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Report: Dale 1 Hull 0
Sunday, 22nd Jul 2018 07:32

A late Joe Rafferty goal was the difference between the two sides as Dale's unbeaten preseason continued.

This was a game that was a bit closer to that first day at Burton. The mass changes of Stalybridge and Stockport were a thing of the past, and we went into the game as a ninety minute exercise, and if the starting eleven was an indication of our starting eleven, there may be one or two surprise omissions.

The back three had MJ Williams in the middle of the three. Previous games for the club have seen him play with a midfield role and his squad number of 8 would have suggested something similar this time round if squad numbers are ever something you can read into, but his first signing had the club described him as being comfortable in midfield or defence and it may be the latter that we rely on this season.

There was a fair bit of waiting around. 3pm came and went and there was no sign of any of the players. Eventually, five or six minutes later they appeared but without a Dale goalkeeper as Josh Lillis was absent from all the pre-match handshakes stuff.

I said the other day that pre-season games are all much of a muchness, and this was no exception. It was all very nice, almost exhibition stuff but no one told David Perkins. You almost got the feeling he'd be nudging you all over the place even if you were playing Connect 4. He won a laughable free kick having knocked one Hull player out of the way and leaving him in a heap on the floor, and he squared up to Hull's Henriksen who must have been at the very least six inches taller than him. It's great to have him back.

It was Perkins who played his part in what was the highlight of the first half. A lovely passing move from Dale saw us pass the ball around our opponents, before Perkins did a 1-2 which saw him receive the ball back but his shot was saved by the Hull keeper.

Hull had a few chances of their own, but it seemed every effort that they had throughout the game resulted in a weak effort that was straight at Lillis.

The second half was just like the first. The notable thing was the lack of subs as we stuck with the same team, and Hull did the same until they changed their entire outfield team with about twenty minutes to go.

With time running out, we had a goal that was pretty much wasted on a friendly game. Joe Rafferty went all Paddy McCourt as he nutmegged their left back before curling into the far post using his left foot. He'll do well to score another one as good as that in his entire career.

The plus points from the game were the aforementioned Williams who must be a real contender for taking what was McNulty's position last year

Photo: Action Images

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