|Rochdale 1 v 1 Newcastle United|
Saturday, 4th January 2020 Kick-off 12:31
Match Report: Dale 1-1 Newcastle United (FA Cup)
Monday, 6th Jan 2020 10:20 by Chaff
A late goal from Aaron Wilbraham saw Rochdale take Premier League Newcastle United to an FA Cup replay and put our name in the hat for round four.
The magic of the FA Cup and all that. We’ve done very well out of cup competitions in recent years and Saturday was another example of that as Steve Bruce’s Newcastle United came to Rochdale for the first ever meeting between the two sides and left red faced. Newcastle scored a fully deserved opener in the first half, a half they dominated and should have had more. Rochdale came out a completely different side second half and took the game to Newcastle and eventually got a fully deserved equaliser and could, and should, have won the game.
Newcastle were whinging all week about their list of injuries yet still managed to field a strong side that contained Dubravka in net, £40million striker Joelinton, Almiron, Fernandez, the Longstaff brothers and pacy wide-men Atsu and Yedlin.
Rochdale, not without injuries ourselves all bloody season were without McShane, Morley, McNulty and Norrington-Davies. Sanchez lined up in net, Magloire at right back, Keohane at left back and a makeshift central defensive partnership of Eoghan O’Connell and the returning MJ Williams. Ryan, Rathbone, Dooley and Baah across the middle with Camps playing behind Henderson.
Dale were poor first half and were lucky to go in at half time just 1-0 down.
Magloire was getting torn apart on the right-hand side by Atsu and Baah was giving no protection to either full back which meant Atsu and Yedlin were causing havoc.
Dale barely got into the Toon half and the two occasions they did saw Henderson completely scuff a shot wide and Camps mishit a shot that should have forced Dubravka into a save but went wide.
You could it wasn’t going to be long before Newcastle went ahead and an awful pass from Keohane gave away possession and Newcastle broke, the ball went out to Atsu who made mincemeat out of Magloire and crossed for Almiron who controlled and volleyed into the back of the net.
Something needed to change and sure enough BBM saw that too and moved quickly to bring off the struggling Magloire and replaced him with Luke Matheson who was no stranger to cup heroics after scoring at Old Trafford back in September.
The change worked brilliantly, Matheson came on and did superbly.
Newcastle had dominated possession but couldn’t put the tie out of sight. They weren’t helped when Joelinton missed an absolute sitter as well.
It was 1-0 at the break and Dale had to get themselves back in the game to stand a chance. Too many players had under performed. One of those was young Kwadwo Baah who had struggled tracking back and left the full backs exposed time and again. He was taken off at half time with Aaron Wilbraham replacing him. A 40-year-old for a 16 year old isn’t something you see every day of the week.
The change was a superb one. Wilbraham held the ball up superbly and made a real difference. Jimmy Ryan and Ollie Rathbone were getting themselves into the game as well. Rathbone was getting forward at every opportunity and Ryan went from being Sean McClare to being peak Andrea Pirlo in the space of the half time break.
Rathbone had a weak shot saved by Dubravka but he couldn’t keep hold of it and the rebound fell to Hendo at a tight angle but he smashed the post.
Rathbone had another glorious chance when Matheson did well down the right and crossed for Rathone who took it past one defender but couldn’t prod it past the keeper and he knew how good a chance that was as he had his head in his hands.
Ryan McLoughlin replaced a below par Stephen Dooley and went wide right.
The equaliser was coming, you could sense it and sure enough, a carbon copy of that Rathbone chance came about when Ryan found McLoughlin with a good ball wide and the injury prone wide-man ran at Newcastle, Mathseon showed great desire to overlap and McLaughlin found him brilliantly, Matheson’s cross was controlled by Wilbraham with a touch off the defender and bounced kindly for Alby to smash the ball home to send the 8593 crowd absolutely mental.
Nothing less than Dale deserved for their second half performance.
Dale continued to push forward for a winner against the Premier League big boys and they should have had it when Rathbone, who had been sensational second half, scuffed a great chance wide when you’d back him to score.
Full time went and Spotland was jubilant, apart from the away end that is as a chorus of boos rang out from the Newcastle fans.
The draw for round four is Monday before the live match but Dale now travel to St James Park for the first time ever for a replay.
Robert Sanchez – 7: Impressive again from Spanish Bob, sponsors man of the match.
Luke Matheson – 9: Immaculate from Luke. Set up the goal, set up our best other chance and was very good defensively after replacing Magloire early doors.
Photo: Action Images
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