STEVE BRUCE admitted it was a case of ‘typical Newcastle’ as his side snatched victory from the jaws of embarrassment and edged out Oxford United to reach the fifth round of the FA Cup.

However, the extra-time win at the Kassam Stadium could have come at cost amid fears that Joelinton could have damaged a rib in the first half of the game.

Joelinton had a hand in both of Newcastle’s first-half goals, setting up Sean Longstaff to break the deadlock before galloping clear of the Oxford defence to slot home his side’s second.

That looked like being that for more than an hour, but the Magpies’ League One opponents struck back with two goals in the final six minutes to force extra-time.

The game ebbed and flowed in the extra period, before Allan Saint-Maximin settled things with six minutes left as he hammered home a sensational long-range strike from the edge of the penalty area.

The win has set up a fifth-round tie at West Bromwich Albion, and represents Newcastle’s best run in the FA Cup for 14 years.

“It’s significant for the club,” said Bruce. “A club like ours needs to be getting into the fifth round. I know what it does for the city and the supporters, who have come a million miles to get here today. A couple of thousand were here, which is remarkable. We’re in the next round. We made hard work of it, against Rochdale and against Oxford, but I think we thoroughly deserved to win.

“I thought we deserved it. I know it turned into a hairy cup tie in the last ten minutes, and was great for the neutral, although bloody awful for myself. If you’re a Newcastle fan, I’m sure parts of it weren’t great because you’d be thinking, ‘Aye, aye’. But it wouldn’t be Newcastle without a story, and if that’s the story, then let’s go to West Brom in the fifth round and enjoy the challenge and take them on.”

Bruce was feeling comfortable as Newcastle controlled the vast majority of the game with their two-goal lead, but his nerves were jangling as Oxford staged a grandstand finish to set up extra-time.

The Magpies were a ramshackle bunch in the extra period, with Saint-Maximin playing up front alongside Christian Atsu, but scrambled over the line thanks to arguably their best goal of the season. Having cut in from the flank, Saint-Maximin waltzed past two defenders before firing home.

“It was a great winning goal, absolutely unbelievable,” said Bruce. “Worthy of winning any match. And if there was ever an FA Cup game to grab a hold of you, then this was probably it.

“I genuinely thought we were in complete control until the last ten minutes when the boy bends one in the top corner. I couldn’t remember my goalkeeper making a save before that. Then they win a free-kick – I’m not so sure it was one – and they win two headers and the boy smashes a volley in. No disrespect, I don’t think he’ll hit one any sweeter. We had a difficult five or ten minutes in the first half of extra-time, but I thought overall the better team won the cup tie.”

The one major downside to the night was the injury that forced Joelinton off shortly after the half-hour mark. The Brazilian was struggling with his ribs shortly before he raced clear to score his third goal in a Newcastle shirt, and was unable to continue beyond the 36th minute.

“We missed a bit of a focal point when Jo went off, and that sums our luck up,” said Bruce. “He makes one, scores one, and then he has to come off. Let’s hope he hasn’t cracked a rib or damaged a rib. We’ll have to see.”