Newcastle 4-1 Rochdale: Mike Ashley watches while record drawing Joelinton finally breaks after Matty Longstaff and Miguel Almiron add to early own goal in FA Cup thrashing
- Newcastle won a convincing FA Cup third-round replay victory over Rochdale
- The hosts got up early thanks to an own goal from Eoghan O’Connell
- Matthew Longstaff doubled the lead after coming home from Matt Ritchie
- Newcastle’s third arrived with Miguel Almiron, before Joelinton later struck
- A 86th minute comforting goal for the visitors was caught by MJ Williams
Newcastle won in the FA Cup, a smiling Mike Ashley and even Joelinton scored – this was a really strange night at St James’ Park.
Ashley was here for the first time this season for his late January summit with Steve Bruce. The owner – a reluctant spender – could ask the head coach if there is a need for investment.
The Magpies scored more than two goals at home for the first time under Bruce as they entered the fourth round, where another League One opponent awaits Oxford United.
Joelinton ended his goal drought by finding the back of the net to score Newcastle’s fourth
Miguel Almiron benefited from a defensive blunder and finally third from Newcastle
The playmaker could make a touch before placing the ball past the goalkeeper
Win that home game and they are in the last 16 of the competition for the first time since 2006.
NEW CASTEL (3-5-2): Darlow 6; Hayden 6, Lascelles 6 (Allan 56, 6), Lejeune 6; Krafth 6, M Longstaff 7, S Longstaff 7, Atsu 7, Ritchie 7.5 (Shelvey 69); Almiron 7 (Carroll 62, 6), Joelinton 5
Subs not used: Elliot, Clark, Willems, Fernandez
goal scorers: O’Connell (OG) 17, M Longstaff 20, Almiron 26, Joelinton 82
Manager: Steve Bruce 7
ROCHDALE (4-4-2): Sanchez 4 (Lynch 46, 6); Matheson 6, Williams 5, O’Connell 5, Norrington-Davies 5 (Tavares 69); Dooley 5, Ryan 5, Camps 5, Keohane 6; Henderson 5, Wilbraham 5
Subs not used: Andrew, Baah, Bradley, Gillam, Brierley
goal scorers: Williams 86
Manager: Brian Barry-Murphy 5
Referee: G Scott 7
Man of the competition: Ritchie
Ashley took over control in 2007 and instructed his managers to give priority to survival over silverware.
With Newcastle in the middle of a Premier League run of one point from four games, Ashley could still get nervous and once again slow down the ambition.
However, for the time being they are dreaming of the fifth round, the bar has been this low in recent years.
Speaking of low bars, £ 40 million striker Joelinton had played a 21st game without a goal, few would be surprised.
If anything, the shock was that he attacked the six-meter area – a former alien domain – and turned on his first goal for eight minutes.
He ran straight to Bruce on the sidelines in a token of thanks for being silent.
For every other observer, his continuous recording would have been cruel, unkind.
But perhaps this is the change of fortune that the Brazilian needs, at least that is what Bruce hopes amid the likelihood that Ashley tells him that signatures are limited to loans.
Controversial owner Mike Ashley was back in St James’ Park to see his side in action
Previously, Matty Longstaff skillfully put a pass in the box to stop the ball home
The youngster was congratulated by teammates after doubling Newcastle’s margin
Eoghan O’Connell was left with his head in his hands after slipping in and scoring his own goal
Rochdale had a positive moment, as MJ Williams scored a late comforting goal
“You could see what made the difference for him,” Bruce said. “We have to say to him and keep reminding him that he is a good player.
“We were determined to leave him to see if he could score a goal.”
After coming very close to going out at Rochdale 10 days ago, Bruce took no risk with his team selection.
The only notable absentee was Martin Dubravka, the goalkeeper who saved them in Spotland during a nervous second half.
But there was no chance to get upset with the visitors in such a generous mood here. Mid-back Eoghan O’Connell headed the opening goal through his own net in the 17th minute after throwing himself into Matt Ritchie’s pest center.
Ritchie was again the provider for the second, Matty Longstaff killed his birth before going beyond Robert Sanchez.
But there was no need for Ritchie’s wing wizardry for Newcastle’s third, not with goalkeeper Sanchez who gave it to Miguel Almiron, 12 meters from the goal. The Paraguayan duly accepted the invitation to beat his fourth goal in seven games.
Joelinton brought relief for his drought when he hooked up from debutant Tom Allan before Jordan Williams drove a late consolation.
Ashley beamed full-time after witnessing a victory and avoiding any patio vitriol. It was indeed a strange night.