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Newcastle United vs Blackburn Rovers. Carabao Cup Second Round.

St James' Park, Newcastle.

Newcastle United 1

  • R Fraser (35th minute)

Blackburn Rovers 0

    Newcastle 1-0 Blackburn: Ryan Fraser scores on debut to send Magpies into third round

    Newcastle will face an away trip to Morecambe, who beat Oldham 1-0 on Tuesday, in the third round

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    Highlights of the Carabao Cup match between Newcastle and Blackburn

    Ryan Fraser fired Newcastle into the third round of the Carabao Cup with a goal on his debut as the Premier League side edged past Blackburn 1-0.

    Fraser's 35th-minute strike was all that separated the sides on a night when the visitors more than made a game of it against a Magpies side featuring 10 changes from the weekend, but crucially could not find a way past goalkeeper Mark Gillespie.

    Things might have been very different, however, had midfielder Lewis Holtby hit the target with a 12th-minute effort which flew wide or had they been more precise amid a late flurry.

    In the event, one goal was enough for the hosts with head coach Steve Bruce getting minutes into the legs of Fraser, who had not played a competitive game since March 7, as well as defender Ciaran Clark on his return from a seven-month injury lay-off, but not much else.

    Perhaps understandably, a Rovers side featuring nine of the men who started at Bournemouth in the league at the weekend produced the more fluent start with Lewis Travis and Holtby dictating play from the middle of the field.

    Ryan Fraser scored on his debut to win the Carabao Cup tie for Newcastle
    Image: Ryan Fraser scored on his debut to win the Carabao Cup tie for Newcastle

    Holtby should have given the visitors a 12th-minute lead after full-back Ryan Nyambe had slipped past Fraser and Javi Manquillo on the right and pulled the ball back, but the midfielder side-footed wastefully wide.

    Newcastle finally started to work their way into the game as Miguel and Joelinton got themselves involved, and it was the Paraguay international who eventually opened the door with 10 minutes of the half remaining.

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    His astute reverse pass put Fraser in on goal and the Scotland international drilled the ball past Thomas Kaminski despite the goalkeeper getting a significant touch.

    Blackburn could not find away past childhood Newcastle fan Mark Gillespie
    Image: Blackburn could not find away past childhood Newcastle fan Mark Gillespie

    Miguel Almiron fired just over in stoppage time after racing into the penalty area from Dan Barlaser's pass, but the tie was far from over when the half-time whistle sounded seconds later.

    The Championship side resumed at a high tempo with 18-year-old frontman Tyrhys Dolan a particular threat, but the Magpies might have increased their advantage had Matt Ritchie been able to pick out Fraser with his 48th-minute cross after Rovers were caught on the counter once again.

    Bruce's men found themselves stretched repeatedly and it took a 58th-minute double save from debutant Gillespie to deny Ben Brereton and Amari'i Bell and preserve their lead.

    Matt Ritchie takes on Amari'i Bell at St James' Park
    Image: Matt Ritchie takes on Amari'i Bell at St James' Park

    Holtby blasted just wide from Dolan's lay-off four minutes later as Rovers sensed an opportunity, although Blackburn continued to look vulnerable when they turned the ball over and Joelinton might have done better when he was presented with a 69th-minute run on goal by substitute Jacob Murphy.

    Defender Derrick Williams twice stabbed over from Joe Rothwell corners with 12 minutes remaining and Murphy robbed Brereton before he could shoot to see his side home.

    What the managers said

    Newcastle boss Steve Bruce: "We aren't going to say anything other than we were fortunate. I was wary people needed games, but thankfully we got away with it. We have another game on Sunday.

    "We will have had six games in two and a half weeks. That game has made sure some of them have got football in their legs."

    Blackburn manager Tony Mowbray: "It's a work in progress. I do feel as if, if we keep the standards up, the levels high, we're going to win a lot of games. We can't keep missing the opportunities and getting into the areas to damage the opposition.

    "It's a frustrating day for us, we did enough not to lose the game but we've lost it."

    What's next?

    Live Renault Super Sunday

    Newcastle will be on Sky Sports on Sunday when they host Brighton in the Premier League (kick-off 2pm). Blackburn welcome Wycombe Wanderers in the Sky Bet Championship on Saturday (kick-off 3pm).

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    ONE MILLION POUNDS! Can you imagine?

    You read correctly. Do not miss your chance to scoop £1m for free in this week's Super 6 round. Play for free, entries by 3pm Saturday.

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