Luton Town

Luton Town slideshow

Rafael Benitez backs Freddie Woodman despite shaky Newcastle debut for England Under-20 World Cup winner

Takeover talks are not the only thing stalling at Newcastle United, so too is the career of England’s Under-20 World Cup winning goalkeeper Freddie Woodman. Woodman made his debut for the club as Newcastle progressed, relatively serenely, into the Fourth Round of the FA Cup with victory over League Two leaders Luton Town, but it was not a particularly impressive performance. Woodman looked like a goalkeeper who had not played a competitive game for more than six months and he was partially at fault for Luton’s goal, which was well taken by Danny Hylton. The 20-year-old’s last meaningful appearance came when he saved a penalty in England’s World Cup Final victory over Venezuela back in June and Benitez admitted, in an ideal world, he would have been sent out on loan to gain vital first team experience. There was plenty of interest, but with Newcastle struggling to sign another senior goalkeeper in the summer and again this month – a proposed move for Joe Hart looks fanciful at this stage – Woodman has been forced to stay as third choice, training with the first team, but not playing. It is not what Benitez wants, but the changes to the loan system means he cannot merely send Woodman out for a few weeks and recall him if needed. “He needs to enjoy this moment because we have won and he was part of it,” said Benitez, who has already suggested Woodman will play in the next round too. “After that we will decide what is best for him and the club. We have to be professional and I’ve spoken with his agent, they know the situation.” Jonjo Shelvey celebrates after scoring in Newcastle's 3-1 win over Luton Town  Credit: Reuters  Newcastle are trying to sign another goalkeeper, but with a small budget, there are more pressing priorities, just as staying in the Premier League remains more important than the FA Cup, despite this win over a dangerous lower league side. “They knew they would come up against a difficult side, hence the side they picked,” said Luton manager Nathan Jones. “They gave us respect. They were professional and clinical.  ‘We came here not wanting a holiday or a day at the fair. We came here wanting to test ourselves and give a good account of ourselves, and we probably did that.”  

Rafael Benitez backs Freddie Woodman despite shaky Newcastle debut for England Under-20 World Cup winner

Takeover talks are not the only thing stalling at Newcastle United, so too is the career of England’s Under-20 World Cup winning goalkeeper Freddie Woodman. Woodman made his debut for the club as Newcastle progressed, relatively serenely, into the Fourth Round of the FA Cup with victory over League Two leaders Luton Town, but it was not a particularly impressive performance. Woodman looked like a goalkeeper who had not played a competitive game for more than six months and he was partially at fault for Luton’s goal, which was well taken by Danny Hylton. The 20-year-old’s last meaningful appearance came when he saved a penalty in England’s World Cup Final victory over Venezuela back in June and Benitez admitted, in an ideal world, he would have been sent out on loan to gain vital first team experience. There was plenty of interest, but with Newcastle struggling to sign another senior goalkeeper in the summer and again this month – a proposed move for Joe Hart looks fanciful at this stage – Woodman has been forced to stay as third choice, training with the first team, but not playing. It is not what Benitez wants, but the changes to the loan system means he cannot merely send Woodman out for a few weeks and recall him if needed. “He needs to enjoy this moment because we have won and he was part of it,” said Benitez, who has already suggested Woodman will play in the next round too. “After that we will decide what is best for him and the club. We have to be professional and I’ve spoken with his agent, they know the situation.” Jonjo Shelvey celebrates after scoring in Newcastle's 3-1 win over Luton Town  Credit: Reuters  Newcastle are trying to sign another goalkeeper, but with a small budget, there are more pressing priorities, just as staying in the Premier League remains more important than the FA Cup, despite this win over a dangerous lower league side. “They knew they would come up against a difficult side, hence the side they picked,” said Luton manager Nathan Jones. “They gave us respect. They were professional and clinical.  ‘We came here not wanting a holiday or a day at the fair. We came here wanting to test ourselves and give a good account of ourselves, and we probably did that.”  

FA Cup Roundup: Stoke City Crashes Out as Man City, Huddersfield, Saints Safely Progress

In a day of few shocks in the FA Cup's much anticipated third round games, Stoke City was the biggest of the big guns to fall out of the world's most famous cup competition.

