IT was almost gone in 60 seconds.
No sooner had Sullay Kaikai scored an injury-time equaliser, word filtered through that the winners of this tie would face cup-holders Manchester City in the next round of the Capital One Cup.
It wasn’t the news that either Newcastle United or Crystal Palace wanted as they prepared for extra time.
It wasn’t the incentive they wanted to push on for another 30 minutes.
And Alan Pardew wasn’t alone in questioning why it was broadcast over the PA system as the players waited for the game to get back underway.
But Pardew’s side did push on – despite having Mehdi Abeid sent off.
And they will take on City in the fourth round next month thanks to Paul Dummett’s 112th-minute strike, the goal giving his team a 3-2 victory.
The game came on the back of a testing and troubling fortnight for Pardew, who still has the backing of United owner Mike Ashley, if not the fans.
Pardew’s name was chanted during this tie, but not by Newcastle’s supporters, who had openly called for his dismissal in during the previous two fixtures.
Instead, Palace’s fans were singing “super Alan Pardew” in honour of their former midfielder.
But there were no “Pardew out” chants, and there was no dissent.
United’s support – who had made the 595-mile journey from Tyneside to south London made it more in hope than expectation – saw a spirited performance from their team.
They also saw Emmanuel Riviere’s first two goals in English football.
The club’s record in the domestic cups in recent years – the team hasn’t made it past the fourth round under Pardew – is nothing short of abysmal.
But United will have a chance to put that right at the Etihad Stadium.
There was little in the way of enthusiasm in the sparsely-populated stands when the home side’s cheerleaders – The Crystals – went through their pre-match routine.
By kick-off time, however, the away end had filled up, as had the Holmesdale Road Stand.
Pardew made six changes. Maybe he’d have made as many as Neil Warnock – Palace’s manager named an entirely different starting XI – had he had the options.
Few in the away section of the Arthur Wait Stand would have argued with Adam Armstrong’s inclusion in the team.
Armstrong was played behind Riviere, who should have got more on a dangerous early cross from over-lapping full-back Dummett.
Riviere misjudged the ball, and it bounced off his knee and away from goal.
A mistake from Janmaat almost allowed in Kevin Doyle, but the defender recovered and blocked his attempted delivery into the six-yard box.
Janmaat tested Wayne Hennessey at the other end of the pitch with a low shot after a good move from United, who fell behind in the 25th minute.
And again right-back Janmaat was involved.
Janmaat challenged Wilfried Zaha – who had scored an injury-time equaliser in the Premier League meeting between the two sides at St James’s Park late last month – in the box.
Zaha looked to have gone down too easily, but referee Mike Madley pointed to the spot.
Dwight Gayle, also on target in that game, beat stand-in goalkeeper Rob Elliot with a low spot-kick.
Newcastle, however, stayed positive, and they got their reward for a series of probing attacks in the 36th minute.
Armstrong passed to him just outside the box, and Riviere, showing welcome composure and awareness, turned and beat Hennessey with a fine left-footed shot.
Elliot touched over a free-kick from Barry Bannan before the interval, which saw Janmaat make way for Massadio Haidara.
Pardew had warned Sammy Ameobi on the eve of the game that he was running out of chances.
And it was a strong run forward from Ameobi which led to United’s second goal.
Ameobi, under pressure from Adrian Mariappa, was chopped down by Patrick McCarthy as he bore down on goal, and Madley, for the second time, pointed to the spot.
Riviere was handed the ball, and the 24-year-old confidently stroked it past Hennessey to put United 2-1 up.
Armstrong forced a save from Hennessey with a 30-yard effort.
And Newcastle looked to have handled everything that Palace could throw at them as the match went into add time.
But Kaikai beat Elliot at the second attempt to take the game into extra time.
Abeid was dismissed for a second bookable offence after catching a prone Zaha with his studs.
Still, the game didn’t go away from United, and Dummett scored the decisive goal in the 112th minute, the defender diving to head an Armstrong cross past Hennessey.
A jubilant Dummett ran to the away section to celebrate.
And why not? There hasn’t been that much to celebrate so far this season.
NEWCASTLE UNITED: Elliot 7; Janmaat 5 (Haidara, 46, 6), Coloccini 7, S Taylor 7, Dummett 7; Abeid 5, Colback 7; Obertan 6, Armstrong 7, Ameobi 6 (Sissoko, 67, 6); RIVIERE 8 (Perez, 81). Subs not used: Alnwick, Anita, Cabella, Ferreyra.
CRYSTAL PALACE: Hennessey, Mariappa, McCarthy (Gray, 90), Hangeland, Fryers, Zaha, Guedioura, Williams (Kaikai, 80), Bannan, Doyle, Gayle. Subs not used: Price, Ward, Ramage, Kelly, Johnson.
Man of the match: Emmanuel Riviere. Finally, a glimpse of what he is capable of in a United jersey.
Highlight: Paul Dummett’s 112th-minute equaliser - and the celebration that followed it.
Lowlight: The sinking feeling after Sullay Kaikai’s equaliser.
Goals: Gayle 25 (pen), Riviere 36, 48 (pen), Kaikai 90, Dummett 112
Bookings: Haidara 73, Abeid 90, Elliot 90, Bannan 105
Sent off: Abeid 100
Referee: Robert Madley (West Yorkshire)