Why Newcastle United can’t afford to take Luton Town lightly in the FA Cup – Lee Ryder

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On paper Newcastle United couldn’t have asked for more than a home tie against a team from the EFL’s basement division in the FA Cup third round draw.

And while the Magpies shouldn’t be fearing Luton Town from League Two, they’d be foolish to underestimate them.

With 48 goals in the bag already in League Two the basement division table toppers are the top scorers in English football at the moment.

But it doesn’t stop there, the Hatters have bagged another six goals in the FA Cup – including five at Gateshead at the weekend – and they have another nine goals in the EFL Trophy.

Indeed, Luton boss Nathan Jones was able to make 11 changes to his team for the clash with West Ham Under-21s at Kenilworth Road this week and his shadow team showed their quality with a 4-0 victory to march on in the competition Newcastle stumbled out of in the group stages.

Newcastle may have Premier League survival on their minds but they won’t be able to afford to play a team of second string players and expect to stroll into the next round this year.

Much was also made of the fact that Toon legend Rob Lee’s sons, Elliot and Olly, will feature for the Hatters at St James’ Park, and both players won’t be turning up just for a day out.

Gateshead loanee Robbie Tinkler drives forward during the heavy FA Cup defeat against Luton Town
Gateshead loanee Robbie Tinkler drives forward during the heavy FA Cup defeat against Luton Town

The pair have scored 10 between them alone this season and after both scoring at Gateshead they would love the chance to emulate their famous father.

Olly Lee managed something that evaded his dad recently.

Most United supporters who followed the club in 1990s will remember Rob’s strike from his own half against Brentford that was chalked out for an offside call during a 5-1 win.

But Olly managed to go one better by scoring one of the best goals in Luton’s history with a 70-yard effort in a 7-0 win over Cambridge.

Lee senior is already looking forward to the day, he told the Daily Mail: “If I could have picked anyone, it would be Newcastle away.

“It’s a dream draw. Olly is a huge Newcastle fan and has always dreamed of playing there.

“Both of them saw me at St James’ in my heyday and Elliot is lucky enough to have played there twice, although I’ve missed both games.

“So this will be special. The boys appreciate what an unbelievable club Newcastle is and to go back there, and watch them on the pitch where I played, I will be immensely proud.

“Who do I want to win?

“I’ve had quite a few messages asking that already.”



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