|Radcliffe 2 Dale 1|
Wed 11th Jul 2012 21:44 by Col
Dale got the preseason campaign off to a losing start with a 2-1 reverse at EvoStik side Radcliffe Boro despite taking an early lead.
Rochdale got preseason off in the same way that they finished the previous season with a 2-1 defeat as a late goal sealed the win for the home side.
I say "Rochdale" but it was a Rochdale side where those who actually play for Dale were very much in the minority. By our reckoning, the starting eleven had just three contracted players, with the rest made up of trialists. In fact, Rochdale were almost unrecognisable as they ran out with only returning goalkeeper Josh Lillis being a familiar face.
Conversations on the night suggested that with the weekend's Accrington game postponed, the first team may have featured elsewhere in a behind closed doors friendly as the players on the fringe of the first team didn't even get a run out.
The team sheet had three Dale players: Josh Lillis, Neill Byrne and Reece Bennett. The others were: Steve Irwin (ex Liverpool), Matty Pearson (ex Blackburn), Liam Irwin (ex Bolton), Ray Putterill (ex Accy / Southport), Ian Crainey (ex Accy), Danny Johnson (ex Hartlepool / Real Murcia), Pacom Gele (ex directory) and Jack Crompton.
We took the lead in the first five minutes with a shot from Ray Putterill who was probably our best player in the first half. Alongside Crainey, Putterill ran the show in the first half but he found it hard work in the balmy Bury weather, and it took its toll.
There wasn't much to show for the rest of the first half, or indeed the rest of the game save for two goals for the home side that you couldn't deny were deserved. Half time brought a raft of changes that I couldn't list even with the help of a team sheet. Jemal Johnson came on, as did Phil Edwards and a few others, but the myriad of trialists did precious little to earn a permanent deal based on this display.
There wasn't a great deal to be learned from this game with pretty much the whole of the first team squad absent from this game, but a late cameo from Stephen Jordan might show his place in the pecking order right now.
With no game on Saturday night, Dale set off to Austria on Sunday for their preseason training camp. There won't be many from Radcliffe on that plane.
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