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Season 2019-20
Rochdale (a)
FA Cup Third Round


Saturday 4th January 2020, 12.31pm
Live on BT Sport

 Spotland aka The Crown Oil Arena

Conditions: Bleak
Tickets: £27




1 - 1




17 mins Christian Atsu galloped past the ailing full back Tyler Magloire towards the corner flag on the Newcastle left before pulling a pass back to Miguel Almiron. He controlled the ball with his right foot before smashing it home with his left in the centre of the goal at the Sandy Lane end of the ground, goalkeeper Robert Sanchez barely moving. 1-0

Half time: The Dale 0 Magpies 1

79 mins
Substitute Matt Ritchie made good progress up the United left before finding Joelinton who promptly and cheaply surrendered possession on the edge of the Rochdale area. The hosts broke at pace through Ryan McLaughlin who played it to the sprinting Luke Matheson. 

The young full back delivered a low cross into the box from the right flank that Aaron Wilbraham didn't control initially. However the ball bounced off a flat-footed Federico Fernandez (Captain today), leaving Wilbraham with the simple task of tucking it past Dubravka from six yards out. 1-1

Full time: The Dale 1 Magpies 1

We Said


Steve Bruce said:

"If you don't take your chances this type of thing can happen in the cup. 

"Rochdale made a cup tie of it. The loss of Almiron and Muto took the edge off us and all of a sudden we weren't a threat any more.

“Muto’s got a hip. Almiron’s got groin. I think Muto, with the pain he’s in, is arguably the worst. Almiron, we’ll find out in the next 24 hours.

“We created chance after chance
(in the first half). I can’t remember them having a kick. Then, of course, we lot another couple (to injury). We lost that control we had with Muto. We had to bring in Matt Ritchie for the last 25 minutes.

"For as good as we were in the first half, we were disappointing in the second. I do think the couple of injuries was too much. 

"Our frailties were there for all to see: we don’t score enough... it should have been out of sight.
(Aaron) Wilbraham caused us all sorts of problems, they went a bit more direct. 

"Five games in 15 days. People question whether your training methods are right but nobody can train! They just recover
(between playing matches)."

On Gayle and Carroll:

"Both injured - both not right - one with a groin issue and the other with a bit of a hamstring problem. Difficult."

They Said

Brian Barry-Murphy said:

"It's a huge result for the club. I was a little disappointed with the way we played in the first half but the way we finished was important. It felt like a second-half to be proud about.

"We don't complain about the fixture congestion. We relish it in the cup. It's what the club's about and we're delighted for that to continue.

I think the lads were amazing in the second-half. All I wanted in that second-half was for us to play like we have been all season, on the front foot and creating chances. We didn’t do that in the first-half for a number of reasons.

"The lads embodied everything we want to be about as a Club in the second-half and provided everyone with a day to remember, and we can’t ask for much more than that.

"It was really good to see that the players really hung in there when things were going against them in the first-half. The second-half is all you remember at the end of the day.

"I admit that I probably got things wrong at the start really, and put a lot of pressure on the likes of Kwadwo Baah who is one of our more potent attacking players. He had to do a lot of defensive work because we were so under the cosh, likewise with Tyler Magloire.

"Luke Matheson was brilliant. He’s had a lot of games, especially league games, where I think he’s found certain aspects of games tough, but he’s learning on every passage of his game.

"He came on against Gillingham and found it very difficult, but he came on today with a real intent and focus and really helped the team.

"I’m very proud of the way he responded with a performance that was brilliant throughout the second-half. All three changes helped us to establish a momentum and an attacking threat which was evidenced in the goal.

"The fans were unbelievable; it was unbelievable scenes really. It ties in to what I said at half-time, in that I felt we hadn’t been able to generate any energy in the first-half to give them something and any chance we had to attack in the second-half the noise went through the roof.

"You could see our lads grew into that and responded by creating good chances, one of which we took, and could’ve easily taken more. A trip to St. James’ is fully deserved, for all of the players and our whole Club.

"That will be another amazing journey and I hope we can bring the same numbers that we brought to Old Trafford, because that was an incredible occasion.”

