Premier League Newcastle United's FA Cup hopes floundered on England's [ Images ] south coast for the second year in a row as Championship club Brighton and Hove Albion kicked off third round action with a 2-0 victory on Saturday.
Andrea Orlandi gave Gus Poyet's side a halftime lead and Will Hoskins added a second for the Seagulls three minutes from time as Brighton followed up their 1-0 victory over Newcastle in last season's fourth round.
Newcastle, who are stuck in a woeful run of league form during which they have plummeted towards the relegation zone, fielded a below-strength side and offered little threat.
Their efforts to get back into the tie were undermined by Shola Ameobi's second-half dismissal for a second yellow card.
Manager Alan Pardew defended his team selection but said his side had lacked the required quality to cope with a side pushing for promotion to the top flight.
"I thought we didn't have enough quality on the pitch today," Pardew, whose side have lost 11 of their last 14 matches in all competitions, told ITV Sport. "That team was a shadow of the team we could put out."
Brighton, now thriving in a modern new stadium after years in the doldrums since they reached the FA Cup final in 1983, losing to Manchester United [ Images ] in a replay, thoroughly deserved a victory that turned into a stroll in the park.
Newcastle, lacking first-team players Fabricio Coloccini, Papiss Cisse, Yohan Cabaye and Steven Taylor, hardly troubled Brighton keeper Casper Ankergren, and their fate was sealed when David Lopez, criticised by Pardew for helping get Ameobi sent off, played in Hoskins to score in the 87th minute.
There are 28 more third-round ties on Saturday with holders Chelsea beginning their defence away to Southampton and Premier League leaders Manchester United also facing top flight opponents in West Ham United.