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Newcastle United 4 Rochdale 1

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THIS was about as smooth and satisfying as Newcastle United could have had in the end, and even misfiring Joelinton got in on the act to end his long drought to seal the routine FA Cup third round replay win.

Head coach Steve Bruce had earlier got to bond with the Newcastle fans as his side controlled the tie, before the £40m man wrapped up the 4-1 victory with eight minutes remaining and celebrating with relief as much as joy.

Rochdale kept working hard and plugging away in front of their large travelling support, but Newcastle controlled things and had a couple more attempts before the break.

Even though this was not a sell-out at St James’ Park, a comfortable triumph over League One’s Rochdale can be remembered as the night when supporters finally sang Bruce’s name on Tyneside – and in front of Mike Ashley too.

There was still time for Rochdale to pull one back when Williams gave the away fans something to cheer.

Newcastle never looked in any trouble.

That was the cue for Newcastle to get things wrapped up quickly.
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