Football / Sport

Maybe next year? North-East clubs crash out of FA Cup

The third round of the FA Cup, the highlight of the football calendar for some, brings optimism and a sense of sporting magic with it every January.

Fans up and down the county dream of walking down Wembley way, preparing to watch their team walk out for the final of English footballs most historic competition.

For all the North-East teams however, that dream will now have to be put on hold until next year, as Middlesbrough, Hartlepool, Sunderland and Newcastle were all beaten on Saturday afternoon.

Middlesbrough may be soaring at the top of the Championship, but their four game winning streak was halted by fellow promotion hopefuls Burnely at the Riverside Stadium.

Despite Diego Fabbrini opening the scoring from close range, Burnley scored on the brink of half time to shift the game in their favour, when Rouwen Hennings headed home after good work from Sam Vokes.

Aitor Karanka would have been disspointed with his sides usually impeccable defending when Stephen Ward crashed home the Clarets winner with twenty minutes remaining. Boro’s memorable win at Manchester City in last years cup run now feels a long time ago.


BORO BEATEN: Sam Vokes tussles for the ball with Boro defender Daniel Ayala

The meeting between League Two stugglers Hartlepool and Paul Clement’s vastly improving Derby County had all the ingredients for an upset.

Despite their lowly league position, Pools boss Ronnie Whelan would have been impressed with his side’s dogged display in a first half which saw few chances.

Jake Gray superbly volleyed home Micheal Woods’ pinpoint cross early in the second period to get the cupset alarm ringing, but it was short lived as Jacob Butterfield rifled home from distance to draw the Rams level.

Veteran striker Darren Bent showed his class with five minutes left on the clock, finshing experely and eliminating a brave Hartlepool side.

Hartlepool United v Derby County - FA Cup Third Round

GRAY DAY: Derby triumph despite Jake Gray’s wonder strike

You couldn’t have blamed Sunderland boss Sam Allardyce for resting players with the Black Cats Premier League survival taking preference over a cup run. However, a strong looking team took to the pitch at the Emirates to play current holders Arsenal.

Jermaine Lens repaid the thousands of Sunderland fans who made the long trip down from the North-East, as he captilised on Laurent Kosicelney’s mistake and flashed a shot past Petr Cech.

The lead lasted less then ten minutes as Joel Campbell equalised, but Sunderland held their own until the 72nd minute. Quick fire goals from Aaron Ramsey and Olivier Giroud deflated hopes of an upset, sealing Arsenal’s second 3-1 victory over Sunderland this season.

arsenal 3-1 sunderland

CATS GUNNED DOWN: Olivier Giroud seals Sunderland’ exit

Newcastle have failed to reach the fourth round of the FA Cup since 2012, so their trip to Watford took on extra incentive as they looked to give their loyal fans a long awaited cup run.

McLaren fielded a strong side against one of the Premier Leagues surprise packages this season, and they looked threatening with Ayoze Perez missing a guilt-edge chance.

With the match meandering towards the break Georginio Wijnaldum’s woeful backpass allowed Troy Deeney to round Rob Elliot and tap in.

Newcastle huffed and puffed for large parts of the second half, but their lack of quality was evident as they once again were dumped out of the competition at the third round stage.


MAGPIES STUNG: Newcastle fall at the first hurdle again


FA Cup Third Round Results:

Middlesbrough 1-2 Burnely

Hartlepool 1-2 Derby

Arsenal 3-1 Sunderland

Watford 1-0 Newcastle

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