A 40-year-old showed Joelinton the way at Rochdale
It took a 40-year-old to show Joelinton the way at Spotland.
A late goal from Aaron Wilbraham earned Rochdale a replay at St James’s Park after Newcastle United’s third-round FA Cup tie ended 1-1.
The game should have been put beyond the League One club after Miguel Almiron opening the scoring. Joelinton, however, couldn’t take the chances that came his way before the break.
And Rochdale fought back strongly in the second half – and deservedly scored an equaliser.
Veteran Wilbraham, unlike Joelinton, just needed one chance.
Bruce, with an injury list running into double figures, had made five changes at Spotland, where Elias Sorensen, recently recalled from loan at Carlisle United, made the bench along with Thomas Allan and Lewis Cass. United’s head coach left Florian Lejeune, at fault in the New Year’s Day defeat to Leicester City, on the bench and switched Isaac Hayden to defence.
Christian Atsu was a threat in the early stages down the left as United, unusually for this season, dominated possession.
The breakthrough came in the 17th minute when Atsu pulled the ball back for Almiron, who took a touch before beating Robert Sanchez with a left-footed strike.
Joelinton should have doubled the lead a few minutes later, but the striker put a good chance wide. Muto had a shot blocked by Sanchez late in the half, and United took their one-goal advantage into the break.
They knew they should have been further ahead, and Newcastle found it tough going after the break against a spirited Rochdale team. Muto was forced off – he was replaced by Ki Sung-yueng – and Martin Dubravka did well to deny Olivier Rathbone.
Dubravka didn’t hold on to another effort from Rathbone, and Ian Henderson struck the post with a follow-up shot. Matt Ritchie, out since August with an ankle injury, was sent on just past the hour-mark, and Dubravka denied Rathbone again.
However, he couldn’t keep Wilbraham’s 79th-minute strike.
NEWCASTLE UNITED: Dubravka; Yedlin, Krafth, Hayden, Fernandez, Atsu; M Longstaff, S Longstaff, Almiron (Ritchie, 63), Muto (Ki, 52); Joelinton. Subs not used: Darlow, Lejuene, Cass, Sorensen, Allan.