Blackburn Rovers were knocked out of the FA Cup in agonising fashion as they were beaten 4-3 on penalties by Newcastle United after a 1-1 draw at Ewood Park.

John Eustace's side produced a phenomenal performance, pushing Premier League opposition all the way. Sam Szmodics canceled out Anthony Gordon's opener in normal time in an end-to-end cup tie.

Extra-time saw Rovers put their bodies on the line and take it to penalty-kicks. Szmodics was denied by Martin Dubravka whilst Harvey Barnes saw his spot-kick saved by Aynsley Pears.

Dom Hyam was the unlucky man to miss at sudden death with Dubravka turning his effort onto the post and away, securing their route into the quarter-finals.

READ MORE: Rovers ratings as Wharton, Buckley and Pears shine

Rovers restricted Newcastle to very little and created the best of the first-half chances. Tyrhys Dolan was inches away from giving them the lead with his arrowed drive kept out by a brilliant Martin Dubravka save.

Szmodics also had two sights at goal but couldn't quite get his shots into the corner. It took the Magpies until the 33rd minute to have a shot on target as Eustace's side soaked up the pressure and countered effectively.

Anthony Gordon was denied by Pears as they turned the screw in the second half whilst Kyle McFadzean was on hand to divert Jamal Lascelles' header off the line.

The Newcastle winger then finally broke Rovers' resistance, turning in Miguel Almiron's cutback to send the 7,500 Geordies wild. It was not a deserved lead but they had one foot in the quarters.

But with 10 minutes to go, Rovers forced extra-time. Who else but that man Szmodics? On hand to turn in the rebound after Dilan Markanday's shot had rattled the underside of the crossbar and bounced down.

Pears was the hero in extra-time to keep Rovers in it as he denied Gordon and then Sean Longstaff with a terrific double save from close range. Scott Wharton had to block Bruno Guimaraes' shot on the line before Harvey Barnes turned wide.

The stage was set for a big night at Ewood Park with the press box heaving full of national journalists and the BBC cameras in town. There were split loyalties in the TV boxes too, with Alan Shearer centre stage on his return to the ground he lifted the Premier League title.

Back to present day and Eustace had very much taken the pressure off his players ahead of kick-off. The message was to 'enjoy the occasion', with the pressure firmly fixed on their Premier League opponents.

Looking back at Jon Dahl Tomasson's reign, his best memories at Rovers were in the cup competitions. This game fell a day early for the one-year anniversary of beating Leicester City in this competition last season.

After five games in 14 days and four more to follow in the next fortnight, Eustace was left trying to balance the occasion with needing to look after key members of his squad.

McFadzean and Sam Gallagher were most likely to be rested but started at Ewood Park. In fact, there was no rotation at all with the two changes enforced.

Ben Chrisene was in for the injured Ryan Hedges at left-wing-back whilst Andrew Moran got the nod to partner John Buckley with Sondre Tronstad missing due to an ankle injury.

There was a delay to kick-off with Newcastle supporters caught outside the Darwen End but Rovers came racing out of the traps once 8pm struck. Eustace's side made their intentions clear from the off that this wouldn't be a stroll in the park.

A fast-paced start was briefly interrupted as tennis balls were thrown onto the pitch by some supporters in the Blackburn End in protest against Venky's ownership. Whilst it was only a small selection, it was the first form of protest that's taken place for a number of years.

On the pitch, Rovers were proving a difficult match for the Premier League Geordies. Backed by more than 7,500 away fans, Rovers did an excellent job of quietening the buoyant away fans.

As expected, they sat in a low block but were not afraid to get out and press Newcastle in the right areas. They broke at pace and created the best chances of the first half by far.

Szmodics got his first sight of goal after a neat pass by the excellent Buckley. His shot only hit the side netting as the angle tightened inside the box.

The best opportunity of the half then fell again in Rovers' favour. Dolan latched onto the ball after a quick breakaway and arrowed a fantastic drive, destined for the bottom corner. Credit to Dubravka for a fantastic save to keep him out.

It wasn't until the 33rd minute that Newcastle had their first effort on goal, a drive from Sean Longstaff from a tight angle that Pears comfortably turned away for a corner.

As the Newcastle frustration grew, the Rovers optimism blossomed. Szmodics again freed himself in the box and fired a shot goalward but it was tipped over the bar by Dubravka.

Rovers could sense there was an upset to be had. Buckley tested the reflexes of Dubravka with a skidding shot from the edge of the box which got the crowd up again.

With an hour played, the away side created their best opening by far. Lascelles got free from a corner but his goal-bound header was remarkably blocked on the line by McFadzean and the goal-mouth scramble was cleared to safety.

The Magpies got an even better sight at goal as the momentum began to turn in their favour. Anthony Gordon raced through on goal after Rovers were caught up field but Pears raced out to deny him one-on-one.

The warning signs proved to be a sign of what was to come as Rovers' resistance was finally broken. Substitute Almiron got his head up and picked out Gordon in the box and he made a simple finish. 

Newcastle had their tails up and were in control, with the game seemingly heading one way. But this is the FA Cup, you know?

Rovers broke down the left with Arnor Sigurdsson, who cut the ball back to Markanday. He crashed a shot off the bar and Szmodics was there to gobble up the rebound and send the roof off Ewood Park.

The game was on a knife-edge for the final 15 minutes with both teams chucking everything at the other to get the win. Substitute Yasin Ayari came closest with a low drive that was beaten away by the legs of Dubravka.

Into extra-time and it was Pears' turn to be the hero. First Gordon was denied from close range and it seemed inevitable that Longstaff would turn it in but he made a remarkable double save from close range.

Wharton then produced an unbelievable goal-line block to stop Guimaraes' shot going in and Barnes turned the rebound wide. Newcastle had missed two gilt-edged chances.

It went to penalties to settle the contest. Szmodics and Barnes were denied but with the score at 4-3 and at sudden death, Hyam's penalty was saved.