Cousin sends Tigers through
Millwall await in fourth round after late drama at St James'
Last Updated: 15/01/09 7:09am
Cousin celebrates City's winner
Daniel Cousin earned Hull City a place in the FA Cup fourth round after a battling 1-0 win at Newcastle United.
After a scoreless draw in the first meeting between the Premier League rivals at the KC Stadium, the third-round replay proved to be a similarly tight affair.
The only highlight of a disappointing first half at St James' Park came on 21 minutes when Magpies midfielder Nicky Butt hit the crossbar.
Michael Owen wasted fine chances to score either side of half-time, but it was the Tigers who struck decisively on 81 minutes through Cousin.
The striker was on hand to apply the finishing touch from close range following Richard Garcia's cross to set up a fourth-round clash at home to Millwall.
Salt in wounds
The fact that victory was achieved without eight of Phil Brown's first-choice players simply rubbed salt into Magpie wounds on a night when both he and counterpart Joe Kinnear were sent to the stands by referee Phil Dowd.
Newcastle fielded a strong side despite their injury problems - Geremi was not included in the 18 as he closed in on a £1.5million move to Besiktas - and while the FA Cup may be the least of their worries this season, a second home defeat by City was the last thing they wanted on a bleak night in front of a crowd of 31,380.
By the time the first half reached its mid-point, there were two more notable absentees, both managers having been sent to the stands by Mr Dowd following an angry exchange of views in the wake of Fabricio Coloccini's late challenge on Cousin.
There was incident on the field as well, however, if not a great deal of it, and it was perhaps understandably the Magpies who enjoyed the better of the half.
After a lively start, they went agonisingly close to a 21st-minute opener when Butt headed Danny Guthrie's free-kick against the crossbar with Matt Duke beaten.
That proved to be a rare good quality delivery from Guthrie, who served up a series of later free-kicks invitingly for Duke, and although Charles N'Zogbia, who has spent much of the last fortnight angling for a move away from St James', Jonas Gutierrez and Damien Duff caused problems for City, they could not break the visitors down.
However, the Magpies were handed a glorious opportunity 11 minutes before the break, and it could hardly have fallen to a better man.
Paul McShane and Kamil Zayatte got themselves into a knot as they converged on a loose ball along with Owen and only succeeded in running into each other, leaving the striker in on goal.
But the Newcastle skipper blasted his effort high over the crossbar to hand them a reprieve.
Chance goes begging
Owen saw another excellent change go begging within two minutes of the restart, although this time he made Duke work to preserve his clean sheet.
The 29-year-old managed to beat the offside trap to run on to Duff's clever pass over the top, but the goalkeeper managed to turn his effort just around the post.
Full-back Sam Ricketts had to make a vital interception to prevent Gutierrez's cross from reaching Owen or Xisco after the Argentinian had broken at pace down the left with 53 minutes gone, although Shay Given had to pluck Craig Fagan's 30-yard drive out of the air on the hour.
Tigers skipper George Boateng's evening came to an end with 67 minutes gone when he was carried from the field after a crunching block tackle by Butt deep inside the home penalty area, Ian Ashbee taking his place.
N'Zogbia almost left his mark on the game with 20 minutes remaining when he embarked upon a mazy run to the edge of the visitors' box, but his shot was well blocked by Zayatte.
But when the opening goal finally arrived with 81 minutes gone, it was at the other end when Cousin turned Garcia's cross home.
Substitute Kazenga LuaLua drove the ball across the face of goal, but just too far in front of fellow newcomer Andy Carroll three minutes later, but it was Owen who might have taken the tie into extra-time at the death, only to head another Guthrie cross over.The final whistle brought a predictable chorus of boos from the stands as a traumatic season on Tyneside took a further turn for the worse.
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