Blackburn Rovers set up an Emirates FA Cup fourth round meeting with Oxford United after a narrow 2-1 win over Newport County on Monday evening.
The Blues’ top scorer and half-time substitute Jordan Rhodes headed home a timely winner for the Championship side, who played for 80 minutes with ten men after Chris Brown was sent off for an early and ugly tackle on County’s Medy Elito.
Newport County 1-2 Blackburn Rovers
The Emirates FA Cup
Third Round Proper
Monday 18 January 2016
Rodney Parade, Newport
Live on SC4
Winners receive £67,500 from prize fund
But Paul Lambert’s side had already taken the lead through a Ben Marshall penalty before that, and despite County skipper Mark Byrne netting a stunning equalised from 25 yards, Rhodes’ winner proved enough.
It was a feisty game too, re-arranged for this evening after being rained off nine days previously, as League Two side Newport had goalkeeper Joe Day sent off in injury time for a professional foul on Rovers substitute Craig Conway just outside his area.
That was a frustrating end to a night that may have been very different for the Welsh side, who should have rescued a replay in the dying minutes when the unmarked Scott Boden headed wide from close range.
They had made a terrible start to the game as Marshall was tripped by Scott Barrow in the box after just eight minutes, with the former Leicester City man picking himself up to score from the spot.
But with a man advantage following Brown’s dismissal, Newport soon found their rhythm against Lambert's team and drew level before the break through Byrne's eye-catching strike, which gave Rovers keeper Jason Steele no chance.
Byrne had already gone close previously and Connor Dymond had also hit the post for the home side.
The game swung back in Blackburn’s favour after the break though, when Welsh midfielder Tom Lawrence placed a centre onto the head of Rhodes, who gleefully glanced home the winner.
And they will now face former boss Michael Appleton and his assistant - Rovers record-appearance holder Derek Fazakerley - in a fourth round clash at the Kassam Stadium later this month.
Newport County: Day, Hughes, Donacien, Holmes, Barrow, Byrne (c), Dymond, Elito, Boden, Collins, Davies.
Substitutes: Green for Barrow 90, Taylor for Dymond 82, Owen-Evans for Elito 14
Subs not used: Parselle, Twumasi, Ralph, Klukowski
Goals: Byrne 31
Red Card: Day
Blackburn Rovers: Steele, Marshall, Hanley, Lenihan, Spurr, Bennett, Evans, Akpan, Taylor, Lawrence, Brown.
Substitutes: Rhodes for Bennett 46, Conway for Lawrence 77, Henley for Evans 90
Subs not used: Raya (GK), Olsson.
Goals: Marshall (pen) 8, Rhodes 75
Cautions: Lawrence, Taylor.
Red Card: Brown
Emirates FA Cup highlights: Newport County 1-2 Blackburn Rovers