Newcastle’s miserable start to the season suffered another blow with a dramatic late 3-1 defeat to Championship side Nottingham Forest on Wednesday to crash out of the League Cup at the second round.
There was no such strife for Premier League high flyers Everton and Watford, who continued their unbeaten starts to the campaign with victories over Rotherham and Reading respectively to make round three.
Newcastle boss Rafa Benitez made seven changes for the visit to the City Ground but those coming in did their case little good as Ireland’s Daryl Murphy headed the hosts in front inside two minutes.
That looked like being enough for Forest, until Salomon Rondon registered his first Newcastle with practically the visitors’ first decent chance two minutes into stoppage time.
However, Forest weren’t to be denied as Matty Cash and Gil Dias struck in six added minutes to reach the last 32.
The most controversial moment of the match came when Newcastle were denied a penalty after Ayoze Pérez was bundled to the ground in the box.
"He bundles into Perez, he doesn't get the ball. It's a penalty."
Do you agree? pic.twitter.com/O1vAovDP2r
— Sky Sports Football (@SkyFootball) August 29, 2018
Perez was furious with the referee, Jeremy Simpson following the game and confronted him, eventually being dragged away by his team mates and manager before the Simpson was escorted off the pitch by stewards.
“I don’t agree that Forest were the better team and I’m not concerned by how we played,” said a defiant Benitez.
“We did not create many chances so we need to improve in attack and keep working hard. It’s a long season, we knew it was going to be hard but we have confidence in ourselves.”