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Season 2023-24
Blackburn Rovers (a) FA Cup Fifth Round


Tuesday 27th February 2024, 7.45pm (delayed to 8pm)
Live on BBC1

Ewood Park

Conditions: Painful

Tickets: £20 adults

Programme: Rovers ceased production of printed match programmes in 2021 - a free digital edition was produced. 

Blackburn Rovers



1 - 1
(3-4 pens aet)




Half time: Rovers 0 Magpies 0

71 mins Dan Burn received the ball on the United left and Bruno took up possession, shaking off the attentions of Dilan Markanday as he strode across the centre circle towards the right wing. He found Longstaff who played it out to Kieran Trippier on the touchline. He immediately pumped the ball forward for Miggy Almiron, whose forward run bisected two defenders but kept him onside.

The Paraguayan made for the byline before checking back and pulling the ball across the box for the unattended Anthony Gordon low right footed first time finish across Aynsley Pears into the far corner from 12 yards. One of those "thank f*ck for that" goals.

79 mins Longstaff conceded a throw-in on the United right in Rovers territory. Hopefully tossed up the line towards Arnor Sigurdsson, Jamaal Lascelles attempted to head the ball out but failed to make contact. That allowed the Icelander to advance towards the box, passing the ball infield ahead of the arriving Trippier to Markanday, who sent a first-time left footer curling towards the near post.

That effort was acrobatically touched on to the crossbar by Dubravka, but both he and covering defender Fabian Schar were powerless to deny Sammie Szmodics from netting the rebound, guiding home a right-footed half-volley from six yards out.

Full time: Rovers 1 Magpies 1

Half time of extra-time: Rovers 1 Magpies 1

Full time of extra-time: Rovers 1 Magpies 1

The shootout:

Schar scores 1-0
Szmodics saved 1-0
Barnes saved 1-0
Brittain scores 1-1
Guimaraes scores 2-1
Sigurdsson scores 2-2
Anderson scored 3-2
Ayari scored 3-3
Gordon scored 4-3
Hyam saved 4-3

Newcastle win 4-3

We Said

Eddie Howe said:

"There is only one emotion and that is relief. It was a hard-fought cup tie. 

"Both sides gave everything to get the win and didn't give an inch, but we are delighted to be in the hat for the next round. No-one is under-estimating the importance of the FA Cup so the players are very happy. 

"This keeps us in a competition we are desperate to do well in and also gets us closer to Wembley. We're one game away so hopefully we can get a good draw. Our target this year is the FA Cup and to finish as high as possible in the Premier League, and this is hopefully pivotal towards that.

"The two penalty saves were huge for us but in open play I thought he really performed well and we needed him to because they had a few big moments.

"I thought we got better as it went on. I don't think the first half was particularly good, I thought the second half was better and extra-time was our best spell of the game by a long way.

"Really we shouldn't have allowed it to go to penalties with the chances we missed in extra-time.

"Obviously a lot was riding on the outcome so I thought the players handled the moment brilliantly, the goalkeeper and outfield players who took the penalties.

"It was big moment in our season at such a crucial stage. The players are desperate to achieve. No-one is underestimating the importance of the FA Cup.

"I've had a few penalty shoot outs in my career but I prefer them as a player. It's a strange feeling because you are so out of control, but a lot was riding on today's outcome. 

"I thought the players managed the moment brilliantly, the goalkeeper and outfield players who took the penalties. It was a big moment in our season."

On Elliot Anderson:

"It is worth noting how much I trust him. Because at that moment I was bringing him on to take a penalty and I took Lewis off and put Elliot on. I trust him for the big moments. He is technically very good and is a set-piece and penalty taker.

"He hasn't played and hasn't really trained. He has worked incredibly hard on his rehab and he has come in from the cold really. So big credit to him for how he took his penalty."

On Martin Dubravka:

"He's been playing feeling slightly ill and he deserves huge credit for doing that. He was nowhere near fit for the weekend against Arsenal and hasn't been 100% for quite a long period of time."

