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The saints come marching in

Newcastle have been drawn at home to Southampton in the FA Cup fifth round.

The game is scheduled to take place on the weekend of February 18.

Newcastle beat Cheltenham Town 2-0 on Saturday with goals from Michael Chopra, while Southampton beat Leicester City with a late winner at the Walkers Stadium.

The last time the teams met in the FA Cup was two seasons ago, with Newcastle winning 3-0 through goals from Kieron Dyer (2) and Laurent Robert.

The tie of the round will no doubt be at Anfield where two cup favourites Liverpool and Manchester United to paired together.

Full draw:Preston/Crystal Palace v Coventry/MiddlesbroughNewcastle United v SouthamptonAston Villa v Manchester CityEverton/Chelsea v ColchesterCharlton v BrentfordLiverpool v Manchester UnitedBolton v West HamStoke v Reading/Birmingham

New look message board

Toon-Army.co.uk now has a brand new message board, we have replaced the old board with a brand new Toon friendly design. You can talk about Newcastle, the academy, cups and internationals, we even have a section for non Newcastle fans.

If your bored to talking about football visit the Milburn Pub and talk about anything you like.

With a brand new look and user friendly interface, talking about Newcastle United has never been more fun. Only registered members are allowed to post but anyone is welcome to view the board. Registration is free.

Toon-Army Chat is exculsive to Toon-Army.co.uk and launches on Monday January 30th 2006.

Click here to visit now.

Many thanks to Ahmad Mexez, Rox and Craig Howarth for helping create and design to board.

Shepherd denies Sven claims

Freddy Shepherd has laughed off claims from Sundays News if the World that he contacted England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson about becoming Graeme Souness successor at Newcastle.

A News of the World report claimed Shepherd had sent a text message to Erikson but Shepherd had denied these claims saying “I must have amnesia as I can’t remember sending a text message to Mr Eriksson – in fact I don’t even have his number so I’d love to see this message.

“All I can say is I’d like to wish Mr Eriksson well with England in the summer and good luck for whatever he chooses to do after that.”

Parker and Chopra do the job

Cheltenham 0-2 Newcastle
Michael Chopra 41
Scott Parker 43
First half goals from Michael Chopra and Scott Parker put Newcastle into round five of the FA Cup as Newcastle secured a 2-0 win away to League Two side Cheltenham Town.

Chopra headed his first goal in domestic football 41 minutes and Parker, on his first appearance since his operation, scored two minutes later when he deflected Jerry Gill’s attempted clearance into the net.

For 41 minutes Cheltenham more than matched Newcastle on the pitch and an upset was looking possible. Odejayi looked impressive for the hosts as he hasseled Jean Alain Boumsong throughout the match and could have got himself on the scoresheet but failed to convert having rounded Shay Given.

Odejayi went to ground in the box in the first 4 minutes under a clumsy tackle from Boumsong, but Mike Riley deemed it not enough to give a penalty, to the annoyance of the home fans.

Alan Shearer, looking for the club record 201st goal, glanced a header straight at keeper Shane Higgs and Newcastle were furious Peter Ramage broke into the box and was bundled to the ground by Finnigan but the penalty wasn’t given..

The breakthrough finally arrived four minutes before the break when Shearer caused problems inside the box and the ball broke free to Celestine Babayaro who had the cance to shoot and hit a shot towards the net, but the ball bounced off Higgs but bounced high into the air and Michael Chopra climbed highest to head home.

It was 2-0 within two minutes as Cheltenham defender Gill attempted to clear Peter Ramage’s cross but blasted the ball straight into Scott Parker, the ball hit Parker and deflected into the net.

Titus Bramble was left red-faced on 53 minutes when striker Steve Guinan, who once played for Newcastle under Kevin Keegan turned him with ease to get into the box and in on goal but his shot hit the side netting as he was quickly closed down by Shay Given.

Odejayi was claiming a penalty again another Boumsong’s challenge but Mike Riley deemed Odejayi to have actually backed into Jean Alain Boumsong and allow play to continue.

Alan Shearer almost hit that landmark goal midway through the second half as Charles N’Zogbia stole into the box and from the ball line sent a low cross along the box which Shearer dived at just yards out but failed to make contact.

Craig Armstrong’s ball allowed Odejayi to race away and round Shay Given but and with the goal at his mercy, looking certain to score, he fired wide.