Peterborough United and Rochdale came out as surprising winners, while Fleetwood Town and League Two side Mansfield Town also earned a replay against higher league opposition.

The early kick-off saw League one outfit Fleetwood earn a replay against Premier League side Leicester City as they drew 0-0 in what was a very dull affair at the Highbury Stadium.

In the days other early game Middlesbrough eased passed Championship strugglers Sunderland with goals on the day coming from Rudy Gestede and Martin Braithwaite in an easy 2-0 win at the Riverside Stadium.

An upset was on the cards in the only all Premier League tie of the third round, when the Burnley led at the break against Manchester City after an Ashley Barnes strike. However, all hope of an upset was killed as City came out firing in the second period and scored four goals, with Leroy Sane, Bernando Silva and Sergio Aguero (2) securing a 4-1 victory.

One of the most dramatic games of the day came at Villa Park, as League One side Peterborough scored three late goals against Championship outfit Aston Villa to win 3-1.

In a dramatic affair at the Vitality Stadium, Bournemouth saved their blushes after they went 2-0 down at home to League one leaders Wigan Athletic. However, goals from Lys Mousset and a late equalizer from Steve Cook meant that the Cherries earned a replay.

The biggest upset of the day came as League two side Coventry City beat Premier League side Stoke City 2-1 at the Ricoh Arena. Another League two side caused an upset as Yeovil Town beat League one side Bradford 2-0 at home, with goals on the day coming from Marcus Barnes and Jordan Green.

Struggling Rochdale surprised everyone by defeating Doncaster 1-0 away, with the Dale playing away from home. In another amazing game, Preston thrashed Wycombe Wanderers 5-1 at Adams Park, with former Manchester United man Josh Harrop scoring twice on the day.

Sheffield United beat Ipswich Town 1-0 at Portman Road, and with a similar scoreline Birmingham City defeated Burton Albion at St.Andrew's.

There were no shocks with any of the other Premier League sides as Newcaslte United eased passed League two side Luton Town with a 3-1 victory, Watford defeated Bristol City 3-0, Southampton won 1-0 away at Fulham and Huddersfield beat Bolton Wanderers 2-1 at the Macron Stadium.

West Brom got their first win under Alan Pardew with a 2-0 win away at Exeter City. In an all Championship affair, Millwall convincingly beat Barnsley 4-1.

League One side MK Dons beat Championship strugglers QPR 1-0 at Loftus Road, while League Two outfit Notts County won 1-0 away at Brentford. There was no shock at Ewood Park as Hull City won 1-0 against League one side Blackburn Rovers.

Reading drew 0-0 with Stevenage, Carlisle United held on to a 0-0 draw against Sheffield Wednesday, Wolverhampton Wanderers drew at home to Swansea in a match that saw two red cards, one for either side.

Cardiff City, meanwhile, drew 0-0 at home to Mansfield.

FA Cup Roundup: Stoke City Crashes Out as Man City, Huddersfield, Saints Safely Progress

In a day of few shocks in the FA Cup's much anticipated third round games, Stoke City was the biggest of the big guns to fall out of the world's most famous cup competition.

Peterborough United and Rochdale came out as surprising winners, while Fleetwood Town and League Two side Mansfield Town also earned a replay against higher league opposition.

The early kick-off saw League one outfit Fleetwood earn a replay against Premier League side Leicester City as they drew 0-0 in what was a very dull affair at the Highbury Stadium.

In the days other early game Middlesbrough eased passed Championship strugglers Sunderland with goals on the day coming from Rudy Gestede and Martin Braithwaite in an easy 2-0 win at the Riverside Stadium.

An upset was on the cards in the only all Premier League tie of the third round, when the Burnley led at the break against Manchester City after an Ashley Barnes strike. However, all hope of an upset was killed as City came out firing in the second period and scored four goals, with Leroy Sane, Bernando Silva and Sergio Aguero (2) securing a 4-1 victory.

One of the most dramatic games of the day came at Villa Park, as League One side Peterborough scored three late goals against Championship outfit Aston Villa to win 3-1.

