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Match Report


Posted Wed 26 Oct 11 at 22:44 PM

Report: Rovers 4 Newcastle United 3 (aet

Rovers made it hard work but they eventually overcame Newcastle United to reach the quarter-finals of the Carling Cup.

In the end they needed extra-time to get past Newcastle on yet another night of high drama at Ewood Park.

A first half strike from Ruben Rochina and a second half penalty from Yakubu had Rovers coasting to a comfortable victory, but the visitors pegged them back with injury time strikes from Danny Guthrie and then Yohan Cabaye in the 96th minute.

That meant another thirty minutes, Morten Gamst Pedersen regaining Rovers lead with a free-kick on 99 minutes.

But Newcastle came back once again, handed a dubious penalty kick which Peter Lovenkrands converted.

With one minute left on the clock Rovers won a free-kick, Morten Gamst Pedersen sent the ball to the back post, Chris Samba nodded across and there was man-of-the match Gael Givet to head home from a yard out to send Rovers through.

Steve Kean made five changes from the side that was unfortunate to taste defeat against Tottenham at the weekend.

Mark Bunn, Radosav Petrovic, Ruben Rochina, David Goodwillie and Yakubu all came into the starting XI for the cup clash. Paul Robinson, Steven Nzonzi, Mauro Formica, Jason Roberts and Simon Vukcevic all making way.

Despite those changes Rovers started like a steam train, Newcastle, who also made five changes, unable to cope with the early pressure inflicted by the home side with Ruben Rochina, Rovers goal getter in the competition, at the heart of the early action.

Two minutes in and a typical Junior Hoilett run saw him advance down the left, skipping his way into the area he found Morten Gamst Pedersen who played in Rochina but his shot was blocked.

But the young Spaniard wouldn't have to wait long to get on the scoresheet. From Rovers' very next attack on five mintes Martin Olsson and Hoilett exchanged passes before Olsson centred for Rochina to blast past Tim Krul into the roof of the net.

It was Rochina's fifth goal of the season, his fourth in the Carling Cup.

The visitors almost hit back straight away, Danny Guthrie playing a side-rule pass through to Demba Ba who, despite looking suspiciously offside, advanced before slamming his effort against the near post and away.

Rovers again exploited Newcastle's weakness down the left, this time David Goodwillie getting into the area, but as Krul saved and spilled, Yakubu couldn't take advantage.

It continued to be one-way traffic, Chris Samba headed wide a Pedersen corner, whilst Rochina was denied by the legs of Krul. Then a vicious 35-yard free-kick from Pedersen was well saved by the Newcastle stopper.

Aside from the Demba Ba shot that struck the post, Newcastle's only other effort of note was a Danny Guthrie effort low across the area that was watched wide by Bunn.

As the half drew to a close Toon captain Fabricio Coloccini was perhaps fortunate not to see red for a late challenge on Yakubu, the referee only issuing a yellow card as the Argentine wasn't the last man.

Yakubu almost had the last laugh, when from a quick-fire break he shot goalwards but Krul palmed his carefully steered shot aside.

David Goodwillie was denied after the restart, but it was the visitors who enjoyed a mini purple patch as the second half got under way.

A corner from the right reached Demba Ba at the back post and he headed back across goal only for Hatem Ben Arfa somehow head over with the goal at his mercy.

Then another chance was spurned as Sylvain Marveaux dived to head wide.

Newcastle then had two penalty claims waved away, the first was the strongest when a Marveaux centre struck Martin Olsson, but the referee deemed that it was ball to hand.

Seven minutes later and Demba Ba went down theatrically in the area, again the referee was unmoved, and as Chris Samba remonstrated with the attacker Rovers broke quickly catching their opponents unaware.

Morten Gamst Pedersen claimed possession in the centre of the park before lifting a delightful ball over the top for Ruben Rochina to race onto, as he controlled the ball in the area he was taken down clumsily by Tim Krul in the Newcastle goal - penalty.

Krul only saw yellow for his challenge, probably as Rochina was going away from goal at the time. It was left to Yakubu to take the penalty, the Nigerian making no mistake, sending Krul the wrong way for his third goal in a Rovers shirt.

Two goals to the good Rovers were in control. Yakubu was replaced by Mauro Formica, whilst the opposition made a trio of changes to try and get back into the game.

Their efforts appeared fruitless until the game entered five minutes of added on time.

With two of those played Danny Guthrie took advantage of space by lashing home a 30-yard effort that gave Mark Bunn no chance.

Even so it appeared to be mere consolation for the visitors. That was until Christopher Samba fouled Peter Lovenkrands 25-yards out and Yohan Cabaye curled a delightful free-kick over the wall and beyond Bunn.

It was the last effort of the ninety, a ninety where Mark Bunn had had very little to do, Krul in the opposition goal much the busier of the two sides.

Rovers were stunned, the visitors were jubilant, they'd somehow forced extra time.

Despite that late disappointment, Rovers regrouped and started extra time brightly, Morten Gamst Pedersen lashing a low free-kick narrowly wide of the far post.

On 99 minutes Rovers regained the lead once more. Morten Gamst Pedersen on free-kick duty, this time the ball skimming the wall and creeping into the corner of the net, much to the delight of the Norwegian, kissing the badge in celebration.

But right on the stroke of the end of the first half of extra time Rovers were on the wrong end of a highly dubious decision. Mark Bunn pulled off a great save to deny Ba, but in the ensuing scramble the linesman on the Jack Walker side flagged for a penalty, the Rovers players aghast.

Peter Lovenkrands stepped up and beat Bunn from twelve yards. 15 minutes to go, 3-3.

Again to Rovers' credit it was them who continued to force the pace. Pedersen had the ball in the net a second time only to be denied by a referee's whistle for a foul on Krul.

The substitute Simon Vukcevic stole through he appeared to be pulled down in the area by Davide Stanton, but again public enemy number one on the near side flagged in the visitor's favour.

With four minutes remaining David Goodwillie, who had worked tirelessly throughout was put through by Radosav Petrovic, but the young Scot curled his effort just wide.

The game seemed destined for penalties, but with the last throw of the dice and in the last minute Rovers had a free-kick, Morten Gamst Pedersen sent the ball into the area, Chris Samba headed back across goal and there was Gael Givet to head home from a yard out.

His goal sparked tremendous scenes as the whole team celebrated his goal.

This time there was to be no way back from the Magpies, two additional minutes came and went relatively comfortably, Rovers booking themselves a quarter-final spot for the sixth time since they lifted the coveted trophy in 2002.

ROVERS: Bunn, Lowe, Samba, Givet, Olsson, Rochina (sub Vukcevic 77 mins), Petrovic, Pedersen, Hoilett (sub Hanley 87 mins), Goodwillie, Yakubu (sub Formica 66 mins).

Subs not used: Robinson (GK), Formica, Roberts, Anderson, Cotton.

NEWCASTLE: Krul, Coloccini (c), Stanton, Cabaye, Simpson (sub Sammy Ameobi 69 mins), Guthrie, Ben Arfa (sub Lovenkrands 78 mins), Perch, Gutierrez, Ba, Marveaux (sub Obertan 76 mins).

Subs not used: Elliot (GK), Abeid, Gosling, Ranger.

Booked: Hoilett, Olsson (Rovers), Coloccini, Perch, Krul, Cabaye (Newcastle)

Attendance: 10,682

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