A 40-year-old striker & a SHOCK FA Cup record – Everything you need to know about Rochdale, Newcastle United's third round opponents

Newcastle United now know who they will face in the third round of this season’s FA Cup – but what do we know about League One Rochdale?

Tuesday, 17th December 2019, 5:00 pm
Updated Tuesday, 17th December 2019, 5:00 pm
ROCHDALE, ENGLAND - JULY 17: A general view of a corner flag prior to the Pre Season friendly between Rochdale and Huddersfield Town at Crown Oil Arena on July 17, 2019 in Rochdale, England. (Photo by George Wood/Getty Images)

Here we take an in-depth look at United’s lower league foes, with some interesting stats, a remarkable FA Cup record and a 40-year-old striker who scored at St James’s Park recently piquing interest.

When will the tie be played?

Newcastle will travel to the north west on Saturday, January 4. Kick-off: 12.31pm (that is not a typo).

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The Football Association has announced all Emirates FA Cup third found fixtures will be delayed by one minute to encourage fans to 'Take A Minute' to think about looking after their mental health, as part of the Heads Up campaign.

Past meetings

Rochdale are one of only EIGHT teams in the Football League are yet to face in a competitive fixture. Formerly known as Spotland, United will visit the Crown Oil Arena for the first time in round three. The only previous meeting between the pair was a two-legged War Cup tie during 1940/41. United lost 1-2 at St James’s Park but won 3-1 in Lancashire.

How did Rochdale reach this stage?

In round one Rochdale were paired with non-league outfit Wrexham at the Racecourse Ground. The duo played out a 0-0 draw in North Wales before Dale triumphed 1-0 in the replay at Spotland.

They also required a replay to see off another non-league side in Boston United. A 2-1 win on Monday night followed on from a 0-0 home draw on December 1.

Last season

Rochdale made it to round two of the competition, seeing off then National League outfit Gateshead in the first round before losing to Portsmouth at the next stage.

Newcastle United edged past Blackburn Rovers courtesy of a repay win at Ewood Park, a game in which Callum Roberts and Sean Longstaff both scored their first Magpies senior goals. Watford strolled past an under-strength United at St James's Park in round four (0-2).

How are Rochdale performing this season?

They may be in League One, but it would be a stretch to call them division rivals of Sunderland. Dale have won just one of their last six games in the third tier and sit 18th in the table.

They’re five points above the relegation zone after 20 League One fixtures.

The Black Cats won at Spotland earlier this season. In August Jack Ross’ men ran out 2-1 winners thanks to goals from Aiden McGeady and Charlie Wyke.

Dale's North East links?

Rochdale are managed by former Hartlepool United defender Brian Barry-Murphy. Aaron Wilbraham, aged 40, plays up top for Dale - he netted at St James's Park for Bristol City in the Championship in 2016/17.

Newcastle United’s FA Cup record?

Since Mike Ashley took the reins United have never gone past the fourth round of this competition – a remarkable record for a club with SIX FA Cup wins in their history.

This is the first time United have faced a third tier side in the competition since being dumped out 3-0 by Oxford United in 2017, as Rafa Benitez prioritised Premier League safety over a run in the FA Cup.

What about Rochdale’s recent FA Cup record?

Remarkably Rochdale have made more fourth rounds of the FA Cup in the last six seasons (4) than Newcastle (3). It must be noted NUFC enter at round three, while Dale have started in round one on each of the past six campaigns.

Where can I watch the game?

If you're not going to the game – where Newcastle are expected to get around 3,000 tickets – the Magpies' debut in this year’s competition has selected to be shown live on BT Sport.

What has Steve Bruce said about the competition?

"I’ve put my neck on the line immediately! I’m not really bothered what’s been done before. I can understand the philosophy of it but my perception of it all changed at Hull.

"No disrespect to Sheffield United, who were in League One at the time, but we got them in the semi final. We played Sunderland in the quarter-finals and they put the reserves out. The draw was kind to us.

"We were 2-0 up in the Cup final against Arsenal.

"We nearly won it.

"My perception of it changed too. Hull supporters had the best day out in their lives.

"That’s got to be a route and that’s what we’ll try and do.

"Surely as a club we can win five games? Can we win a cup tie, can we do well in the League Cup or the FA Cup? That’s got to be an aim. It’s not just about staying in the division and being happy with that – that would be wrong.”