The FA Cup - Third Round
WatfordWatford1NewcastleNewcastle United0

Watford 1-0 Newcastle United

By Jonathan JurejkoBBC Sport

Watford striker Troy Deeney was gifted a first-half winner as Newcastle failed to progress past the FA Cup third round for the fourth successive season.

Newcastle created the better first-half chances, forcing Watford goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes into a string of saves.

But Georginio Wijnaldum's poor backpass allowed Deeney to race clear and round keeper Rob Elliot before slotting in.

Newcastle shaded a scrappy tie after the break, Ayoze Perez curling wide and Aleksandar Mitrovic almost sliding in.

Follow all the FA Cup third round reaction

Toothless Watford make Newcastle pay

Many modern-day Premier League managers tend to make sweeping changes to their teams in the FA Cup third round - but not Watford coach Quique Sanchez Flores and Newcastle counterpart Steve McClaren.

Flores spoke glowingly about the prestige of the competition before the match, while also admitting that a run to the latter stages would stretch his limited resources.

However, the Spaniard made just four changes for the visit of Newcastle, notably dropping 14-goal top scorer Odion Ighalo to the bench.

The Nigerian has netted 56% of his side's 25 Premier League goals this season and the Hornets rarely looked like scoring without him - other than when Wijnaldum miscued his attempted pass in-between centre-backs Chancel Mbemba and Fabricio Coloccini.

Watford striker Troy Deeney
Watford skipper Troy Deeney scored the winner with his seventh goal of the season

McClaren's tactical switch fails

Scoring has been a major problem for Newcastle this season, having netted the third-lowest total in the Premier League with 19 goals in their 20 matches.

And this latest blank extended their barren scoring run to a fourth consecutive match.

Newcastle boss McClaren made just one enforced change from the 1-0 defeat against Arsenal, saying he wanted to build momentum from the impressive - but ultimately fruitless - performance at Emirates Stadium.

But the former England boss did decide to switch system at Vicarage Road, going to a 3-5-2 formation in a bid to contain Watford's front two of Deeney and Ighalo's replacement Obbi Oulare.

The result was that his team lacked cohesion and fluency in a frustrating first half.

Same old scoring problems...

Despite struggling to get to grips with a different system, Newcastle did create better opportunities than their hosts in the opening 35 minutes.

Home keeper Gomes saved smartly when Daryl Janmaat cut inside from the right flank and shot low from 12 yards, while Mitrovic flicked Perez's corner goalwards at the near post.

McClaren reverted to a more familiar 4-4-2 after the break, sparking a slicker display, but his team still failed to make their 55% possession count.

Spanish forward Perez curled inches past the right-hand post from Mitrovic's knockdown, while the Serb striker came agonisingly close to Moussa Sissoko's low cross at the far post.

And the away side's profligacy led to a chorus of boos from some travelling supporters at the final whistle.

Manager reaction

Watford manager Quique Sanchez Flores: "We are very happy because we are in the next round and that was the target.

"We respect the cup and we try to put out the best team that is possible. We try to be competitive in every competition so for us it is a very happy day."

Newcastle manager Steve McClaren: "We're all angry and frustrated. The players in there, believe you me, they're disappointed.

"We've performed today on a difficult pitch, in difficult circumstances, and I think we've dominated and controlled the game. We can't ask anymore.

"Fifty thousand people have to get behind this team and support this team. We have to stick together. I know it's difficult, it's difficult for all of us to show a little bit of patience, but there's work going on and Tuesday at Manchester United is the next challenge for us."

What's next?

Back to Premier League action for both sides.

Third-bottom Newcastle aim to end a run of four successive 1-0 defeats when they host Manchester United on Tuesday.

Ninth-placed Watford, who have not won in three top-flight games, go to Southampton on Wednesday.

Line-ups

Watford

Formation 4-4-2

  • 1Gomes
  • 2Nyom
  • 5Prödl
  • 15Cathcart
  • 25Holebas
  • 7JuradoSubstituted forIghaloat 73'minutes
  • 17GuédiouraBooked at 83mins
  • 23Watson
  • 20BerghuisSubstituted forAbdiat 63'minutes
  • 9Deeney
  • 10OularéSubstituted forAnyaat 45'minutes

Substitutes

  • 3Britos
  • 19Ibarbo
  • 21Anya
  • 22Abdi
  • 24Ighalo
  • 29Capoue
  • 34Arlauskis

Newcastle

Formation 3-5-2

  • 21Elliot
  • 18Mbemba
  • 2ColocciniSubstituted forLascellesat 45'minutes
  • 3Dummett
  • 22Janmaat
  • 7Sissoko
  • 24TiotéBooked at 37minsSubstituted forde Jongat 82'minutes
  • 5Wijnaldum
  • 43MbabuSubstituted forThauvinat 52'minutes
  • 17Pérez
  • 45Mitrovic

Substitutes

  • 10de Jong
  • 11Gouffran
  • 15Lascelles
  • 20Thauvin
  • 26Darlow
  • 36Toney
  • 42Sterry
Referee:
Roger East
Attendance:
18,259

Match Stats

Home TeamWatfordAway TeamNewcastle
Possession
Home45%
Away55%
Shots
Home5
Away8
Shots on Target
Home3
Away2
Corners
Home3
Away9
Fouls
Home11
Away9

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Watford 1, Newcastle United 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Watford 1, Newcastle United 0.

  3. Post update

    Attempt missed. Florian Thauvin (Newcastle United) left footed shot from the left side of the box is close, but misses to the left.

  4. Post update

    Foul by Moussa Sissoko (Newcastle United).

  5. Post update

    Troy Deeney (Watford) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  6. Post update

    Craig Cathcart (Watford) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  7. Post update

    Foul by Aleksandar Mitrovic (Newcastle United).

  8. Post update

    Ayoze Pérez (Newcastle United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  9. Post update

    Foul by Odion Ighalo (Watford).

  10. Post update

    Corner, Newcastle United. Conceded by Almen Abdi.

  11. Post update

    Foul by Jamaal Lascelles (Newcastle United).

  12. Post update

    Troy Deeney (Watford) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  13. Booking

    Adlène Guédioura (Watford) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  14. Post update

    Florian Thauvin (Newcastle United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  15. Post update

    Foul by Adlène Guédioura (Watford).

  16. Substitution

    Substitution, Newcastle United. Siem de Jong replaces Cheick Tioté.

  17. Post update

    Corner, Newcastle United. Conceded by Sebastian Prödl.

  18. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Florian Thauvin (Newcastle United) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

  19. Substitution

    Substitution, Watford. Odion Ighalo replaces Jurado.

  20. Post update

    Ayoze Pérez (Newcastle United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.