Newcastle celebrate rare Joelinton strike as they see off Rochdale in replay

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Joelinton ended his 20-game wait for a second Newcastle goal as the Premier League side dispatched League One Rochdale 4-1 to reach the FA Cup fourth round.

Controversial owner Mike Ashley, on Tyneside for transfer talks with head coach Steve Bruce, was among a crowd of 29,786 at St James’ Park to see the man for whom he paid £40million in the summer score with an 82nd-minute strike.

Eoghan O’Connell’s own goal had earlier set the Magpies on their way in the replay before Matty Longstaff and Miguel Almiron struck to make it 3-0 after just 26 minutes, with the returning Matt Ritchie providing the ammunition for the first two.

Mike Ashley was in attendance at St James' Park
Mike Ashley was in attendance at St James’ Park (Owen Humphreys/PA)

Newcastle, with Ritchie starting his first game since damaging an ankle in August, had to be patient as they sought a way through the massed defences of the League One side in a tame start to the game.

Indeed, it was the visitors who produced the first attempt on goal when midfielder Jimmy Keohane sent a fifth-minute effort from distance wide of the target.

Almiron might have done better when he missed the target from 20 yards after Christian Atsu had laid off Sean Longstaff’s ball over the top at the other end five minutes later, and the Paraguay international saw his 15th-minute strike come back off a post.

The Magpies finally took the lead two minutes later when defender O’Connell turned Ritchie’s cross past goalkeeper Robert Sanchez and into his own net.

It was 2-0 within three minutes when Matty Longstaff controlled another Ritchie cross expertly before firing past Sanchez, and Almiron effectively killed off the tie after Sanchez had delivered the ball straight to him inside the penalty area.

Aaron Wilbraham, whose equaliser had secured the replay, fired over on the turn on the half-hour as Dale enjoyed a measure of respite, but Joelinton and defender Florian Lejeune might have added to the home side’s tally before the break.

Joelinton celebrates his rare goal
Joelinton celebrates his rare goal (Owen Humphreys/PA)

However, substitute keeper Jay Lynch had to save from Isaac Hayden as the Magpies pressed once again and with the game all but won, Bruce freshened things up when he handed a debut to 20-year-old Tom Allan before sending on Andy Carroll in place of Almiron.

Jolelinton’s moment finally arrived with eight minutes remaining when Carroll and Allan combined to set him up from close range and he duly obliged, although the travelling fans had something to cheer as Williams pulled one back with a neat finish off a post as time ran down.

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