About goalscorer Wilbraham:

"Aaron's mum passed away recently so he has been playing that memory the past couple of weeks. He feels he should have started this tie, but he made a big impact in the second half."




From the FA: All T
hird Round ties will be delayed by one minute to encourage fans to ‘Take A Minute’ to think about looking after their mental health, as part of the Heads Up campaign.

It is hoped that the initiative will raise awareness of the importance of looking after our mental health, with 60 seconds representing just the first step in the journey to improved wellbeing. 

During the minute delay, fans will be encouraged to consider the positive impact 60 seconds can have on their own well being or in supporting a friend or family member.

NUFC last 10 FAC3 ties:

2019/20 Rochdale (a) drew 1-1
Blackburn Rovers (h) drew 1-1 (won replay)
2017/18 Luton Town (h) won 3-1
2016/17 Birmingham City (a) drew 1-1 (won replay)
2015/16 Watford (a) lost 0-1
2014/15 Leicester City (a) lost 0-1
2013/14 Cardiff City (h) lost 1-2
2012/13 Brighton and Hove Albion (a) lost 0-2
2011/12 Blackburn Rovers (h) won 2-1
2010/11 Stevenage (a) lost 1-3

Since a 2-0 success over non-league Yeading at Loftus Road in 2005, Newcastle have been drawn away from home in the Third Round of the FA Cup on ten occasions, winning none of them. They did manage an away victory in a Third Round replay at Blackburn Rovers last season. 

2019/20 Rochdale drew 1-1
Birmingham City drew 1-1
2015/16 Watford lost 0-1
2014/15 Leicester City lost 0-1
2012/13 Brighton and Hove Albion lost 0-2
2010/11 Stevenage lost 1-3
2009/10 Plymouth Argyle drew 0-0
2008/09 Hull City drew 0-0
2007/08 Stoke City drew 0-0
2006/07 Birmingham City drew 2-2
2004/05 Yeading won 2-0

Although none of them got on the field, United named three U23 players on the bench: Lewis Cass (squad number 45), Elias Sorensen (squad number 47) and Thomas Allan (squad number 50). Sorensen and Allan were named for the first time in a senior competitive Magpies squad while Cass was selected as a non-playing substitute in the Premier League away at Fulham in May 2019.

There were FA Cup debuts for Miguel Almiron, Martin Dubravka, Emil Krafth, Joelinton, Ki, Matty Longstaff and Yoshinori Muto.
Just two of the side fielded in the FA Cup Third Round home tie against Blackburn Rovers a year ago started here today: Isaac Hayden and Sean Longstaff.

Aaron Wilbraham (who scored at SJP against United for Bristol City in the 2016/17 Championship season) netted to complete the feat of scoring in four decades: 1990s, 2000s, 2010s and 2020s.

continued their seasonal record of playing two ties in each round, taking Newcastle to a replay after drawing 0-0 at Wrexham and beating them 1-0 at Spotland in Round One. The Second Round them saw them held 0-0 at home by Boston United before winning 2-1 at York Street.

Newcastle's first visit to Spotland^ leaves 15 of the current 92 league grounds still to be played on at first team level (competitive or friendly) and no NUFC side has yet set foot in eight of them:

Bristol Rovers
Colchester United*
Crawley Town*
Fleetwood Town
Forest Green Rovers
Macclesfield Town*
MK Dons
Newport County
Northampton Town
Shrewsbury Town*
Wycombe Wanderers*

*United have played here at reserve/junior level (not always against the host club)

^ The only previous meeting with Rochdale was a two-legged War Cup tie during the 1940/41 season, United losing 1-2 at SJP but winning 3-1 at Spotland to progress.





The name Newcastle United will appear in Monday's FA Cup Fourth Round draw, but in the most unsatisfactory way possible, after scraping a replay against their third tier hosts at Spotland.

Ahead thanks to Miguel Almiron's first half strike, the Magpies failed to build on that lead despite fashioning a host of chances to put the outcome beyond doubt and Rochdale belatedly began to offer a threat of their own from around the hour mark.

