Newcastle were handed an away trip to either non-league Boston United or League One Rochdale, with the latter having reported Toon target Luke Matheson in their side.

If the Football League club overcome their National League North opponents in their forthcoming replay, Steve Bruce will have the opportunity to run the rule over the teenager from the dugout.

(Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

The 17-year-old defender made national headlines earlier in the season, when he scored for Rochdale at Old Trafford in the EFL Cup, and it has seen interest in the youngster grow.

The Chronicle reported Newcastle had been monitoring the player for some time, but subsequent reports claimed Manchester United had now shown an interest.

(Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images)

Matheson signed his first professional contract with ‘Dale in October, and it would likely take a hefty bid from any interested parties to prise him away from the League One club.

 

Memories of Hereford will be revived if Newcastle face Boston

Of course, it could yet be that Non-League Boston shock their third tier opponents in the replay, having now secured home-field advantage for that game.

If Boston win, it will be the first time Newcastle have faced non-league opponents in the third round of the FA Cup since the 2004/2005 season, when goals from Lee Bowyer and Shola Ameobi helped the Magpies to a 2-0 win over Yeading.

(Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

We reached the semi-final of the competition that season, losing 1-4 to Manchester United at the Millemium Stadium, and a similar run this year would be very welcome.

Ties will be played on the weekend of 4 January, and it is likely Newcastle’s game could be moved for television, as the networks hope for a repeat of Hereford’s giant-killing over the Magpies in 1972.

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