FA Cup: Alexander Isak's double hands Newcastle United comfortable win over Sunderland

Eddie Howe's side ease into fourth round with victory over local rivals on Saturday

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Newcastle United eased past north-east rivals Sunderland as Alexander Isak's double secured a 3-0 win and a place in the FA Cup fourth round at the Stadium of Light on Saturday.

Second-tier Sunderland would have fancied their chances as Newcastle were on a run of five defeats in their last six Premier League games. However, Eddie Howe's side proved far too strong.

An own goal by Dan Ballard in the 35th minute, and Sweden striker Isak's effort following a defensive mistake immediately after the break put Newcastle in control.

It was the first meeting of the sides since 2016 and the match never really changed gears. While Sunderland did improve to create a few chances, Isak's late penalty after a foul on Anthony Gordon by Ballard sealed the result.

Newcastle took the lead with 10 minutes of the first half remaining when Joelinton exchanged passes with Guimaraes to get in behind full-back Trai Hume and cross towards Isak at the far post, where Ballard turned the ball into his own net.

It was 2-0 within seconds of the restart when Miguel Almiron robbed Pierre Ekwah on the edge of his own penalty area and squared for Isak to finish emphatically.

Ekwah very nearly atoned for his error almost immediately when his shot from distance took a deflection and forced keeper Martin Dubravka into a save - his first of the match - with a trailing leg.

Alex Pritchard clipped the bar with a well-struck 59th-minute attempt and then forced Dubravka into a fine one-handed save.

However, Isak's 90th-minute spot-kick, awarded after Ballard had barged Gordon to the ground, completed a comprehensive victory for the Magpies.

"It feels great to win," Howe told ITV. "I never worried about the draw I always thought it was a great draw - as long as we won it.

"We handled the occasion well, were brave with the ball and were very composed. We didn't let the crowd take over and we handled everything really well in the first half."

In the day's other early ties, non-league Maidstone United, the lowest-ranked club left in the competition, beat third-tier Stevenage 1-0 to reach the fourth round for the first time - Sam Corne scoring the only goal from the penalty spot.

Championship leaders Leicester City won 3-2 at Millwall, while Coventry City thrashed Oxford United 6-2.

Ipswich Town, who are also targeting a Premier League return, won 3-1 at AFC Wimbledon. An own goal from Josh Davison and further strikes from Axel Tuanzebe and Jack Taylor saw the Tractor Boys past their League Two opponents.

Wimbledon captain Jake Reeves had made it 1-1 from the penalty spot after 17 minutes but the Championship high-flyers were good value for their win, with Dons midfielder Harry Pell sent off just before the hour mark.

Meanwhile, there were scares for Premier League sides Bournemouth and Brighton before they reached the last 32.

Bournemouth came from two goals down at half-time to win 3-2 at second tier QPR via strikes from Marcus Tavernier, Kieffer Moore and Justin Kluivert.

Inspired by Joao Pedro's double, Brighton won 4-2 at Championship outfit Stoke despite falling behind early on.

Updated: January 06, 2024, 6:30 PM