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Newcastle United 4-1 Northampton Town - Thauvin Masterclass Gives McClaren First Win As Toon Boss

What a way to introduce yourself to the Toon faithful...

Score a goal inside 180 seconds, provide three assists and then leave the field after 65 minutes to a St James' Park standing ovation - as introductions to the Newcastle United faithful go, Florian Thauvin's home debut takes some beating. The Frenchman was the star of the show as Steve McClaren's side got their Capital One Cup campaign off to the perfect start by handing their head coach a first win of the season - and a comfortable 4-1 victory over Northampton Town at that to send Newcastle through to the next round of the League Cup. Goals from Siem de Jong, Daryl Janmaat and Mike Williamson added to Thauvin's opening strike, and ensured that Marc Richards' penalty was not going to ruin this Capital One Cup second-round tie for McClaren. Ivan Toney also came on for a 12-minute cameo and his Newcastle debut, against the side he signed from this summer. Ayoze Perez and Massadio Haidara were the only two players retained from starting XI who earned a hard-fought point against Manchester United at Old Trafford on Saturday, while Yoan Gouffran and Williamson made their first appearances of the season at defensive-midfield and centre-back respectively. Rolando Aarons and Cheick Tiote also started. A minute's silence was observed in memory of those who lost their lives in the Shoreham air disaster before the action got underway at St James' Park. Then, just two minutes and 50 seconds into his home debut, Thauvin had his first Newcastle goal. Massadio Haidara broke down the left and delivered a delicious ball into the box, which Thauvin acrobatically volleyed home after manoeuvring his body into a seemingly impossible angle. The Frenchman was elated with his goal, and celebrated enthusiastically in front of the Toon faithful. Then, less than five minutes later, he also had an assist. After Gouffran was fouled out wide right, the Frenchman whipped a delicious ball into the box which De Jong rose to glance past Ryan Clarke in the Northampton Town goal. Newcastle have not had a decent set-piece taker in a fair while, have they finally found one? While the Toon fans were contemplating this though, The Cobblers were winning a penalty at the other end and getting back into the game. Tiote was adjudged to have handled in his own box, and Richards - who netted 18 times last season - stepped up and smashed it straight down the middle and into the net. In an action-packed opening 15 minutes, Newcastle could then have been 3-1 up as De Jong played a magnificent through-ball to Perez, who attempted to round the keeper, but Clarke smothered possession. Newcastle were almost made to pay for that miss as well, with Northampton working a free-kick well down the left and eventually crossing for Richards, who inexplicably put a free header from five yards out wide of Karl Darlow's post. With an end-to-end game creating gaps in the middle, Tiote unsurprisingly went into the book for a rash challenge, and then Daryl Janmaat tested Clarke with a mazy run into the box, before prodding a shot goalwards which was well parried by the Northampton stopper. Just past the half-hour mark, Janmaat was involved again as he made another determined run, chipped a cross to Perez, whose header had to be turned behind by Ryan Cresswell on the line. The move of the match came in the 37th minute though, when De Jong played a wonderful touch to beat two Cobblers players in his own half, before releasing Thauvin down the right. The Frenchman crossed low to Perez, whose effort was well saved, before Thauvin put in the rebound, but that was rightly ruled out for offside. Thauvin again excited the Toon faithful just before half-time, completely bamboozling Adam Yates on the byline and creating space for himself, before playing it back to Janmaat, whose cross was headed wide by De Jong, who really should have scored. It was Gouffran who had Newcastle's first effort after the re-start, receiving a delightful touch from Perez before lashing a shot into the side-netting from the edge of the area in the 48th minute. After a sluggish eight-minute spell, the Magpies then restored their lead when De Jong played a nice cross-field ball to Thauvin, who jinked into the area. The winger then slotted the ball nicely to Janmaat, who placed a finish between Clarke's legs and into the net. All night Thauvin and Janmaat linked up brilliantly, suggesting a burgeoning attacking relationship down the right could blossom between the pair for the Magpies. But Thauvin's night was not done there. His contribution continued as his floated free-kick was met by an unmarked Williamson at the back post to nod home. That made it three assists and a goal on his full debut for Thauvin - quite a way to introduce yourself to the Toon faithful. That was the Frenchman's job done for the evening as well, as he was replaced by Aleksandar Mitrovic in the 65th minute to a deserved standing ovation. As the game wore on, it was the away side who began enjoying more of the possession but, aside from a Williamson header on to the top of his own net, the Cobblers rarely threatened in truth. After Toney was welcomed on to the pitch for his Newcastle debut in the 78th minute in place of Haidara, he then released Janmaat a couple of minutes later, and the Dutchman placed an effort just past the left-hand post of the Northampton goal. Newcastle finished the game the stronger, with Mitrovic having a couple of efforts saved to deny him his first Magpies' goal, but the home side already had their victory firmly wrapped up after 63 minutes. McClaren - and Thauvin - will hope for nights as easy as this going forward - but they are unlikely to get them in the Barclays Premier League, and certainly not with a wounded Arsenal up next... But this was a night to savour for the Toon faithful - they can think of Saturday later on in the week...
Newcastle United (4-2-3-1): Darlow; Janmaat, Lascelles, Williamson, Haidara (Toney 78); Tiote, Gouffran; Aarons, De Jong, Thauvin (Mitrovic 65); Perez (Colback 72) Subs Not Used: Elliot, Dummett, Mbemba, Wijnaldum Goals: Thauvin (3), De Jong (8), Janmaat (56), Wiliamson (63) Booked: Tiote, Perez Northampton Town (4-4-2): Clarke; Yates, Cresswell, McDonald, Buchanan; Watson (Hoskins 62), Byrom, Taylor, Potter (D'Ath 62); Adams, Richards (Calvert-Lewin 75) Subs Not Used: Smith, Corry, O'Toole, Hackett Goal: Clarke (pen 10) Booked: Cresswell, Taylor Referee: David CooteAttendance: 26,923For all the latest NUFC News, Views and Transfers make sure to follow WhatCulture.com/NUFC on Twitter and Facebook.
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NUFC editor for WhatCulture.com/NUFC. History graduate (University of Edinburgh) and NCTJ-trained journalist. I love sports, hopelessly following Newcastle United and Newcastle Falcons. My pastimes include watching and attending sports matches religiously, reading spy books and sampling ales.