FT: Cheltenham 0 Newcastle 2
Graeme Souness’ turbulent week ended in the best possible way as Newcastle edged past Cheltenham and into the FA Cup fifth round.
Goals from Michael Chopra and Scott Parker in quick succession just before half-time were enough to clinch victory and ease the pressure on the manager.
However, the Magpies did not have it all their own way and had Kayode Odejayi marked an impressive display by converting an excellent 77th-minute chance, it might have made for an interesting conclusion.
Shearer might have collected his landmark goal 20 minutes from time when N’Zogbia forced his way to the line and forced a cross through keeper Higgs, but the 35-year-old could not get there in time.
Ward replaced Guinan with Damian Spencer with 16 minutes remaining and Souness made his last move two minutes later when Parker came off and Luque got his chance.
However, Cheltenham’s chance arrived on 77 minutes when Armstrong’s pass allowed Odejayi to race in on Given with Babayaro struggling to get back, but although he rounded the keeper, he fired wide.
N’Zogbia scuffed a shot straight at Higgs with six minutes remaining, but the job had already been done.