The Seagulls progress to the fifth round of the FA Cup at the expense of the Magpies after Mike Williamson turns the ball into his own net
Both sides started brightly, and it was clear they were both keen to play their usual brand of passing football, lining up in identical shapes in midfield. However, neither side created any genuine goalscoring opportunities in the first 10 minutes, as the two teams looked to combat the congestion in the center of the field.
In the tenth minute, a hopeful long ball found its way to Leon Best in Brighton’s penalty area, but the Newcastle forward dragged his shot on goal wide. However, the home side found a response of its own, with a run from the right by Will Buckley causing some alarm in the away side’s penalty area in the 15th minute, but he hesitated slightly, and could not get a shot on goal.
The home side had another good opportunity thanks to a breakaway started by goalkeeper Peter Brezovan in the 31st minute in Brighton’s penalty area. A sea of blue and white shirts flooded forward at an incredible rate, but striker Craig Mackail-Smith sent his shot wide after some good work by the Seagulls’ midfield.
Hatem Ben Arfa combined well with Danny Simpson for Newcastle in the 34th minute and forced a counter-attack, and it took some desperate defending and lucky ricochets for the ball to be cleared for a corner to the away side in one of its better attacking moves of the half. The first half drew to a close with the scores level at 0-0, with both teams being satisfied with their work.
After a quiet few minutes to start the second half, it was Newcastle who created the first real chances after some good play by Shola Ameobi in the 52nd minute. He used all his trickery to spin away from the defense and setting up Best, whose shot was saved well by Brezovan in the Brighton goal.
From the resulting corner, Danny Guthrie saw a fierce volley deflected over the bar, and yet another chance fell to Newcastle from another corner, with Ameobi drawing a parrying save from Brezovan as the away side began to find some attacking momentum. However, neither side could take real control of the game, and it began to simmer as Simpson upended Mackail-Smith, for which the former Manchester United man was given a yellow card.
More controversy followed as Yohan Cabaye appeared to stamp on Adam El-Abd in the 62nd minute. However, referee Lee Probert appeared not to see any wrongdoing, so no further action was taken against Cabaye. Unfortunately, the replays seemed to suggest he did lash out against the Brighton man.
After these controversial incidents, it was Brighton who next had the best chance in the 70th minute, with Mackail-Smith forcing a corner after a shot from 25 yards was tipped wide by Krul in Newcastle’s goal.
Another counter-attack from the home side saw Buckley accelerate away from the Newcastle defense, and bear down on the away side’s goal. After Buckley used his considerable pace, a wicked deflection from Mike Williamson took the ball into the Newcastle net to give the home side a 1-0 lead in the 76th minute.
The game ended with the score unchanged thanks to some great defending by the home side, and Brighton secured its passage into the fifth round with a superb giant-killing.