In a dramatic affair at the Vitality Stadium, Bournemouth saved their blushes after they went 2-0 down at home to League one leaders Wigan Athletic. However, goals from Lys Mousset and a late equalizer from Steve Cook meant that the Cherries earned a replay.

The biggest upset of the day came as League two side Coventry City beat Premier League side Stoke City 2-1 at the Ricoh Arena. Another League two side caused an upset as Yeovil Town beat League one side Bradford 2-0 at home, with goals on the day coming from Marcus Barnes and Jordan Green.

Struggling Rochdale surprised everyone by defeating Doncaster 1-0 away, with the Dale playing away from home. In another amazing game, Preston thrashed Wycombe Wanderers 5-1 at Adams Park, with former Manchester United man Josh Harrop scoring twice on the day.

Sheffield United beat Ipswich Town 1-0 at Portman Road, and with a similar scoreline Birmingham City defeated Burton Albion at St.Andrew's.

There were no shocks with any of the other Premier League sides as Newcaslte United eased passed League two side Luton Town with a 3-1 victory, Watford defeated Bristol City 3-0, Southampton won 1-0 away at Fulham and Huddersfield beat Bolton Wanderers 2-1 at the Macron Stadium.

West Brom got their first win under Alan Pardew with a 2-0 win away at Exeter City. In an all Championship affair, Millwall convincingly beat Barnsley 4-1.

League One side MK Dons beat Championship strugglers QPR 1-0 at Loftus Road, while League Two outfit Notts County won 1-0 away at Brentford. There was no shock at Ewood Park as Hull City won 1-0 against League one side Blackburn Rovers.

Reading drew 0-0 with Stevenage, Carlisle United held on to a 0-0 draw against Sheffield Wednesday, Wolverhampton Wanderers drew at home to Swansea in a match that saw two red cards, one for either side.

Cardiff City, meanwhile, drew 0-0 at home to Mansfield.

Newcastle United 3 Luton 1: Ayoze Perez and Jonjo Shelvey send Rafael Benitez's side's through to FA Cup fourth round

For most Premier League clubs this would just be a routine Cup win over lower league opposition, but there have been precious few of those for Newcastle United and Luton Town did enough to make this more uncomfortable than the scoreline looks.  To put it into context, Newcastle have been knocked out of the FA Cup by lower league opposition in five out of the last six years and this will be only the fifth time since Mike Ashley took control of the club, 11 years ago, that they have made it to the fourth round.  Luton, top of League Two, cheered on by 7,500 supporters, were precisely the sort of opposition who have humbled Newcastle in recent years. On this occasion, though, Newcastle, who played virtually a full-strength side, were 3-0 up by half-time and although Luton impressed in the second period, they were chasing a lost cause.  Even so, it is easy to see why they have won so many admirers under their young manager Nathan Jones and had Elliot Lee’s second-half free-kick been a few millimetres lower, or an offside decision gone their way, they would have made this a fidgety afternoon for their hosts.  “I was a very disappointed with a nine or 10-minute spell in the first half,” said Jones. “But apart from that, I’m really proud. We had our moments, we didn’t come here to park the bus, we had a real go and we might have scored a few more.  “We should have had a second goal, which was incorrectly ruled out for offside, that would have made it really interesting.”  Jonjo Shelvey reels away in celebration after scoring Newcastle's third of the afternoon Credit: REUTERS Newcastle have become so used to playing without the ball in the Premier  League, they took a while to get going as the team expected to dictate the pace of the game, but once they scored, the floodgates opened. Ayoze Perez bundled in two close-range efforts, after Dwight Gayle had been denied by goalkeeper Marek Stech, but the third was an excellent team effort. Perez sent the defence into retreat, before feeding Gayle, who unselfishly teed up Jonjo Shelvey.  The game appeared to be over, but Luton pulled a goal back early in the  second half through Danny Hylton and Newcastle were rattled. Newcastle’s goalkeeper, Freddie Woodman, making his debut, looked shaky with his kicks and another loose one was punished. The ball was returned immediately to the unmarked Hylton, who rounded the Under-20 World Cup winner and finished calmly. Hylton thought he had scored a second, but as he celebrated on his own, the rest of Luton’s players had spotted the offside flag that ruled it out.  Newcastle were dragged into a tussle, and there was almost a dream moment for substitute Elliot Lee, who grew up watching his father, Rob, play for Newcastle, but his free-kick smacked against the crossbar.  “We were a little too relaxed in the second half, but in the end we have gone through,” said manager Rafael Benitez.

