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Report: Mansfield 0 Dale 1
Tuesday, 8th Aug 2017 23:55 by Col

A goal from Callum Camps that would have graced any game ensured that Dale made it through to the second round of the Carabao Cup.

Every now and then, a game comes along and the main talking point is something non football related, and tonight was one. Not one person will have left the game and not mentioned the rain which was incessant from start to finish.

If truth be told, the game probably shouldn't have taken place. Full marks to the Mansfield groundstaff for producing a pitch that just about coped with the rain, but at times it was almost unplayable, and there were real fears that the aforementioned Camps wonder goal could end up being expunged from the records.

But saying that, it was great to make a break away from the sanitised football world that we live in these days and the rain was a tester for both sides and produced an old fashioned battle between the two sides in which we deservedly came out on top.

At times, we played some brilliant stuff making a mockery of the conditions, including one passage of play in the first half which must have seen us making thirty consecutive passes. But there were times where you just wanted us to give it the old fashioned hoof as we overplayed it in difficult areas, and the fear was there throughout that the pitch would get the better of our passing game and catch us out.

We went in to the game with a few changes from Saturday. Two were enforced in Allen and Keane missing through injury and suspension respectively, and two more saw Andrew and Cannon drop to the bench. Coming in were Done, WIlliams, Canavan and Rafferty.

It was a strange old first half. Like I said, we played some great stuff, but it seemed like it was straight from the 4g pitch in Tenerife and not the monsoon conditions we were greeted to. I felt we showed our superiority to our hosts, but with a fragility that offered them chances.

One great effort saw former Daley Will Atkinson get all the space in the world down the right wing, more space than he expected to get,but his effort came to nothing. Another chance almost saw Mansfield score by mistake as one player's attempt to get the ball saw it cannon on to the post.

But we were the better side, and we causing all sorts of problems with our running. Rathbone, Hendo, Done and WIlliams in particular stood out with their pressing and movement but it was Camps who produced that one piece of quality which proved to be the difference between the two teams.

We had a corner that was headed away and from outside the box, Camps curled in into the top right hand corner, and it was in from the moment it left his foot. Back of the net.

Second half was a much more even affair, though we probably had more chances during this spell.

We had two efforts that hit the woodwork, once through Nthle and the other through Rathbone, and Matty Done had an effort ruled out after his opponent slipped on the pitch.

Ten minutes to go, and Mansfield won a penalty. It was at the far end from us, but it seemed like the former Bury striker Rose fell over a Dale defender rather than a foul but replays could prove otherwise. Either way, Rose's spot kick went straight down the middle and was cleared by Lillis in a Tommy Lee stylee.

Mansfield huffed and puffed for the remainder of the game, and it was certainly nervy times in more than one scramble but we stood tight, just about, and we held on to make it through to the second round.

Overall, we had the better chances and coped better with the conditions, so few could argue with our place in round two.

Photo: Action Images

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