Newcastle held by minnows Rochdale
Newcastle’s wretched record in the FA Cup continued as 40-year-old Aaron Wilbraham gave minnows Rochdale a 1-1 draw in Saturday’s third round clash.
Magpies boss Steve Bruce had declared his determination not to lose to “bloody Rochdale” as he eyed a sustained Cup run for a club that hasn’t won the competition since 1955 and last reached the final in 1999.
But Newcastle’s FA Cup form is so bad that they have not gone beyond the fourth round for 13 years.
A succession of
Newcastle managers have refused to take the competition seriously, sending out weak teams as they prioritised Premier League survival.
And once again they endured embarrassment as Rochdale, who took Tottenham to a fifth round replay in 2018, recovered from Miguel Almiron’s opener to earn a replay at St James’ Park later in January thanks to a late leveller from old stager Wilbraham.
Despite dealing with a raft of injuries, Bruce, a three-time FA Cup winner with Manchester United, picked six players who started Wednesday’s Premier League loss to Leicester.
Almiron was one of the hold-overs and the Paraguayan midfielder opened the scoring with a fierce drive into the top corner from Christian Atsu’s 17th minute pass.
It was only Almiron’s second Newcastle goal since his January move from Atlanta United after he broke his duck against Crystal Palace on December 21.
Newcastle were on top and should have scored again when Deandre Yedlin picked out Yoshinori Muto, but his shot was too close to goalkeeper Robert Sanchez.