Newcastle United 3 Luton 1: Ayoze Perez and Jonjo Shelvey send Rafael Benitez's side's through to FA Cup fourth round

For most Premier League clubs this would just be a routine Cup win over lower league opposition, but there have been precious few of those for Newcastle United and Luton Town did enough to make this more uncomfortable than the scoreline looks.  To put it into context, Newcastle have been knocked out of the FA Cup by lower league opposition in five out of the last six years and this will be only the fifth time since Mike Ashley took control of the club, 11 years ago, that they have made it to the fourth round.  Luton, top of League Two, cheered on by 7,500 supporters, were precisely the sort of opposition who have humbled Newcastle in recent years. On this occasion, though, Newcastle, who played virtually a full-strength side, were 3-0 up by half-time and although Luton impressed in the second period, they were chasing a lost cause.  Even so, it is easy to see why they have won so many admirers under their young manager Nathan Jones and had Elliot Lee’s second-half free-kick been a few millimetres lower, or an offside decision gone their way, they would have made this a fidgety afternoon for their hosts.  “I was a very disappointed with a nine or 10-minute spell in the first half,” said Jones. “But apart from that, I’m really proud. We had our moments, we didn’t come here to park the bus, we had a real go and we might have scored a few more.  “We should have had a second goal, which was incorrectly ruled out for offside, that would have made it really interesting.”  Jonjo Shelvey reels away in celebration after scoring Newcastle's third of the afternoon Credit: REUTERS Newcastle have become so used to playing without the ball in the Premier  League, they took a while to get going as the team expected to dictate the pace of the game, but once they scored, the floodgates opened. Ayoze Perez bundled in two close-range efforts, after Dwight Gayle had been denied by goalkeeper Marek Stech, but the third was an excellent team effort. Perez sent the defence into retreat, before feeding Gayle, who unselfishly teed up Jonjo Shelvey.  The game appeared to be over, but Luton pulled a goal back early in the  second half through Danny Hylton and Newcastle were rattled. Newcastle’s goalkeeper, Freddie Woodman, making his debut, looked shaky with his kicks and another loose one was punished. The ball was returned immediately to the unmarked Hylton, who rounded the Under-20 World Cup winner and finished calmly. Hylton thought he had scored a second, but as he celebrated on his own, the rest of Luton’s players had spotted the offside flag that ruled it out.  Newcastle were dragged into a tussle, and there was almost a dream moment for substitute Elliot Lee, who grew up watching his father, Rob, play for Newcastle, but his free-kick smacked against the crossbar.  “We were a little too relaxed in the second half, but in the end we have gone through,” said manager Rafael Benitez.

Newcastle survive Luton onslaught to progress thanks to Ayoze Pérez double

Ayoze Pérez scores Newcastle United’s first goal against Luton Town in the FA Cup tie at St James’ Park.

FA Cup Third Round - Newcastle United vs Luton Town

Soccer Football - FA Cup Third Round - Newcastle United vs Luton Town - St James' Park, Newcastle, Britain - January 6, 2018 (L - R) Newcastle United's Jacob Murphy, Dwight Gayle and Matt Ritchie after the match Action Images via Reuters/Ed Sykes

FA Cup Third Round - Newcastle United vs Luton Town

Soccer Football - FA Cup Third Round - Newcastle United vs Luton Town - St James' Park, Newcastle, Britain - January 6, 2018 Luton Town’s Danny Hylton scores their first goal REUTERS/Scott Heppell

FA Cup Third Round - Newcastle United vs Luton Town

Soccer Football - FA Cup Third Round - Newcastle United vs Luton Town - St James' Park, Newcastle, Britain - January 6, 2018 Luton Town’s Andrew Shinnie in action with Newcastle United's Javi Manquillo REUTERS/Scott Heppell