Parker back for Robins clash

Scott Parker has handed Newcastle a fitness boost ahead of the FA Cup fourth round tie with Cheltenham with the news that he could be fit to face the Robins at Whaddon Road.

Parker underwent knee cartilage surgery three weeks ago and has not played since December 31, and Parker’s absence along Michael Owen, Emre, Kieron Dyer and Steven Taylor on an injury list of eight first team players has left Newcastle on a poor run of results and Graeme Souness fighing for his job.

“It has been hard watching from the sidelines over the last three weeks because obviously things haven’t been going well for us,” he said. “I’m not the best at watching games anyway, I always want to be involved, and it is harder when you can’t make a contribution.

“I think all we can do is stick together as a squad and remain positive that we can pull through the situation we find ourselves in at the moment.

“But at the end of the day, all we can do is our best, and I don’t think there is one occasion this year where we haven’t done our best. In some games, we have been unlucky.

“Everyone knows we have had injuries, but as long as we give our all every time we go out there, then I think we will turn the corner.

“I know people will think it is the same stuff being said all the time, but we need to get the players back fit and we’ll get through it.”

Newcastle have also been boosted by the news that Emre and Shola Ameobi could also be fit to face Cheltenham.

Souey Stays

Graeme Souness is still the Newcastle boss despite a brief meeting with Freddy Shepherd on Monday which many believed would seal his fate.

Souness was expected to be summoned to the stadium on Monday morning but eventually held talks with Shepherd in the afternoon. He left St.James Park still in the knowledge that he has a job and is now ready to continue preparations for Saturday’s FA Cup fourth-round tie with Cheltenham.

Souness was driven to and from the ground by first team coach Dean Saunders and assistant manager Alan Murray who revealed he had spent around 10 minutes with Shepherd and said their conversation had been “upbeat”.

Morten Hands Pedersen

Graeme Souness future at Newcastle is in crisis after a controversial Morten Gamst Pedersen goal gave Blackburn Rovers a 1-0 win over Newcastle.

Pedersen appeared to punch the ball into the net with his left hand and unbelieveably referee Howard Webb awarded the goal.

Throughout the match though it was Newcastle who looked the more likely winners and went close with Albert Luque, Alan Shearer, Lee Bowyer and Celestine Babayaro all having chances.

17 minutes into the game Titus Bramble failed to cut out Pedersen’s driven cross and Paul Dickov fired towards goal and Shay Given threw himself across his line to claw the ball away, but notice had been served.

Lee Bowyer drilled another effort wide under pressure after being set up by Shearer and Newcastle tried to grab a lead before the break.

Luque’s blushes were spared by an offside flag early in the second half after he headed a 47th-minute cross wide from close range, while Lee Bowyer missed from a similar range just minutes later.

The opening goal finally arrived, and it came in controversial circumstances.

Shefki Kuqi climbed high to head Lucas Neill’s cross back across goal, and Morten Gamst Pedersen appeared to punch it into the net with his hand, with referee Webb awarded the goal.

Celestine Babayaro’s hit a long range strike four minutes later which flew just wide as Newcastle piled forward in the search for an equaliser. Bowyer had a late claim for a penalty turned down.

The final whistle was met by boo’s from the home crowd while hundreds of fans gathered outside the stadium shouting for Souness to be removed as manager and Sir Bobby Robson to be given his old job back.

Newcastle United: Shay Given, Peter Ramage, Jean Alain Boumsong, Titus Bramble, Celestine Babayaro, Nobby Solano, Lee Clark, Lee Bowyer, Albert Luque (Alan O’Brien 62m), Alan Shearer, Michael Chopra.
Subs: Steve Harper, Robbie Elliott, Charles N’Zogbia, Martin Brittain.

Blackburn Rovers: Brad Friedel, Lucas Neill, Zurab Khizanishvili, Ryan Nelsen, Michael Gray, Morten Gamst Pedersen (Aaron Mokoena 90m), Robbie Savage, Tugay (Brett Emerton 85m), Steven Reid, Paul Dickov (Sergio Peter 53m), Shefki Kuqi.
Subs: Peter Enckelman, Aaron Mokoena, Jemal Johnson.

Referee: Howard Webb.
Attendance: 51,323.