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Newcastle 4 Rochdale 1 – Job done and a remarkable 3-0 half-time lead despite only 2 shots on target

1 week ago
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Newcastle 4 Rochdale 1 – Tuesday 14 January 7.45pm

Newcastle United managed to do what they should have done 10 days earlier.

Killing off the League One opposition when chances were presented in the opening half hour.

The nervous visitors helped ease Newcastle’s path to the fourth round, an own goal to open the scoring and a shocking gift when passing to Almiron in their own 18 yard box for the third that ended the match as any kind of a contest.

Matt Ritchie impressed early on in his first start for five months, assisting Matty Longstaff for the second goal and his third of the season overall. Great to see a midfielder scoring goals.

Youngster Tom Allan got an assist as Joelinton struck with eight minutes to go to lift a little weight from his shoulders, a first goal in five months.

The Rochdale fans up in the gods then had their moment as Williams scored a consolation with four minutes remaining.

Steve Bruce and Newcastle United have become renowned this season for scoring an almost respectable number of goals from a very small number of chances but they outdid themselves in this first half.

Newcastle United went in 3-0 up at the break but had only had two efforts on target!

A respectable crowd of 29,786 included around 3,000 Rochdale fans and a certain Mike Ashley.

No doubt the NUFC owner heading off thinking what is all this fuss about regarding a lack of goalscorers…

Important of course to keep things in context.

Newcastle could do no more than put this game to bed as quick as possible and they did, plus able then to bring off the likes of Lascelles, Almiron and Ritchie before they may have risked injury.

Newcastle scored four as they were a better class than this Rochdale team struggling in 18th in League One, Sunderland having beaten the then League One leaders Wycombe 4-0 on Saturday after leading 3-0 at the break.

Up against some atrocious defending hopefully the goals will have still given some confidence, especially to Joelinton.

However, it is back to reality on Saturday with Chelsea a far more formidable proposition as Newcastle try to edge further away from the bottom three.

For tonight though, dreams of Wembley can live on!

Stats (half-time stats in brackets) from BBC Sport:

Newcastle 4 Rochdale 1 (Newcastle 3 Rochdale 0) – Tuesday 14 January 7.45pm

Goals:

Newcastle:

O’Connell (OG) 17, M Longstaff 20, Almiron 26, Joelinton 82

Rochdale:

Williams 86

Possession was Rochdale 36% (30%), Newcastle 64% (70%)

Total shots were Rochdale 12 (5), Newcastle 16 (7)

Shots on target were Rochdale 5 (2), Newcastle 5 (2)

Corners were Rochdale 5 (3), Newcastle 5 (4)

Crowd: 29,786 (3,000 Rochdale)

Referee: Graham Scott

Newcastle team v Rochdale:

Darlow, Krafth, Lascelles (Allan 57), Lejeune, Ritchie (Shelvey 69), Hayden, Sean Longstaff, Matty Longstaff, Atsu, Almiron (Carroll 62), Joelinton

Unused Subs:

Elliot, Clark, Willems, Fernandez

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