FA Cup Third Round - Newcastle United vs Luton Town

Soccer Football - FA Cup Third Round - Newcastle United vs Luton Town - St James' Park, Newcastle, Britain - January 6, 2018 Luton Town’s Danny Hylton celebrates scoring their first goal REUTERS/Scott Heppell

FA Cup Third Round - Newcastle United vs Luton Town

Soccer Football - FA Cup Third Round - Newcastle United vs Luton Town - St James' Park, Newcastle, Britain - January 6, 2018 Luton Town’s Danny Hylton celebrates scoring their first goal REUTERS/Scott Heppell

FA Cup Third Round - Newcastle United vs Luton Town

Soccer Football - FA Cup Third Round - Newcastle United vs Luton Town - St James' Park, Newcastle, Britain - January 6, 2018 Luton Town’s Glen Rea with a Newcastle United jersey after the match REUTERS/Scott Heppell

FA Cup Third Round - Newcastle United vs Luton Town

Soccer Football - FA Cup Third Round - Newcastle United vs Luton Town - St James' Park, Newcastle, Britain - January 6, 2018 Luton Town’s Olly Lee in action with Newcastle United's Ayoze Perez Action Images via Reuters/Ed Sykes

FA Cup Third Round - Newcastle United vs Luton Town

Soccer Football - FA Cup Third Round - Newcastle United vs Luton Town - St James' Park, Newcastle, Britain - January 6, 2018 Luton Town’s Elliot Lee in action with Newcastle United's Jacob Murphy Action Images via Reuters/Ed Sykes

FA Cup Third Round - Newcastle United vs Luton Town

Soccer Football - FA Cup Third Round - Newcastle United vs Luton Town - St James' Park, Newcastle, Britain - January 6, 2018 Luton Town’s Marek Stech and team mates applaud fans after the match REUTERS/Scott Heppell

FA Cup Third Round - Newcastle United vs Luton Town

Soccer Football - FA Cup Third Round - Newcastle United vs Luton Town - St James' Park, Newcastle, Britain - January 6, 2018 Luton Town manager Nathan Jones after the match REUTERS/Scott Heppell

FA Cup Third Round - Newcastle United vs Luton Town

Soccer Football - FA Cup Third Round - Newcastle United vs Luton Town - St James' Park, Newcastle, Britain - January 6, 2018 Newcastle United's Dwight Gayle and Luton Town’s Marek Stech shake hands after the match Action Images via Reuters/Ed Sykes

FA Cup Third Round - Newcastle United vs Luton Town

Soccer Football - FA Cup Third Round - Newcastle United vs Luton Town - St James' Park, Newcastle, Britain - January 6, 2018 Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez after the match REUTERS/Scott Heppell

FA Cup Third Round - Newcastle United vs Luton Town

Soccer Football - FA Cup Third Round - Newcastle United vs Luton Town - St James' Park, Newcastle, Britain - January 6, 2018 Luton Town’s Olly Lee and Elliot Lee applaud fans after the match REUTERS/Scott Heppell

FA Cup Third Round - Newcastle United vs Luton Town

Soccer Football - FA Cup Third Round - Newcastle United vs Luton Town - St James' Park, Newcastle, Britain - January 6, 2018 Luton Town’s Johnny Mullins Action Images via Reuters/Ed Sykes

FA Cup Third Round - Newcastle United vs Luton Town

Soccer Football - FA Cup Third Round - Newcastle United vs Luton Town - St James' Park, Newcastle, Britain - January 6, 2018 Luton Town manager Nathan Jones REUTERS/Scott Heppell

Ayoze Perez double sees Newcastle United ease into round four with comfortable win over Luton Town

Ayoze Perez double sees Newcastle United ease into round four with comfortable win over Luton Town

Ayoze Perez double sees Newcastle United ease into round four with comfortable win over Luton Town

Ayoze Perez double sees Newcastle United ease into round four with comfortable win over Luton Town

