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Bolton Wanderers 1 v 3 Rochdale
SkyBet League Two
Saturday, 19th October 2019 Kick-off 15:00
Match Report: Bolton 1-3 Dale
Saturday, 19th Oct 2019 22:13 by Chaff

Dale recorded consecutive wins for the first time this season with a 3-1 away win over Keith Hill’s Bolton Wanderers.

A couple of changes were made to the side as Spanish Bob was ruled out with injury meaning Jay Lynch, who started his career at Bolton, made his Rochdale league debut in net. Rhys Norrington-Davies and Luke Matheson returned from international duty and RND slotted straight back in at left back while Matheson started on the bench. Jimmy Ryan dropped to the bench with Aaron Morley replacing him in midfield and Matty Done playing further up the pitch while Aaron Wilbraham had to make do with a bench spot. Brad Wade was recalled from his loan spell at Barrow to take a place on the bench ahead of Josh Lillis which was a topic of conversation. What the hell has gone on there?!

The game almost got off to the perfect start courtesy of Aaron Morley who hit a spectacular halfway line effort straight from kick off which ended up just clearing the cross bar and landing on the roof of the net. We had a lad in our Sunday League side years ago who always tried it but spooned it wide more often than not, Morley’s effort almost provided the moment of the season.

It’s fair to say Dale were pretty sloppy in the first half. Possession was given away far too often, and we looked a little shakier when playing around at the back, but we did also have chances. Matty Done and Ian Henderson found themselves 2 on 1 on the counter-attack and all it needed was a decent through ball from Done to set Hendo in to surely break the deadlock but the pass was awful, and it became a half chance that was behind Henderson and picked up by Norrington-Davies who hit wide of the far post.

Daryl Murphy had a good chance for Wanderers but his header was poor and didn’t really test Lynch.

Dale had a couple of half chances themselves through Henderson and Camps, both missing the target. Camps was in two minds whether to slide in Morley or shoot and in the end didn’t really do either.

The first half was pretty much devoid of anything like quality, to the point where even the fourth official got bored and only held up 1 minute of time added on.

So, 0-0 at the break, poor game, and Dale had been struggled in all honesty. The atmosphere in the away end had been quiet with a lot of fans arriving late due to a crash on the M61 and some fans, ex and current moderators included, were even stuck on a train that wouldn’t move because of an injury and turned up half an hour into the first half!

Jimmy Keohane was sacrificed at half time and replaced by Luke Matheson. That was possibly harsh on Keohane as he had struggled first half but only because Done wasn’t really showing as an outlet for him and he was left with two men all too often.

Dale had started the second half a lot better than the first but found themselves 1-0 down just before the hour mark. I actually thought the goal came slightly against the run of play. Rhys Norrington-Davies was caught in possession by Joe Dodoo who put in a peach of a ball for Thomas Verlinden to head home.

A bit of a kick in the bollocks that but one that we needed as it sparked Dale back into the game and from that point on, we pretty much bossed proceedings regardless of what Alan Gowling on BBC Radio Bolton/Manchester said.

MJ Williams was substituted for Aaron Wilbraham who received a great reception from the Bolton fans, like Chris O’Grady got from us when he came on for Bolton as well.

The introduction of Wilbraham worked wonders and he was integral to all the attacks from Dale. He was tremendous and put in one of his best performances in a Dale shirt. He changed the game completely.

Shortly after and Dale were back on level terms. The ball was played across to Callum Camps to hit and his shot found its way into the back of the net via a deflection. Game on!

Bolton had another great chance shortly after the equalizer and Eoghan O’Connell was on hand put in an unbelievable block to prevent Bolton going back in front and then even tried to block it a second time, on the floor, with his head but it went straight through to Lynch.

Dale began to dictate the play and found themselves ahead thanks to Ollie Rathbone. He broke down the left, drifted inside and hit an effort across goal, past the keeper Matthews and in off the far post. A great way to cap your 100th league appearance.

I was never really comfortable with a one goal lead but the game was put to bed, the points secured safely in the boot, when substitute Fabio Tavares went on a mazy run through the middle of the pitch from his own half after Rathbone had brilliantly won the ball back. Tavares got into the box, had his initial shot blocked but the rebound fell kindly for him and his second shot rebounded off the goalkeeper, back onto him and into the back of the net for his first goal for Dale. This will sound harsh but I’m absolutely certain, the rebound came off Zouma and not Tavares but don’t tell the dubious goals panel that! “Who put the ball in the Bolton net? Fabio Tavares”

Game over, a very welcome win and we march onto the next one, MK Franchise at home on Tuesday night!

Our Player Ratings:

Jay Lynch: 6. Dealt with everything that came his way and had a very solid league debut.

Jimmy Keohane: 5. Struggled a touch with a lack of help in front of him and struggled to stop crosses coming in on his side. Was substituted at half time.

Eoghan O'Connell: 7. One of the best signings we’ve made in recent years. His passing out from the back wasn’t it’s usual high standard but he got blocks and tackles in and put another good shift in.

Paul McShane: 6. Another decent showing from our newest recruit. We immediately look better at the back with him and EOC there

Rhys Norrington-Davies: 6. Not his best performance and got caught out for their goal but still provided width and created chances.

MJ Williams: 5. Good passer of the ball usually but gave away possession a lot and if he was any softer, he’d be liquid.

Aaron Morley: 7. Wonderful range of passing this lad has. Nearly gave us the best goal any of us would ever have seen as well

Ollie Rathbone: 7. Bagged himself a goal and never stopped running as usual. Rarely less than a 7/10 player.

Matt Done: 4. Poor performance from Matty today. Lost possession a lot and I’m not sure I’ve seen enough from him to warrant his new deal in the summer.

Callum Camps: 7. Played well Camps and was rewarded with a goal as well

Ian Henderson: 6. Ran his bollocks off as always and it’s good to know we don’t always have to rely on him


Luke Matheson: 6. Worked extremely hard and got forward more than Keohane was able to

Aaron Wilbraham: 8. Superb from Alby, change the game when he came on.

Fabio Tavares: 7. Brilliant run and goal at the end to put the game to bed.

Attendance: 13828

Photo: Action Images

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