Newcastle United 2 Cheltenham Town 0: Mitrovic, Aarons and Gayle forced off in EFL Cup win
Newcastle United booked their place in the third round of the EFL Cup '“ but the victory came at a cost.
Rolando Aarons suffered an injury in the club's 2-0 win over Cheltenham Town at St James's Park tonight, while Aleksandar Mitrovic and Dwight Gayle were forced off with head injuries.
Ayoze Perez, meanwhile, scored both goals wearing a bandage around his head.
Aarons, unchallenged, pulled up early in the game, and the winger was wheeled around the perimeter of the pitch on a stretcher.
MItrovic, making his return from a four-game suspension ahead of Saturday's Championship home game against Brighton and Hove Albion, suffered a cut above his eye in a challenge in his own box later in the first half.
The 21-year-old, looking groggy, attempted to play on, but the club's medical staff were unable to stem the bleeding and he reluctantly left the field.
Mitrovic was replaced by Gayle, who had taken his Championship goal tally for the season to four with the club's winner against Bristol City at the weekend.
Perez, however, opened the scoring on the stroke of half time – seconds after returning to the pitch with a bandage on his head.
And the forward scored with a tap-in in the 47th minute after Gayle squared the ball for him.
In a bizarre twist Gayle also suffered a head injury and wore a bandage himself, briefly, before being substituted by a concerned Rafa Benitez, mindful of his importance to his team's Championship hopes.
The draw for the third round takes place after tomorrow night's matches.
NEWCASTLE UNITED: Darlow; Sterry, Lascelles, Hanley, Gamez; Aarons (Gouffran, 24), Shelvey, Colback, Perez; Diame; Mitrovic (Gayle, 38, Anita 58). Subs not used: Sels, Dummett, Mbemba, Anita, Hayden.
CHELTENHAM TOWN: Griffiths, Hall, Suliman (Smith, 68), Parslow, O'Shaughnessy, Cranston, Dayton (Arthur, 68), Pell, Rowe, Waters, Wright (Morgan-Smith, 78). Subs not used: Jennings, Kitscha, Whitehead.
Goals: Perez 45, 47
Bookings: Rowe 51
Referee: Stephen Martin (Staffordshire)