Main Page

Quick Links

The Rest
   Club info
   Last Season
   Unlikely Lads
   A-Z Index

Season 2020-21
Blackburn Rovers (h) Carabao Cup Second Round


Tuesday 15th September 2020, 7.30pm
Live streamed by the EFL

 St. James' Park

Conditions: Uninspiring
Programme: £3.50 for a hard copy via mail order - a 50p increase on the previous cover price, which had been in place since 2004.

This was the first programme produced by Curtis Sport, following the demise of previous provider Programme Master during lockdown.  


Blackburn Rovers

1 - 0




35 mins Mark Gillespie's long punt upfield reached Joelinton on the halfway line and neither he nor his marker got a touch on the ball, which bounced into the path of Miguel Almiron.

He scampered infield and took a touch before threading a perfect pass between two defenders to match Ryan Fraser's run.

The former Bournemouth man shot confidently from the edge of the box, the ball taking a slight deflection off the advancing 'keeper's legs before ending up in the back of the Leazes End net. 1-0

Half time: Magpies 1 Rovers 0

Full time: Magpies 1 Rovers 0

We Said

Steve Bruce:

"The only bit of quality we had was the goal from Ryan Fraser. I would be disappointed if I was in Tony's shoes after losing that game.

"We have another game on Sunday, we will have had six games in two and a half weeks.

"That game has made sure some of them have got football in their legs. We aren’t going to say anything other than we were fortunate.

"I was wary people needed games, but thankfully we got away with it."

On the goalscorer:

"Considering he hasn’t played since March I thought Ryan’s effort, endeavour and enthusiasm was there for everybody to see.

"It was a great finish and a great run.”

On his debut goalkeeper:

"Mark Gillespie was given away as a 16 year-old so it was a big night for him on his debut and he was arguably our best player.

"Ciaran Clark was the big one for me
- I thought he was immaculate considering he hadn't played since around last Christmas time." (it was actually mid February).

On Sean Longstaff:

"I'm sure tonight he will be a bit disappointed with how he's played, but we've got to make sure that we try to get him to maybe where he was.

"He's got a lot of work to do, but he's got healthy competition around him and as I said, he was another one who needed a game tonight and I think that showed.

"It's an important season for all of them who want to try to get into the team."

On Dan Barlaser:

"He did OK - It was a big night for him. It would have been nice if we’d had more possession. The kid did OK.

I’m sure he’ll have enjoyed the experience even though it would have been hard going at times."

They Said

Ex-smoggie Tony Mowbray commented: 

"I think it falls into the same category as Saturday in that there was a lot of really good play, but ultimately football is about sticking the ball in the net.

"If you’re going to win games then you’re only as good as your strikers.

"I didn’t play Armstrong tonight from the start because I didn’t think we could risk him with a crucial game at the weekend and with Gallagher already injured.

"I thought it was worth giving Dolan a shot as he’s been exceptional for us throughout pre-season.

"They all worked hard and we dominated the ball for long spells. I think maybe having Gallagher arriving at the back stick to latch onto some of the crosses would have been a lot different to Armstrong, Dolan and Brereton.

"We have to wait now for the strike force to click, but there was so much good stuff tonight to take forward.

"We’ll keep going of course, but I understand that in football you have to win. We’ve produced some pretty good performances against some pretty good teams and some pretty highly paid footballers.

"We’ve competed and done very well in both games but have come away with nothing."



Ryan Fraser marked his debut with a first goal for the club while there was also a first competitive outing for Mark Gillespie.

Dan Barlaser made his fourth competitive appearance for United, just over three years after his third (versus Nottingham Forest in the League Cup, August 2017).

Jacob Murphy made his 42nd competitive appearance for United, over 18 months after his 41st (versus Watford in the FA Cup, January 2019).

United won their first League Cup tie in four attempts, since defeating Cheltenham Town at SJP in August 2016.

