Newcastle United player ratings v Cheltenham Town

Newcastle United's Dwight Gayle (L) and Ayoze Perez after sustaining injuries to the head

Newcastle advanced to the EFL trophy third round with a comfortable 2-0 win over Cheltenham Town. Here are their player ratings...

Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez shakes the hand of Cheltenham Town manager Gary Johnson after the gameNewcastle United manager Rafael Benitez shakes the hand of Cheltenham Town manager Gary Johnson after the game

Karl Darlow - 7

Darlow was rarely tested by Cheltenham during the match but was solid throughout with some clean catches and confident distribution. A clean sheet capped off a comfortable evening for the United keeper. 

Jamie Sterry - 6.5

The 20-year-old marked his first Magpies start with an assured and mature display at right-back. Doesn't lack of confidence with some driving forward runs and strong challenges but the complacency did start to set in after Newcastle's second goal. With Daryl Janmaat set for a move away, Sterry looks a more than capable cover option that will only improve the more he plays. 

Jamaal Lascelles - 7

After a difficult start to the season, the Newcastle captain made things look easy as his commanding aerial presence and strength limited a relatively toothless Robins attack to very few chances during the match. The 22-year-old didn't put a foot wrong all evening but he was barely tested as United strolled to a comfortable win. 

Cheltenham Town's Danny Wright (L) in action with Newcastle United's Grant HanleyCheltenham Town's Danny Wright (L) in action with Newcastle United's Grant Hanley

Grant Hanley - 6

Hanley was also in for a straightforward evening but didn't quite deal as it as comfortably as his centre-back partner. The Scotland international was steady but should have opened the scoring after 10-minutes, heading wide from a Rolando Aarons cross. Hanley was slightly sloppy at times but often redeemed himself with solid blocks and headers - still has some rustiness to shake off as he nears full fitness. 

Jesus Gamez - 7

The Spaniard's debut got off to an unspectacular start as he, and a few of his teammates looked slightly off the pace and you could almost see why Rafa Benitez had been reluctant to play him in the Championship. But despite being in his less favoured left-back position, the 31-year-old grew into the game very well, linking up excellently with compatriot Ayoze Perez down the left flank with a silky backheel exchange between the two being a highlight as the St. James' Park crowd rose to their feet. 

Rolando Aarons - 6

It was only a brief appearance for Aarons on the right wing as he was stretchered off after just 23 minutes. He was lively in his brief cameo, however, with his pace and trickery causing trouble though there was still little in the way of end product. Hopefully he will make a swift return.

Newcastle United's Rolando Aarons is down injured before being substituted offNewcastle United's Rolando Aarons is down injured before being substituted off

Jonjo Shelvey - 6.5 

When given time and space, not many can question Shelvey's distribution as he looked to make his mark on the game. Some decent runs and touches were ultimately marred by two woeful strikes from the edge of the area. 

Jack Colback - 6

Isaac Hayden's positive start to life on Tyneside has left Colback slightly down the midfield pecking order and unfortunately he did nothing to convince Benitez to put him straight into the starting 11 to face Brighton this weekend. Didn't really do anything wrong but failed to impact the game in any meaningful way and a sloppy misplaced pass almost gifted Cheltenham their best chance of the game. 

Ayoze Perez - 8 

The 23-year-old got off the mark for the season with a fine display and two goals - though it really should have been more. His trickery regularly caused trouble all evening and he opened the scoring on the stroke of half-time with a superb curling effort into the bottom right corner just seconds after returning to the pitch following treatment for a head injury. Perez's second came shortly after the restart as substitute Dwight Gayle selflessly squared him the ball for an easy tap-in. And he had two glorious chances to make it three as he was played twice played through on goal by Jonjo Shelvey and later Vurnon Anita yet both times he fluffed his lines. Still, it was an impressive performance from the young Spaniard and potentially a big confidence booster for the league. 

Newcastle United's Ayoze Perez celebrates with team mates after he scoring their second goalNewcastle United's Ayoze Perez celebrates with team mates after he scoring their second goal

Mo Diame - 7

Another relatively quiet match at St. James' Park for Diame was interrupted by the odd flash of brilliance. Neat touches and powerful runs seem to be former Hull man's forte and he did display that on occasion as he saw a fine solo effort be cleared off the line in the second half. Still getting used to life at his new club, Diame clearly has a lot more to offer the Magpies

Aleksandar Mitrovic - 5

The Serbian frontman's long awaited return was sadly short lived as he had to be withdrawn before half-time with a head injury - much to the disappointment of the St. James' Park crowd and the man himself. During his spell on the field, Mitrovic looked like a player who hadn't played a competitive match in over three months either. As enthusiastic as ever, but couldn't really get into the game with attacks frequently breaking down through the 21-year-old. More game time is needed. 

Newcastle United's Aleksandar Mitrovic is substituted after sustaing a injuryNewcastle United's Aleksandar Mitrovic is substituted after sustaining an injury


Yoan Gouffran (for Aarons 23) - 6.5 

Gouffran's first-team resurgence continued to gather momentum as he put in another convincing performance following his early introduction to the match. A few poor touches and wastes of possession were quickly countered by some instinctive forward runs and positive general play on and off the ball. 

Dwight Gayle (for Mitrovic 38) - 7

Gayle was another victim of an injury hit night for the Magpies, only being on the pitch for little over 20-minutes after he replaced Mitrovic shortly before half-time. But the in-form striker was still able to make an impact has he pounced on a poor back-pass to unselfishly set-up Perez for his second of the evening. Looked a threat but had to be withdrawn soon after as he picked up United's third head injury of the night. 

Vurnon Anita (for Gayle 59) - 6 

The versatile Dutchman was deployed on the right side of midfield once again and did a solid job with some clever passes and neat touches. But what he will remember is his headed miss from point blank range with the goal gaping - he was unmarked and really should have done better. 

Newcastle United manager Rafael BenitezNewcastle United manager Rafael Benitez

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