Newcastle United 1-0 Blackburn Rovers: Magpies progress to third for first time in four years
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Newcastle United progressed into the third round of the Carabao Cup after scraping past Championship side Blackburn Rovers at St James' Park on Tuesday night.

Magpies boss Steve Bruce made ten changes to the side that defeated West Ham United at the London Stadium on the opening weekend of the Premier League season, but a debut was given to Ryan Fraser after his free transfer last week.

And Fraser would have a key role to play in Newcastle's triumph as he got the crucial winning goal. 

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Story of the game

Despite lots of early possession, Blackburn struggled to create any real openings and Newcastle went close first when Miguel Almiron played a great ball into the path of Fraser who saw his run halted by Rovers defender Derrick Williams with ten minutes played.

But from the resulting corner, Tony Mowbray's side broke and came close as former Bundesliga star Lewis Holtby got onto the end of Ryan Nyambe's cross but the German's shot was hit off target from close range.

After a frantic few minutes, the game calmed down again with the next chance of note falling to the hosts as Matt Ritchie floated a free-kick into the box but Emil Krafth was unable to keep his header down and it went behind for a goal kick.

The Toon broke the deadlock on 34 minutes as Fraser became the third debutant to score for the club in just two games following the strikes from Callum Wilson and Jeff Hendrick on Saturday.

Almiron, making his first competitive appearance of the season, played an excellent ball through to the Scottish winger to leave him left one-on-one with Thomas Kaminski in the Blackburn goal and Fraser made no mistake as he fired home, albeit via a touch from the goalkeeper.

The final chance of the half fell to Almiron himself after a pass from youngster Dan Barlaser but the Paraguayan's shot was hit too high. 

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Limp Newcastle scrape through

The second period took a while to get going much like the first, but when the first opportunity came it was a good one for Blackburn as Ben Brereton took a long-range shot which had to be saved by Mark Gillespie before the shot-stopper signed from Motherwell this summer had to be on his toes to deny Amari'i Bell's follow-up.

Just after this chance, Bruce made his first change of the game with Jacob Murphy coming on to replace the goalscorer, Fraser. Former Newcastle youngster Adam Armstrong was also introduced for the visitors in place of Joe Rankin-Costello.

Newcastle tried to push for a second and on 69 minutes Joelinton drove forwards before seeing his effort from distance comfortably saved by Kaminski.

The Brazilian forward then had the ball in the back of the net three minutes later after latching onto Almiron's through ball, but he was denied by the offside flag.

He was then replaced by Allan Saint-Maximin, leaving the Magpies with no recognised striker on the pitch. Rovers also turned to their bench with Harry Chapman and John Buckley coming on for Tyrhys Dolan and Lewis Holtby.

Former Toon man Armstrong called Gillespie into action with 15 minutes to play but his effort from range was comfortable for the Newcastle keeper.

Three minutes later Blackburn went close again following a Joe Rothwell corner but Williams volleyed over the bar.

Christian Atsu was the final player to be welcomed into the game as Ritchie went off. Newcastle fan Murphy was given the captain's armband for the final ten minutes.

Five added minutes were added to the 90 and it was all Blackburn with the first chance coming to Williams again following a corner but once again he saw his shot go too high.

Murphy was then the hero with the last kick of the game as he heroically blocked Brereton's close-range effort and this proved to be key as the Jarred Gillet blew his whistle for full time. 

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The next round

After sealing their place in the next round of the competition, Newcastle will face Sky Bet League Two side Morecambe at the Mazuma Stadium after they overcame Oldham Athletic. 

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The line ups

Newcastle United

Gillespie, Manquillo, Krafth, Clark, Yedlin, Barlaser, S.Longstaff, Fraser (Murphy 58), Almiron, Ritchie (C) (Atsu 79, Joelinton (Saint-Maximin 72)

subs not used: Darlow, Lascelles, Hayden, Hendrick

Blackburn Rovers

Kaminski, Nyambe, Lenihan (C), Williams, Bell, Travis, Holtby (Buckley 72), Rothwell, Rankin-Costello (Armstrong 60), Dolan (Chapman 72), Brereton

subs not used: Fisher, Bennett, Wharton, Davenport

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