Fraser goal sees United through to EFL Cup Round 3
Newcastle United 1-0 Blackburn Rovers
Newcastle found a way past a determined Blackburn Rovers side who, on the balance of play will consider themselves hard done by after leaving St James Park with nothing. The away side dominated the contest that was ultimately decided by yet another debut goal. This time it was Ryan Fraser, who locked onto a pin point pass by Miggy Almiron, who got his first goal for the club. A lovely finish from the winger as he too gets off to a flyer.
Bruce would ring the changes before the game (see Match Factfile at foot of page for full team details) with a debut for Ryan Fraser, one of 10 changes in all form the team that beat West Ham on Saturday. Rovers, too, had taken a conservative approach by resting last seasons top goalscorer and ex-Mag Adam Armstrong although only made two changes from their last game.
But it was Blackburn to looked the more composed and settled in the opening stages and should have been ahead after 11 minutes when a lovely Nyambe cross was hammered wide by Holtby when well placed just outside the 6 yard box.
And the Rovers pressure continued for most of the opening period with United not really managing to get anything going in the opposite direction.
The best chance Newcastle would make would come from a Ritchie free kick with Manquillo rising but only managing to put his header high and wide.
That seemed to settle the hame side a little and from open play they could have created a clear cut chance of their own with debutant Fraser exchanging neat passes with Almiron before his cut back evaded all in black and white and was gratefully cleared by the Blackburn defence.
Newcastle would get the breakthrough, somewhat against the run of play, on 34 minutes. Miggy Almiron picking the ball up in the centre circle before playing a wonderfully weighted through ball to Fraser you’d pointed to where he wanted it and raced clear to hammer past Kaminski. Lovely assist, lovely finish.
One last chance of the half would fall to Miggy himself. Racing forward and outstripping the Rovers defence before firing high and not very handsome over the Rovers bar.
1-0 to United at half time.
nto the second half and it was more of the same from both sides. Blackburn bossing things in terms of possession and looking the more comfortable of the two sides, Newcastle trying to hit the visitors on the break and looking reasonably comfortable even if backs to the wall at times.
One break from Joelinton saw the big front man potentially felled then running clear but with no protest from the player the referee turned the other cheek in what was adjudged to be no more than a coming together.
Blackburn now dominant saw a great double save from Gillespie between the United sticks. First from a long range effort from Brereton before having to save with his feet as Bell followed up for the visitors.
One way traffic in favour of Blackburn.
Rovers would come close again with Holtby once again coming close. This time his shot from outside the box deflected just wide for a corner.
All the threat was coming from Rovers as the second half moved on. But for a little more quality in the final third, or had this been a team of Premier League quality in that department, the score would surely not have lasted at 1-0 as it did.
United did managed to get the ball in the net on 70 minutes, again Almiron doing well before feeding Joelinton to neatly finish only for the big man to be rightly adjudged to be offside. A rare moment of attacking intent by the black and whites.
As the game moved into the final 10 minutes it was fully backs against the wall, hoping to spring a rare counter attack.
With minutes left Armstrong almost managed to poke home after Gillespie was forced to rush out to save at the edge of his box, Adam’s resultant finish was cut out by Krafth.
In injury time Derek Williams had the chance to force penalties, but his finish from the edge of the 6 yard box after a good knock back following a corner was blazed well over.
Again Rovers came close in the final minute, with only a Jacob Murphy toe poke saving the day for his side with Brereton about to pull the trigger for what would surely have been the equaliser.
The final whistle was greeted by relief by all in black and white, including those who paid the £10 to watch what was a pretty demoralising experience on line - other than the all important result.
In that regard, job done and a place in the 3rd Round away to Morecambe the reward.