Last 10 League Cup Second Round ties:

2020/21 Blackburn Rovers (h) won 1-0
Leicester City (h) drew 1-1 (2-3 pens)
2018/19 Nottingham Forest (a) lost 1-3
2017/18 Nottingham Forest (h) lost 2-3 (aet)
2016/17 Cheltenham Town (h) won 2-0
2015/16 Northampton Town (h) won 4-1
2014/15 Gillingham (a) won 1-0
2013/14 Morecambe (a) won 2-0
2011/12 Scunthorpe United (a) won 2-1
2010/11 Accrington Stanley (a) won 3-2

Rovers @ SJP - last 10:
(Premier League unless stated)

2020/21 Won 1-0 Fraser (LC)
Drew 1-1 Ritchie(pen)(FAC)
2016/17 Lost 0-1 (Ch)
2011/12 Won 2-1 Ben Arfa, Gutierrez (FAC)
2011/12 Won 3-1 Ba 3
2010/11 Lost 1-2 Carroll
2008/09 Lost 1-2 Owen(pen)
2007/08 Lost 0-1
2006/07 Lost 0-2
2005/06 Lost 0-1



A 35th minute goal from debutant Ryan Fraser gave Newcastle a first victory in the League Cup since 2016 on Tuesday night. And their reward is a Third Round visit to League Two Morecambe, after they defeated Oldham Athletic 1-0.

However Championship side Rovers can consider themselves unlucky not to have taken the tie to penalties, after giving the hosts some uncomfortable moments.

Steve Bruce made 10 changes to the side who lined up at West Ham last weekend, with only Javier Manquillo remaining - albeit swapping wings to cover the left back role.

There were first appearances for both Mark Gillespie and Ryan Fraser, while Ciaran Clark returned from injury in partnership with stand-in centre half Emil Krafth.

Matt Ritchie took the captain's armband, while Miguel Almiron, Joelinton and Sean Longstaff followed up Saturday's substitute outings with starts.

Also included while their futures remain uncertain were DeAndre Yedlin and Dan Barlaser, while Jacob Murphy and Christian Atsu were introduced from the bench.

There were defensive and midfield options on the bench, but our lack of striking options saw both Andy Carroll and Callum Wilson omitted. Yoshinori Muto's departure to Spain and Dwight Gayle's injury left the cupboard bare, reserve forward Elias Sorensen just about to turn 21 but nowhere to be seen after having finally completed his suspension from a red card in February.

Rovers played nine of the side that had lost narrowly at Bournemouth on Saturday but benched former Magpie Adam Armstrong.

He appeared for the final half hour; a second return "home" after featuring in the FA Cup meeting between those two sides here in January 2019. A long range effort easily gathered by Gillespie was the closest that he came to adding to the goal he netted against us at Ewood in the FA Cup replay. 

With crowds not yet allowed back into stadia and the tie not selected by Sky for live transmission, anyone looking for live (legal) coverage was able to stream it via the EFL website for a £10 fee.

That was low-key and limited - with just a single camera used and no commentary in the opening stages - but appropriate for what was an uninspiring home display, when only the outcome will be recalled.

A final corner count of 10 to three in favour of the visitors gives some idea of the pattern of play, Newcastle worryingly passive and content to defend deeply and allow Rovers to retain possession as they pressed forward.

The lack of a goalscorer would ultimately see that stance pay dividends, but only because United's front players managed to combine effectively in the 35th minute.

Gillespie's long punt upfield reached Joelinton on the half way line and neither he nor his marker got a touch on the ball, which bounced into the path of Almiron.

He scampered infield and took a touch before threading a perfect pass between two defenders to match Fraser's run.

The former Bournemouth man shot confidently from the edge of the box, the ball taking a slight deflection off the advancing 'keeper's legs before ending up in the back of the Leazes End net.

With that single goal advantage never looking like being added to, the nagging fear that Blackburn would fashion an equaliser remained: Gillespie making a double block just before the hour and the Newcastle defence surviving a series of corner kicks in the closing stages.

Getting his first competitive minutes since March, Fraser lasted just less than an hour before being replaced. That the ring rusty goalscorer carried more of a forward threat than Joelinton was deeply concerning though.

A rare excursion into the Rovers area on 69 minutes saw our alleged striker push through on goal, but elect to shoot weakly rather than pass to a pair of well-placed team mates. Poor technique allied to poor decision-making.

After being rightly pulled up for offside when netting on 72 minutes - a novelty the way we were playing - the Brazilian made way for Allan Saint-Maximin, who was far more eager to form a first line of defence up front.

If our record signing failed to give any hints of a renaissance this season, then the jury is out also for midfield duo Dan Barlaser and Jacob Murphy.

Neither of those really caught the eye as they attempted to stake a claim for a squad place in what at times felt like a friendly. And that lack of impact extended to Sean Longstaff, who gave little hint in a central midfield role that he'll be lining up against Brighton on Sunday.

Murphy's major contribution was a crucial intervention deep in second half added time, preventing Ben Brereton from getting his shot away when the Rovers forward had a fleeting sight of goal.

Like United tonight, that was just enough to get by.


Page last updated 21 June, 2021