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A 1-2 defeat at 2nd Division Sunderland and a 2-2 draw at Carlisle left The Mags as good as out. Remarkably, a 4-0 win over Middlesbrough on NE1 earned a bonus point for scoring 3 goals and secured top spot on Goal Difference over undefeated Carlisle! Macdonald inspired 4-3 and 5-2 aggregate wins over Aberdeen and Birmingham respectively secured a 2nd successive final that would be played over 2 legs following the ‘one match format’ played as a one off in the previous season. 2nd Division Southampton were the opponents and following a 1-0 defeat at The Dell, a 3-0 win over The Saints after extra time in front of 20,615 at St James saw United retain the Cup. As a new incarnation of the Cup Texaco left behind, Newcastle, now managed by Gordon Lee, would be out of the Anglo-Scottish version before the league campaign started as 0-2 defeats v 2nd Division Carlisle and Sunderland preceded a 2-2 draw with Middlesbrough. Despite an unspectacular start to the following season and 17 players getting pitch time during the first 5 league games, Lee experimented further as 10 players made their first appearance of the season in a 0-3 Quarter Final 1st Leg defeat at Ayr. Clearly devaluing tf 28

the Cup, United were disqualified and wins over Sheffield United (1-0) and Middlesbrough (3-0) alongside a 0-0 draw with Hull in the Group stages counted for nothing. The Mags would never enter the competition again. Set up to compensate for the ban on English Clubs in European Cups following the 1985’s Heysel stadium disaster, Newcastle did not to enter the Full Members Cup in 1985-86 and would make their debut in the competition against Everton in December 1986. With the ban not including the national side, Peter Beardsley would ‘represent’ United in Europe and Worldwide when playing for The 3 Lions 15 times during his first spell as a Mag. Having eventually found form thanks to the record signing of Paul Goddard, United went into the game on the back of a 5 game unbeaten run and with midfielder Andy Thomas scoring 2 goals in the previous 2 matches. Thomas would net a brace again but it wasn’t enough as the champions elect scored 5 in return.

In 1987 The Football League announced there would be a triple event to celebrate the 100th year of the leagues foundation. A little over a year since ‘The Hand Of God’ knocked England out of the Mexico ’86 World Cup, Diego Maradona was rightly booed as his Rest Of The World side were comfortably beaten by a Bryan Robson inspired Football League XI 3-0. The following year, 16 sides from all 4 Divisions were given the chance to qualify for a tournament played at Wembley over the weekend of April 16th and 17th. United found form at the right time as, despite being in 11th place in Division 1, a 3-1 win over Chelsea concluded a run of

True faith 132  
True faith 132  

Newcastle United back in the Premier League with Rafa Benitez serenely assembling his squad for the new challenges and receiving every possi...