FA Cup Third Round - Newcastle United vs Luton Town

Soccer Football - FA Cup Third Round - Newcastle United vs Luton Town - St James' Park, Newcastle, Britain - January 6, 2018 Luton Town’s Johnny Mullins in action with Newcastle United's Jacob Murphy REUTERS/Scott Heppell

FA Cup Third Round - Newcastle United vs Luton Town

Soccer Football - FA Cup Third Round - Newcastle United vs Luton Town - St James' Park, Newcastle, Britain - January 6, 2018 Luton Town’s Luke Berry in action with Newcastle United's Jacob Murphy REUTERS/Scott Heppell

FA Cup Third Round - Newcastle United vs Luton Town

Soccer Football - FA Cup Third Round - Newcastle United vs Luton Town - St James' Park, Newcastle, Britain - January 6, 2018 Newcastle United's Javi Manquillo in action with Luton Town’s Danny Hylton Action Images via Reuters/Ed Sykes

FA Cup Third Round - Newcastle United vs Luton Town

Soccer Football - FA Cup Third Round - Newcastle United vs Luton Town - St James' Park, Newcastle, Britain - January 6, 2018 Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez speaks with Isaac Hayden Action Images via Reuters/Ed Sykes

FA Cup Third Round - Newcastle United vs Luton Town

Soccer Football - FA Cup Third Round - Newcastle United vs Luton Town - St James' Park, Newcastle, Britain - January 6, 2018 Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez and Luton Town manager Nathan Jones Action Images via Reuters/Ed Sykes

FA Cup Third Round - Newcastle United vs Luton Town

Soccer Football - FA Cup Third Round - Newcastle United vs Luton Town - St James' Park, Newcastle, Britain - January 6, 2018 Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez and Luton Town manager Nathan Jones Action Images via Reuters/Ed Sykes

FA Cup Third Round - Newcastle United vs Luton Town

Soccer Football - FA Cup Third Round - Newcastle United vs Luton Town - St James' Park, Newcastle, Britain - January 6, 2018 Newcastle United's Isaac Hayden in action with Luton Town’s James Collins REUTERS/Scott Heppell

FA Cup Third Round - Newcastle United vs Luton Town

Soccer Football - FA Cup Third Round - Newcastle United vs Luton Town - St James' Park, Newcastle, Britain - January 6, 2018 Newcastle United's Javi Manquillo in action with Luton Town’s Luke Berry Action Images via Reuters/Ed Sykes

FA Cup Third Round - Newcastle United vs Luton Town

Soccer Football - FA Cup Third Round - Newcastle United vs Luton Town - St James' Park, Newcastle, Britain - January 6, 2018 Newcastle United's Javi Manquillo in action with Luton Town’s Luke Berry Action Images via Reuters/Ed Sykes

FA Cup Third Round - Newcastle United vs Luton Town

Soccer Football - FA Cup Third Round - Newcastle United vs Luton Town - St James' Park, Newcastle, Britain - January 6, 2018 Newcastle United's Jonjo Shelvey in action with Luton Town’s James Collins REUTERS/Scott Heppell

FA Cup Third Round - Newcastle United vs Luton Town

Soccer Football - FA Cup Third Round - Newcastle United vs Luton Town - St James' Park, Newcastle, Britain - January 6, 2018 Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez REUTERS/Scott Heppell

FA Cup Third Round - Newcastle United vs Luton Town

Soccer Football - FA Cup Third Round - Newcastle United vs Luton Town - St James' Park, Newcastle, Britain - January 6, 2018 Luton Town’s Olly Lee takes a set piece Action Images via Reuters/Ed Sykes

FA Cup Third Round - Newcastle United vs Luton Town

Soccer Football - FA Cup Third Round - Newcastle United vs Luton Town - St James' Park, Newcastle, Britain - January 6, 2018 Luton Town’s Danny Hylton in action before scoring their first goal REUTERS/Scott Heppell

FA Cup Third Round - Newcastle United vs Luton Town

Soccer Football - FA Cup Third Round - Newcastle United vs Luton Town - St James' Park, Newcastle, Britain - January 6, 2018 Luton Town’s Danny Hylton scores their first goal REUTERS/Scott Heppell

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