Following on from recent defeats and major injuries, Newcastle United were held by League 1 side Rochdale in the third round of the FA Cup with a 1-1 draw at the Spotland Stadium.
Miguel Almiron opened the scoring, finishing a great run from Christian Atsu to make it 1-0. The Paraguayan and Ghanian providing impressive link up play on the left wing to give Newcastle the lead.
Joelinton should have doubled the lead in the 23rd minute, but his soft shot went wide in another torrid afternoon for the Brazilian striker: the club’s record signing remains at 1 goal in all competitions this season.
Rochdale enjoyed a strong start to the second half, frequently challenging Martin Dubravka in the Newcastle net. The Slovakian pulling off some great saves to deny Brian Barry-Murphy’s men an equaliser.
Oliver Rathbone should have equalised in the 71st minute, once more stopped by Dubravka. Rochdale continued to pile pressure on their Premier League opponents, and soon got their reward: 40 year old substitute Aaron Wilbraham finally levelling things up for the home team after a swift counter attack.
Along with a poor result, the game did bring about more injury and fitness concerns for Steve Bruce’s side: Yoshinori Muto and Miguel Almiron both going off injured; replaced by Ki Sung-Yeung and the returning Matt Ritchie respectively.
Almiron’s absence greatly reduced Newcastle’s attacking presence, and despite good efforts from Sean Longstaff and Ki, they were unable to beat Robert Sanchez for the remainder of the game.
Today’s draw is another bad result for the Magpies, following 3 consecutive league losses to Leicester, Everton, and Manchester United. They next travel down to Molineux for Saturday’s difficult game against Wolverhampton Wanderers.
There is speculation that star player Allan Saint-Maximin will be back for this match: the frenchman’s flair and attacking presence will be welcomed by United, who have recorded only 1 win and 4 goals in their last 6 games.