like conceding against an attack lacking penetration.
Newcastle have now not beaten the south coast side in six FA Cup meetings since 1990, and substitute Hoskins rounded off a fine win for Poyet’s side three minutes from time with a perfectly-timed run to get in behind Williamson, and a cool finish to slide the ball under Elliot.
The Tynesiders, six-time FA Cup winners and currently lying 15th in the Premier League, must now confront their league struggles, while Brighton clinched their place in the fourth round with another deserved top-flight scalp.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Liam Bridcutt – Brighton: It was a hugely impressive display from the 23-year-old midfielder, whose energy and invention shone against a poor Newcastle side.
BRIGHTON: Ankergren 7, David Lopez 7, Greer 7, El-Abd 7, Bridge 7, Bridcutt 8, Hammond 7, Orlandi 7, Barnes 6, Mackail-Smith 6, Dicker 7. Subs: Hoskins 7, Crofts 6, LuaLua 6.
NEWCASTLE: Elliot 6, Tavernier 6, Perch 5, Williamson 6, Santon 5, Anita 6, Abeid 5, Bigirimana 6, Obertan 5, Shola Ameobi 5, Sammy Ameobi 6. Subs: Marveaux 6, Ranger 6, Dummett 6.
- Sports & Recreation
- Shola Ameobi