Allardyce snares the points on St James' return

Newcastle United 1 Blackburn Rovers 2

Substitute Jason Roberts brought Newcastle's winning run to a shuddering halt to hand Blackburn boss Sam Allardyce 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 seemed to catch Pedersen with a hand as he ran past him, it was Allardyce who had the last laugh. There is no love lost between the former Bolton manager and Newcastle following his eight-month reign on Tyneside.

He understandably, believes he was given nowhere near enough time to make his methods work at St James', although his critics will point to the brand of football he asked a team packed with expensively-assembled players to play.

Blackburn adopted a game-plan which involved closing down space in the middle of the park to deny a supply line to Carroll and in return, attempted to hit their hosts on the break at pace.

The ploy proved successful in the opening 45 minutes as the Magpies were unable to reproduce the kind of flowing football which characterised their thumping home victories over Aston Villa and Sunderland.

Rovers were helped in no small part by the gift of an opening goal within three minutes of kick-off when the normally reliable 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.

Newcastle's response was initially lukewarm, other than a deflected eighth-minute Jose Enrique shot which dropped just wide, as the visitors' muscular back three of Christopher Samba, Ryan Nelsen and Gael Givet coped with the aerial threat comfortably.

Indeed, with wide midfielder David Hoilett and overlapping wing-back Pascal Chimbonda repeatedly exploiting the space behind right-back Danny Simpson, Blackburn looked capable of adding to their tally.

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.

However, in the meantime, the Magpies had finally established a momentum, although without ever troubling Paul Robinson.

Samba blocked a Tiote piledriver at source and Kevin Nolan fired over, but it took the home side 42 minutes to get behind the Blackburn defence.

Jonas Gutierrez's crossfield pass put Barton in on the right, but the ball skipped up off the turf and his right-foot shot flew harmlessly behind.

Hughton opted for change at the break when Shola Ameobi failed to reappear and was replaced by Nile Ranger, and his side was back on terms within two minutes of the restart in a fashion Allardyce would have greatly appreciated had it come at the other end.

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

In a frenetic passage of play in the immediate aftermath of the goal, Barton shot wide after creating space for himself and was then involved in a clash with Pedersen at the other end after Hoilett had been booked for diving.

The former Manchester City midfielder appeared to flick out at the Norwegian's midriff with his hand, although seemed astonished by his reaction.

Gutierrez failed to test Robinson as much as he might have with a 57th-minute strike, and with Roberts having replaced lone striker Nikola Kalinic, Rovers set about the task of trying to restore their lead.

It was a case of more brain than brawn as the two sides slugged it out in the search for a winner with the game approaching its final 20 minutes at breakneck pace.

But with Newcastle doing most of the pressing, they were caught by a sucker punch when Roberts muscled Mike Williamson off Robinson's clearance and tucked the ball past Krul eight minutes from time.

A final flurry failed to yield salvation for the Magpies, who once again succumbed to comparatively modest opposition on their own park.

News
Andy Murray with his girlfriend of nine years, Kim Sears who he has got engaged to
people

Tennis star is set to marry his long-term girlfriend, Kim Sears

News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Joel Edgerton, John Turturro and Christian Bale in Exodus: Gods and Kings
film Ridley Scott reveals truth behind casting decisions of Exodus
News
people
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
footballArsenal 2 Borussia Dortmund 0: And they can still top the group
Arts and Entertainment
An unseen image of Kurt Cobain at home featured in the film 'Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck'
filmThe singers widow and former bandmates have approved project
News
Andy Murray with his girlfriend of nine years, Kim Sears who he has got engaged to
peopleWimbledon champion announces engagement to girlfriend Kim Sears
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden and Edwina Currie are joining the I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here! camp
tv
Arts and Entertainment
George Mpanga has been shortlisted for the Critics’ Choice prize
music
News
Albert Camus (left) and Jean-Paul Sartre fell out in 1952 and did not speak again before Camus’s death
people
Arts and Entertainment
Roisin, James and Sanjay in the boardroom
tvReview: This week's failing project manager had to go
News
Ed Miliband visiting the Holocaust museum in Jerusalem. The Labour leader has spoken more openly of his heritage recently
newsAttacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But are the barbs more sinister?
Arts and Entertainment
'Felfie' (2014) by Alison Jackson
photographyNew exhibition shows how female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising
News
i100
Life and Style
Fright night: the board game dates back to at least 1890
life
Environment
The vaquita is being killed by fishermen trying to catch the totoaba fish, which is prized in China
environmentJust 97 of the 'world's cutest' sea mammals remain
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game
There's a Good Girl exhibition: How female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising

In pictures: There's a Good Girl exhibition

The new exhibition reveals how female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising
UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover - from advent calendars to doll's houses

UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover

It worked with cupcakes, doughnuts and macarons so no wonder someone decided to revamp the humble biscuit
Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

It's no surprise that the building game born in Sweden in 2009 and now played by millions, has imitators keen to construct their own mega money-spinner
The King's School is way ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology

Staying connected: The King's School

The school in Cambridgeshire is ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology. Richard Garner discovers how teachers and pupils stay connected
Christmas 2014: 23 best women's perfumes

Festively fragrant: the best women's perfumes

Give a loved one a luxe fragrance this year or treat yourself to a sensual pick-me-up
Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain celebrates century with trademark display of speed and intuition

Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund

The Ox celebrates century with trademark display of speed and intuition
Billy Joe Saunders vs Chris Eubank Jnr: When two worlds collide

When two worlds collide

Traveller Billy Joe Saunders did not have a pampered public-school upbringing - unlike Saturday’s opponent Chris Eubank Jnr
Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

Putin’s far-right ambition

Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?