They Said


John Eustace said:

"When it goes down to penalties it's a bit of a lottery but I'm very, very proud of the squad that we used and also very proud of the supporters.

"I couldn't ask for any more effort and desire and togetherness. You can see that everyone's really fighting and looking after each other and you can see the style of play improving game by game.

"We're making small steps forward. We're playing against a top Premier League team, top players, and you could see that we could hurt them in certain areas. On another day we could have had a couple more goals.

"It was a special night for the club and I thought we really showcased how good we can be with and without the ball. We were excellent defensively and played some really exciting football. Iím really pleased with the performance. 

"We set up in a way where we knew we could hurt them, we could play around them and through them. We knew that we could also hit them on the transition if we were solid defensively..

"It was really pleasing with how we used the squad, bringing young players and changing our shape. Iím very proud of everyone involved with the football club. We canít put blame on anyone out there because the performance from the squad was very, very good tonight. 

"If it goes to penalties, itís always a lottery, but there are so many positives to take out of it.Ē


Newcastle registered a first-ever FA Cup penalty shootout success at the third attempt; Martin Dubravka going one better than Tommy Wright (Bournemouth home in 1991/92) and Pavel Srnicek (Chelsea at home in 1995/96).

A fourth penalty shootout success for Newcastle came in the fifteenth that they've faced in a recognised competition. All but one of those victories have come away from Gallowgate:

Shootout record - all time:

Pecsi Dozsa (a) lost 2-5 (FC)
mackems (h) lost 6-7 (LC)
1991/92 Bournemouth (h) lost 3-4 (FA)
1995/96 Chelsea (h) lost 2-4 (FA)
1998/99 Blackburn Rovers (h) lost 2-4 (LC)
2002/03 Everton (h) lost 2-3 (LC)
2003/04 Partizan Belgrade (h) lost 3-4 (CL)
2006/07 Watford (a) won 5-4 (LC)

2016/17 Hull City (a) lost 1-3 (LC)
2019/20 Leicester City (h) lost 2-4 (LC)
2020/21 Newport County (a) won 5-4 (LC)
2021/22 Burnley (h) lost 3-4 (LC)
2022/23 Crystal Palace (h) won 3-2 (LC)
2023/24 Chelsea (a) lost 2-4 (LC)
2023/24 Blackburn Rovers (a) Won 4-3 (FA)


Hearts (h) won 4-3 (TC)
Tranmere Rovers (a) lost 2-3 (ZDS)

Hit or miss - last seven NUFC LC shootouts:

2016/17 v Hull City: 
Shelvey missed, Gayle missed, Atsu scored, Gouffran missed.

2019/20 v Leicester City: 
Muto scored, Shelvey missed, Schar scored, Hayden missed.

2020/21 v Newport County: 
Wilson scored, Joelinton missed, Schar scored, Shelvey scored, J.Murphy scored, Longstaff scored

2021/22 v Burnley: 
Saint-Maximin missed, Willock scored, Joelinton scored, S.Longstaff scored, Almiron missed.

2022/23 v Crystal Palace: 
Wood scored, Trippier scored, Joelinton scored, Botman missed, Guimaraes missed.

2023/24 v Chelsea: 
Wilson scored, Trippier missed, Guimaraes scored, Ritchie missed.

2023/24 v Blackburn Rovers: 
Schar scored, Barnes missed, Guimaraes scored, Anderson scored, Gordon scored. 

Fabian Schar now has a 100% record in shootouts for the Magpies: taken three, scored three.

Following victories at Fulham and the mackems, Newcastle have now won three successive FA Cup away games for the first time since the 1973/74 season (Hendon 4-0, Scunthorpe United 3-0, West Bromwich Albion 3-0). 

