Belfast Telegraph

Roberts strikes again

Substitute Jason Roberts brought Newcastle's winning run to a shuddering halt to hand Blackburn boss Sam Allardyce a 2-1 victory on his return to St James' Park.

Roberts scored for the second time in as many games to condemn the Magpies to a third home defeat of the season following wins for Blackpool and Stoke on Tyneside, and their sixth in as many attempts by Rovers.

Andy Carroll looked to have snatched at least a point for the home side with a towering 47th-minute to further enhance his England credentials, after Morten Gamst Pedersen had given Rovers a third-minute lead.

But on a night when midfielder Joey Barton once again found himself at the centre of controversy when he seemed to catch Pedersen with a hand as he ran past him, it was Allardyce who had the last laugh.

Rovers were gifted an opening goal within three minutes of kick-off when Cheik Tiote surrendered possession to Brett Emerton inside his own penalty area and could only look on in horror as Pedersen blasted a low right-foot shot across goalkeeper Tim Krul and into the bottom corner.

Pedersen saw a 16th-minute strike clip Carroll and slip past the post and then thumped a free-kick into Krul's midriff on the stroke of half-time.

Chris Hughton opted for change at the break when Shola Ameobi was replaced by Nile Ranger, and his side were back on terms within two minutes of the restart.

Barton's floated free-kick allowed Carroll to get up above Christopher Samba to power a bullet header into the top corner.

Barton then appeared to flick out at Pedersen with his hand, although seemed astonished by his reaction.

With Newcastle doing most of the pressing, they were caught by a sucker punch when Roberts muscled Mike Williamson off Paul Robinson's clearance and tucked the ball past Krul.

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