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Reserves Salvage Point


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Late goals by Harkins 77 minutes and Barker 83 minutes, salvaged a point for the Rovers reserves after they had gone 2 – 0 down to Newcastle.

A penalty in the 35 minute by Michael Chopra after Thompson had handled on the line gave Newcastle's Reserves a half-time lead against Rovers at Kingston Park this evening.

Thompson returning from injury received a yellow card for handling the ball, that resulted in the penalty.

Newcastle went further ahead in the 67 minute when Brittain’s left wing cross went over Lee’s head, however Rovers battled back with a 20 yard shot from Harkins and a looping miss hit chip from Barker that went over the keepers head.

Final score Newcastle 2 – Blackburn 2.

Rovers : Lee, Kane, Taylor, Harkins, Barr, Nolan, Treacy, Thompson, Johnson, Barker, Peter. Subs: Byrom, Fielding, Stopforth, Welch, Thomson.

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Match Report by Wild Irish Rover

The reserves hustled and bustled and played most of the football on a night where two of the four goals scored were flukes and both sides seemed lacking in real quality where it was needed - in front of goal.

Rovers could easily have gone in at half time three goals to the good, having thumped the woodwork with long range efforts twice and spurned tap in chances on other occasions. However, a mystery penalty decision (clearly ball to hand) not even seen by the referee (but flagged by an over zealous linesman) meant we finished the half trailing 1-0. Jemal Johnson showed some fine control at times, although unfortunately not of his mouth, hence a booking for dissent. Thompson bossed midfield and caused many of the geordie onlookers I spoke to at half time to berate their lack of bite in the middle. The abiding memory of the half was of long ball tactics, with Johnson and Barker straining to catch the ball as it fizzed past.

Same story into the second half. Newcastle made a substitution and the midfield became even more bypassed. The tide seemed to be turning in Newcastle's favour for a while, with Richard Lee having to make a couple of smart stops when Newcastle got sharp shots on target. On 67 minutes Rovers' Andy Taylor made a penetrating run into the Newcastle box, only to be dispossessed by a defender who knocked the ball wide to Ameobi who found number 7 Martin Brittain racing down the left wing. Brittain's hammered cross from the left flew past a static Lee into the goal. 2-0 Newcastle.

Rovers started to put together a few more passes after that and equalised through Gary Harkins who lashed in a rebound following good work from Johnson on the left. The game didn't really get going after that, although it was no surprise when Barker hooked in a loose ball to make it 2-2 with a couple of minutes to go.

Overall assessment: Rovers well worth the draw, but neither team did anything to deserve a win.

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