NUFC last 10 Fifth Round ties:

2023/24 Blackburn Rovers (a) drew 1-1 won 4-3 pens
West Bromwich Albion (a) won 3-2
2005/06 Southampton (h) won 1-0
2004/05 Chelsea (h) won 1-0
2001/02 Manchester City (h) won 1-0
1999/00 Blackburn Rovers (a) won 2-1
1998/99 Blackburn Rovers (a) won 1-0 R (0-0 h)
1997/98 Tranmere Rovers (h) won 1-0
1994/95 Manchester City (h) won 3-1
1992/93 Blackburn Rovers (a) lost 0-1

Magpies versus Rovers in FAC - all time:

2023/24 R5 drew 1-1 (a) won 4-3 pens (aet)
R3 drew 1-1 (h) won replay 4-2 (aet) (a)
2011/12 R3 won 2-1 (h)
1999/00 R5 won 2-1 (a)
1998/99 R5 drew 0-0 (h) won replay 1-0 (a)
1994/95 R3 drew 1-1 (h) won replay 2-1 (a)
1992/93 R5 lost 0-1 (a)
1951/52 SF drew 0-0 (n) won replay 2-1 (n)
1927/28 R3 lost 1-4 (a)
1909/10 R3 won 3-1 (h)

Magpies @ Ewood - last 10:

2023/24 drew 1-1 (aet - won 4-3 pens) Gordon (FA)
2018/19 won 4-2 (aet) Longstaff, Roberts, Joselu, Perez (FA)
2016/17 lost 0-1 (Ch)
2011/12 won 2-0 OG, Obertan (PL)
2011/12 lost 3-4 (aet) Guthrie, Cabaye, Lovenkrands (LC)
2010/11 drew 0-0 (PL)
2008/09 lost 0-3 (PL)
2007/08 lost 1-3 Martins (PL)
2006/07 won 3-1 Martins 2, S.Taylor (PL)
2005/06 won 3-0 Shearer, Owen, N'Zogbia (PL)

Newcastle took part in an FA Cup tie involving extra time for the first time since losing in the Third Round at Arsenal in January 2021. Each of our last three cup visits to Ewood Park were of 120 minutes duration, but resolved during extra time.

Anthony Gordon
scored the first cup goal of his professional career and his ninth of the season for Newcastle in all competitions. He now has 10 strikes in our colours.



The kickoff was delayed by slow body searches - but someone got this in?

As portents go, wrongly turning down Hereford Street en route to Ewood Park was hardly ideal for a Newcastle fan heading to an FA Cup tie against lower league opposition.

It's smarter than it once was, but Ewood visits still trigger memories of days and nights past - some pleasurable (Shearer, Saha, Clark, Hottiger), others less pleasant (Fenton, Speedie....Shearer).

A sense of occasion increasingly out of kilter with the lowly status of a Rovers side absent from the top flight for twelve seasons remains when we're in town. Boosted by generous away allocations, the comparative closeness also encourages old-style minibus excursions and road side pit stops. 

That revivalist angle was also present in the BBC coverage, with two clips of our infamous 1972 defeat in their opening titles. The kick-off delay at least saw some old Shearer goals footage rather than Ronnie Radford's kitchen nightmares or the episode of Crime Watch with Ricky George.....  

Of course the nightmare on Edgar Street is merely the most high-profile of our cup misadventures; exits to lower league duo Cambridge United and Sheffield Wednesday endured under Eddie Howe.

Tonight's game had added significance not only for progress in the competition, but also arguably in keeping this season alive for Howe's side, misfiring in the league but only one win away from a trip to Wembley if they could avoid losing here. The alternative was more bad press and negativity.    

Martin Dubravka had recovered sufficiently from the illness that kept him out of Saturday's loss at Arsenal to return, while Sven Botman didn't travel and Jamaal Lascelles deputised. There was a welcome return for Elliot Anderson on the bench alongside Lewis Miley meanwhile.

