Rochdale kept their FA Cup dreams alive by holding Newcastle United to a 1-1 draw.
The League One side came from a goal down against their much illustrious opponent subsequently setting up a third round replay at St James’ Park.
For large swathes of the game it looked as if the Magpies would cruise into the fourth round but old bad habits reared its ugly head.
Naturally, there were individual winners and losers. Here are three of each from this encounter.
Winner: Miguel Almirón
After recently ending a run of 26 matches without scoring for the Magpies, one could imagine Miguel Almirón – who regularly scored for Atlanta United prior to moving to England – going on a run. However, he’d blank in Newcastle’s following three matches, all being defeats.
— Newcastle United FC (@NUFC) January 4, 2020
Steve Bruce, nonetheless, maintained trust in him and the Paraguayan attacking midfielder repaid that faith by registering his second for the club just before the 20 minute mark which subsequently broke the deadlock. He remained a constant thorn in Rochadle’s side and could have grabbed another.
Loser: Tyler Magloire
No one likes to be taken off early in a game especially when there’s no urgency (i.e. following an injury). But as we’ve seen numerous times a manager simply has no option but to make an adjustment to his starting lineup as it’s clearly not working. Rochalde were being swamped, and forced to camp in their own half, leaving head coach Brian Barry-Murphy with a quandary, his solution was to make a 30th minute change. Tyler Magloire, starting at right-back in a 4-4-2 shape, made way for teenage defender Luke Matheson who famously scored at Old Trafford in the League Cup third round earlier this season. It proved to be a masterstroke.
Winner: Aaron Wilbraham
1️⃣7️⃣ ? 4️⃣0️⃣
— The Emirates FA Cup (@EmiratesFACup) January 4, 2020
The reason being was Matheson’s involvement in Rochdale’s well-deserved equaliser. His pass was met by fellow substitute Aaron Wilbraham, who came on at half-time, and the 40-year-old didn’t need a second invitation to slot the ball past Martin Dúbravka who until then was doing everything to ensure Newcastle’s passage into the next round.
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It was another game to quickly forget about for much-maligned Newcastle centre-forward Joelinton, who stretched his scoreless run for the Magpies to 19 matches. Having joined in the summer from Hoffenheim for a club record fee of £39.6m he’s made 21 prior appearances registering just the one goal which came in their stunning 1-0 win at Spurs.
Since then it’s been nothing but famine. Regarding today, you can’t accuse him of not trying, the Brazilain marksman had no fewer than six efforts on goal, but just one of those were on target. Such wastefulness was punished when Wilbraham equalised for the hosts leading to a chorus of boos from his own supporters.
Winner: Oliver Rathbone
It never quite worked out for Oliver Rathbone at Manchester United, the Blackburn-born former youth graduate was let go in 2016 and he’s been at Rochdale since, accumulating more than 100 first team appearances. With televised games few and far between for the League One side, this was an opportunity for these Rochdale players to show what they’re about.
As for Rathbone – who turned 23 in October – there’s no guarantee his future is in England’s third tier. If anyone wearing black-and-blue that showed fight today it was him, producing nearly half of their total shots on goal (4/10), and he was unlucky not to initially draw the sides level before creating a real upset by sending Rochdale through in stoppage time.
Loser: Newcastle United
Newcastle’s lack of love for the FA Cup in recent years is well-documented. Since reaching the quarter-finals in 2006 they’ve never gone beyond the fourth round. It’s too early to suggest 2020 will be a repeat episode, but this was yet another poor showing on the road, since beating Cheltenham Town in 2006 under Graeme Souness they’ve now failed to win 16 consecutive away matches inside 90 minutes.