Newcastle United have come unstuck before in the FA Cup, being embarrassed by the never-to-be-forgotten exploits of Hereford United in 1972, and it was almost more of the same yesterday as the Magpies barely managed to scrape a replay with League One Rochdale, after a 1-1 draw.
The Premier League strugglers were leading 1-0, when, into the fray, ambled 40-year-old veteran, Aaron Wilbraham.
The Newcastle players looked nervous. The overseas stars stood open-mouthed, drooling, as middle-aged Wilbraham hobbled onto the pitch and took up his position as the lone Rochdale striker.
Newcastle boss, Steve Bruce, said:
"Our players were a bit flummoxed. They didn't know whether to tackle him, or offer to help him across the road. When he slipped and fell, one of our players helped him get up, and called him grandad."
He said in the post-match interview:
"It was a bit unnerving. We gave him too much respect. Our players didn't want to hurt him. He looked so frail, and I don't think anyone wanted to be responsible for a lunging tackle that might end up as a pile of dusty, old broken bones, and a possible funeral."
It came as no surprise to many, therefore, when Wilbraham popped up to save the game for Rochdale.
After a terrible first touch, due to the ball getting stuck under one of his slippers, the aging striker was politely and respectfully allowed a second bite of the cherry, and toepoked the ball home, with Newcastle goalkeeper Dúbravka pretending to go the wrong way, as the ball trickled over the line.
A second Wilbraham effort in added time was ruled out by VAR after it was decided the striker had used his walking stick illegally.