Cambridge United beat Newcastle for the first time since 1984Ben Phillips/@capturedcambridge_sport

Every year, up and down the country, smaller football clubs look forward to the FA Cup, and with it the chance of creating opportunities to play against bigger sides in the later stages of the 150-year-old competition

There have been some incredible giant killings and David vs. Goliath battles between underdogs and top teams over the years, with sides that scrap it out in the lower divisions emerging on top many a time. Last Saturday (08/01) saw yet another giant killing and history created once more, when Cambridge United, who currently sit 16th in League One, beat Newcastle United, one of the world’s richest clubs.

The Magpies recently completed a £305 million takeover thanks to new Saudi Arabian owners, but it was striker Joe Ironside, a free transfer for Cambridge United back in 2020, who’s 56th-minute strike ensured the U’s fans had a fairytale ending in the cup tie with a 1-0 win in front of a bumper 51,000 crowd and their names in the hat for the Fourth Round.

Joe Ironside, pictured right, put the U’s ahead with his first goal in this year’s competitionBen Phillips/@capturedcambridge_sport

As a fan of Cambridge United since a child, supporting the side can at times feel like a never ending rollercoaster ride, with plenty of ups and downs, notably the heartache of seeing the club exit the Football League in 2005 through relegation and administration, only to then win promotion and book their return nine years later. But it’s days like Saturday’s match and the magic of the FA Cup that will live long in the memory for us fans.

5,000 Cambridge faithful made the 469-mile round trip to St James’ park to watch their side, lining the Leazes Stand with their incredible support and singing their hearts out as they got behind head coach Mark Bonner and his players, even staying put over forty minutes after the final whistle to show their appreciation for the heroic team.


Mountain View

‘It’s the kind of thing you never forget’: Cambridge United hope for FA Cup fairytale

In the chaotic aftermath of the win, Bonner commented: “This day will be remembered for decades. These are the moments you never forget and you never know how long it will be before you experience anything like it again.”

“Newcastle’s an incredible football club and an incredible city and the noise got big at times but we coped with the atmosphere and, although we rode our luck at times, we also had periods of control and managed to turn it into a great day for our supporters.”

Cambridge United’s next opponents in the Fourth Round of the tournament will be Luton Town at the Abbey Stadium, in what promises to be another exciting fixture. The two sides last played each other in the FA Cup back in 2015, with the U’s winning 2-1 to secure a monumental tie against Manchester United.