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Report: Newcastle Utd 0 Rovers 1

Mulgrew's first Rovers goal downs Toon Army

26 November 2016

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A sensational second half strike from Charlie Mulgrew saw Rovers claim an impressive 1-0 victory over Newcastle United at St. James' Park.

The Scottish international struck his first goal for the club with a sweet volley on 75 minutes to ensure back-to-back league victories for Rovers for the second time this season.
Danny Graham had gone closest in a tight first half as the striker's early header was tipped over the bar from keeper Karl Darlow. Before the Magpies came at Rovers in the second half, but Jason Steele saved well to deny Jonjo Shelvey and Ciaran Clark in quick succession.
With the game finely poised it was Rovers who claimed the bragging rights when Mulgrew volleyed home Liam Feeney's fine centre with 15 minutes remaining.
The home side threw on leading scorer Dwight Gayle in the closing stages, but he fired over from 12-yards in added time to ensure another welcome three points for the Rovers.
Owen Coyle kept faith with the same starting eleven that had served him well seven days earlier in the win over Brentford with just two changes on the bench as Marvin Emnes and Hope Akpan returned.
In contrast, the home side made six changes, which lead to Rovers almost taking full advantage of the Magpies reshuffle with an excellent chance after just five minutes.
As the visitors worked the ball well down the right, Ben Marshall played it back to Liam Feeney who clipped into the box, Danny Graham leapt high with a flicked header that seemed to be heading for the top corner until keeper Karl Darlow tipped over.
Jason Steele was out well to claim a dangerous centre from DeAndre Yedlin, but it was a rare threat to the Rovers goal in a half that the visitors controlled for long spells.
Feeney, as in the match against Brentford, was lively down the right, a dangerous centre just evading Sam Gallagher at the back post.
Christian Atsu poked wide at the back post as the hosts came into the game as the half wore on, but aside from a spell of pressure from corner kicks at the end of the 45, the Rovers were more than a match for the Magpies.
The home side threatened early on as play resumed in the second half, but Atsu was well wide of Steele's far post, before Isaac Hayden flashed a shot from fully 30-yards just off target.
Then after Paul Dummett replaced the injured Jesus Gamez, the defender's centre was met spectacularly by Matt Ritchie, but the ball flashed inches over the bar.
But roared on by some 1500 noisy Roverites, the visitors grew in confidence as the clocked ticked on, Darlow in the Newcastle goal having to punch clear from a series of dangerous Conway corners.
Marvin Emnes replaced the hard-working Gallagher just past the hour mark and within two minutes the dangerous Dutchman posed a threat. Collecting a clever pass from Graham, Emnes spun and shot goalwards, the ball going just past the post.
The hosts countered with a trio of opportunities, a Jonjo Shelvey volley saw Steele scampering to save, then the Rovers number one brilliantly denied Ciaran Clark from close-range, before Aleksandar Mitrovic fired over with a shot on the turn.
But having weathered that brief storm, Rovers roared up the other end to grab the only goal of the game on 75 minutes.
After Conway had won a corner on the left, the Scotsman played it short to Feeney, and his centre was spectacularly volleyed home by Mulgrew for his first Rovers goal.
But instead of retreating, Rovers went in search of more. Graham with a header from a Conway corner that flashed just wide, before Emnes found the same side-netting with an opportunist strike. Corry Evans with a drive that deflected just wide.
With five minutes to go Rafa Benitez threw on top scorer Dwight Gayle, and his chance would come in the second of six additional minutes, but he blazed over from 12-yards.
Rovers had to withstand some late pressure as the Magpies threw everything at them, but they more then held their own to fully deserve to take all three points back to Lancashire.
NEWCASTLE: Darlow, Clark, Ritchie, Shelvey (c), Hayden, Perez, Mbemba (sub Gayle 85 mins), Yedlin, Gamez (sub Dummett 55 mins), Atsu, Mitrovic.
Subs not used: Sels (GK), Lascelles, Anita, Diame, Gouffran.
Goals: None.
Booked: Hayden 83 mins.
ROVERS: Steele, Marshall, Lenihan, Mulgrew, Williams, Feeney, Lowe (c), Evans, Conway, Graham, Gallagher (sub Emnes 62 mins).
Subs not used: Raya (GK), Stokes, Akpan, Nyambe, Brown, Bennett.
Goals: Mulgrew 75 mins.
Booked: Conway 24 mins, Lowe 68 mins, Marshall 90+1 mins.
Attendance: 52,092 (including 1465 Rovers fans)

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