Date: 2nd January 2010 at 5:59pm
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FA Cup Third Round

Argyle 0-0 Newcastle

Argyle’s biggest crowd of the season saw an absorbing FA Cup tie that never really hit the heights.
A draw was a fair result with Argyle happy to keep another clean sheet and travel to Newcastle on the 13th January for the replay and some much-needed gate receipts.

Paul Mariner kept faith with the same side that thumped Reading except for the enforced change of Barker for Johnson who is on duty for Benin in the Africa Cup of Nations.
Chris Houghton made a few changes to his Newcastle side who have now gone 12 games unbeaten, but it was still a decent team with a few household names to keep the neutral interested.

Argyle had the first chance of the game but the shot from Judge was blocked, Fallon had a chance soon afterwards but his header from a deep Duguid cross went straight at Krul in the Geordie goal.

Ameobi had Newcastle’s first chance when his 20-yard shot went over. The big 8-foot tall striker would provide lots of comedy moments throughout the game with his falling down under the slightest challenge and his wayward shooting, every panto in the country needs an Ameobi!

Argyle were the brighter team for the first 20 minutes but didn`t really put much pressure on Krul.

Taylor shot wide for Newcastle from a free-kick although Argyle were lucky no opposition player managed to touch it otherwise there would have been a certain goal.
Arnason whispered sweet nothings in Ameobi’s ear and down he went like a sack of spuds to ‘win’ another free-kick but again Taylor failed to find the target.

A shot from Guthrie saw Larrieu pull off a great save as Argyle’s initial pressure was now fading to be replaced by Newcastle surging forward at every opportunity. Coloccini shot wide following a corner and there was just time for Ameobi to fall to the ground once more and con the ref into a yellow card for Arnason.

A half of two halves, first quarter saw Argyle in the ascendency while the second quarter belonged to Newcastle.

The second half continued the same way with chances at a premium, while the football being played by both sides was entertaining the game lacked any goal mouth action. It’s hard to remember any goal chance being created by Argyle for the second period.
Fallon won his fair share of headers that Mackie ran on to but he tended to run down blind alleys or mis-control the ball, we’ve all seen that happen on a regular basis this season.

Summerfield was replaced by McNamee who slotted in at right-back allowing Duguid to partner Fletcher in midfield.

A header from substitute Carroll (that’s his surname) was heading towards goal but Larrieu leaped and made another good save.

There was a feeling that a goal would settle this game and with Argyle playing a containing game the feeling was that Newcastle would pinch a late winner and Nicky Butt nearly did just that with a 25-yard lob but Larrieu was there again to tip the ball onto the crossbar and out for a corner.

That was about it. The replay now means that the Championship game against Barnsley that was postponed and then re-arranged will now have to be re-re-arranged!

Argyle did well to hold the runaway leaders of the Championship and still be in the draw for the Fourth Round – ball number 28 folks!

Fletcher and Fallon were the pick of the Argyle players. The skipper looks back to his best – passing, tackling and leading the team, while Big Rory was a nuisance upfront and worked hard for the team.

Arnason had another good game but his passing let him down and special mention to Barker who played the full 90 minutes and looked like he had never been away.
Duguid is a better right-back than he is a midfielder while Clark was not the Clark that destroyed Reading last week – inconsistency is his downfall.

Mariner’s technical area is now a mud bath, the Argyle boss just never keeps still and that patch of grass has never seen so much wear and tear!

With the game heading for a draw and Argyle not that much interested in attacking you got the feeling that the cash from the replay was of more importance than the win, especially with Noone, a potential match winner, sat on the bench until the 92nd minute.

Well played lads once again, ‘it’s’ all moving in the right direction.

Larrieu 7, Duguid 7, Arnason 7, Barker 7, Sawyer 6, Judge 6 (Noone), Summerfield 5 (McNamee), Fletcher 8, Clark 5, Mackie 6, Fallon 8.


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