Alexander Isak and Joe Willock both started as they continued their comebacks, but inevitably neither provide the spark to lift their side - a lack of forward movement resulting in extended sequences of sideways passing and meaningless possession. Rovers meanwhile were content to bide their time and rely on counter attacks, during which they showed rather more threat than their counterparts. 

One exasperated fan commented at half time that the visiting players were all "waiting for someone else to do something." In the event, two of them would make their mark on the tie: Anthony Gordon scoring from open play and in the shootout; Dubravka topping off a good night's work with two penalty saves that helped put his side into the last eight. 

While the Slovakian custodian was pretty in pink, most of those around him were tangled up in blue, as United struggled against opponents with just one win in their last 13 Championship outings. 

That a place in the quarter-finals belatedly arrived despite a sluggish display with unpleasant echoes of recent times past. Anyone expecting an upturn from Saturday was in for a disappointment.  

Only a Jamaal Lascelles header deflected away from goal by veteran Kyle McFadzean had looked like breaking the deadlock before Gordon fired home in the 71st minute, capping off a livelier passage of play where we'd look less leaden-legged.

The nearest we had on the field to a centre forward by then should have put his side ahead from their previous attack but Gordon shot weakly at Aynsley Pears when one on one with the custodian whose dad Stephen was in goal for Boro when they knocked us out of the League Cup in 1990.

Relief in the away end proved to be fleeting however - Schar managing to illegally halt one home attack with a handball that he got away with before Rovers were gifted an equaliser after Lascelles went AWOL out on the left touchline.

Both sides then squandered chances to win it: Guimaraes contriving to hit an opponent on the line before substitute Harvey Barnes somehow put the rebound wide from close in. Dubravka then vitally denied Markanday before extra time began arrived after the minimum of injury time.

Facing the Darwen End again, Gordon and Sean Longstaff were denied by Pears in the same attack both shooting straight at him. Neither side was able to to find the net, leading to penalties and yet more anguish for a nationwide TV audience expecting the news and the weather where they were. 

As they had done in the Carabao Cup penalty exit at Stamford Bridge earlier this season, the visitors won the right to have the shootout staged in front of the away end. 

Fabian Schar confidently rolled the opening kick beyond Pears and Dubravka denied Szmodics - who looked to have tweaked a hamstring in the final moments of the game but played on. The optimism was immediately tempered though when Barnes to give Pears a routine block with his effort and Callum Brittain made it 1-1. 

Bruno and Anderson then netted their kicks as did their Rovers counterparts Sigurdsson and Ayari to make it 3-3. Anderson had come on late in extra time for his first involvement since October as substitute Miley as himself substituted; Elliot a regular penalty taker during his U21 days.

That left Gordon to emphatically send Newcastle's fifth kick down the middle and Dubravka take his place in goal to fling himself to his right touch home captain Dominic Hyam's effort on to the post before celebrating with his team mates and 7,400 jubilant away fans over his shoulder.

There was a palpable sense of relief at progressing after such an unconvincing display - a polite description would be turgid - but the task of reaching Wednesday's draw was belatedly achieved. 

Relief also for Barnes, whose most recent FA Cup appearance was for the Leicester City side beaten by Blackburn almost 12 months to the day. Like his current colleagues, he'll hopefully increase his confidence levels and match fitness from this victory. 

To end as we began, skirting over the unwelcome recollections that
Glenn Keeley's half time sighting prompted close to the anniversary of the 1976 Wembley loss with him, our post-game return from Blackburn included an overnight stop where time had already been called at the bar.

However the night porter happily opened up again after learning just why were so late - and revealing himself to be a Burnley fan who attended the 1974 semi-final against us at Hillsborough. Now resigned to seeing his side relegated, he was at least content that we'd halted the progress of their rivals. 

That cemented our conviction that we'd end up facing Liverpool at Wembley 50 years on - something that lasted less than 24 hours before the quarter-final draw sending us to the cup holders added another layer of ridiculousness to a season that's really been like no other. It's never dull round here. 








Page last updated 01 March, 2024