Much of the anger from 3,000 travelling fans was directed towards record signing Joelinton, who wasted no less than five opportunities of varying difficulty to end his own personal goal drought.

But while a £40m striker struggled, the 40 year-old one at the other end of the pitch took the one chance that appeared for him; veteran Aaron Wilbraham firing in a deserved equaliser after his side had twice been denied earlier by Martin Dubravka and also the goal frame.  

And had Dale's Oliver Rathbone not fired wide late on, they could even have won it and added their name to Newcastle's extensive list of giant-killers and put us out of our self-inflicted misery.

Fielding his strongest available side despite (or because) of a sick list that moved into double figures pre-match when both Andy Carroll and Dwight Gayle didn't travel, Steve Bruce retained eight of the lineup that had ended last Wednesday's home loss to Leicester City on the field.

Solving his central defensive shortage by deploying Emil Krafth there and reinstating Issac Hayden to his old position, Matty Longstaff partnered his elder brother in midfield while Christian Atsu returned to the starting lineup as an orthodox winger.

Filling his bench with three of the four U23 squad players who had been withdrawn from Friday's reserve game (Ludwig Francillette failing to make the cut), both Matt Ritchie and Ki made their comebacks from injury as second half substitutes.

That however came as cold comfort to those present, who witnessed a Newcastle side enjoy vast swathes of possession but do remarkably little with it. Lining up as 3-5-2, 3-4-3 or 5-3-2 depending on your point of view (or newspaper), the orange-clad visitors dictated play from the off. 

The ease with which Christian Atsu evaded Rochdale's right full back suggested that the home side had experimented unsuccessfully in that position and sure enough, a substitution followed after just half an hour, with Newcastle one ahead and further goals looking inevitable. 

On the opposite flank meanwhile, DeAndre Yedlin played with a bandaged hand that was legacy of his New Years Day appearance but was rarely in danger of further injury as he enjoyed acres of space and continual opportunities to attack. Sadly his delivery remained random and wayward.

Applauded off at the interval, by 90 minutes those cheers had turned to boos and abuse after we lost our way badly. Not wishing to make excuses, Bruce blamed the two injuries upset his plans. 

That's only part of the story however, as a struggling League One side belatedly woke up to the fact that we were there for the taking, made a few tweaks and put an old bloke on up front to aim at. And hey presto, they scored one and could have had three. If our failure to get more than one goal and be punished for that was inevitable, then our inability to regroup was just unacceptable.

After failing through fielding weakened teams in times past for cup ties, it's demoralising to discover that we're equally as impotent with a stronger lineup. But if the likes of Joelinton, Muto and Atsu are found wanting against third tier opposition, how can they expect to be effective in the top flight?

What should have been a routine but rare away cup success for us with some confidence-boosting appearances on the scoresheet instead adds to our burden still further. 

And for the number nine, this game marked the first point at which impatience at his shortcomings manifested itself in open hostility towards him from his own fans; futile but understandable.

That Joelinton isn't a goalscorer and never has been leads to inevitable questions about just who sanctioned his signing - and whether they were reading the plans upside down at the time. Mixed messages, square pegs in round holes, call it what you like, it ain't happening and we're suffering.

To hell with the cup; rather than relying on keeping Andy Carroll fit, the pressing matter of getting a goalscorer into the club has to be addressed quickly if we're to avoid another relegation struggle.   

Our prospects of achieving that though are hardly enhanced by a replay that puts further pressure on our ailing squad - and yet more injuries to contend with. Today's casualties; Miggy and Muto.

Having lost out on the opportunity of shipping out Jack Colback due to injury, our chances of trading the latter in this window also diminished when he limped off. The absence of Gayle meanwhile could be even more significant if he really is knacked: unable to be sold in this window due to injury but still drawing a vast wage while sidelined, as the end date of his contract draws ever nearer. 

Today's kick-off may have been timed to promote mental well-being amongst fans, but for those of a black and white disposition, there remains no bigger cause of depression than this damn club.....


Page last updated 18 February, 2020