Match Preview: Accrington vs Rochdale
Friday, 9th Oct 2020 11:52 by AtThePeake
Rochdale hope to pick up their first away league win of the 2020/2021 season against the last team they beat on the road in League One - Accrington Stanley.
Date: Saturday 10th October 2020
Few could've predicted that by the time we next played at the Wham Stadium in October of the same year, we'd have played just seven more league away fixtures and that we'd be making the trip over down the A56 without any backing from our usually excellent away following in Accrington.
But, such is 2020.
At least on the field, we can have cause for optimism heading into this game. An excellent performance last Saturday saw Dale pick up a first league victory of the season, with Fabio Tavares' last-gasp winner clutching all three points against Fleetwood Town.
Prior to that victory, Dale had picked up one point from their home fixture against Portsmouth, but fallen to away defeats at Swindon Town and Ipswich Town. Brian Barry-Murphy's men had been having a tough time of things, but were handed a very difficult start to the league by the fixtures computer it has to be said.
And more cause for optimism comes from the fact that Rochdale have a terrific record against Stanley in recent years. Since the Lancashire club returned to the Football League in their newer guise, the two teams have met 16 times, with the men in blue running out victors on no fewer than 13 occasions.
New signing Tolaji Bola could feature at left-back for the visitors, after arriving on a season-long loan from Arsenal on Thursday. Jay Lynch is set to return too, having missed last week's win over Fleetwood due to the birth of his child.
Stephen Humphrys is set to miss out again, whilst we await updates on the fitness of Jimmy Ryan, Kwadwo Baah, Yeboah Amankwah and Ryan McLoughlin who all missed out last Saturday.
The Liverpudlian manager's spell at Dale was marred by poor performances, a dreadful on-pitch attitude from players and rumoured controversy behind the scenes and as such, he has never had the best rapport with the Spotland fanbase.
However, the work that Coleman has done and continues to do at Accrington can not be under-estimated. Having originally joined the club when they were in the Northern Premier League First Division back in 1999, he has overseen almost 900 games in charge over two spells and a rise up to the third tier of the pyramid.
And perhaps, he'll see another season of stability this time around as perhaps is greatest achievement to date, with Stanley's chairman Andy Holt quite vocal about the issues the club have faced during the COVID-19 pandemic - issues that will surely have played some part in the loss of key players such as Jordan Clark, Sam Finley, Dimitar Evtimov and Callum Johnson over the summer.
But the Stanley faithful have every right to trust in Coleman and their iconic manager has led them to a solid start in the league, with two victories and two defeats in their opening four matches.
A win over much-fancied Peterborough United on the first day of the season will have pleased supporters and players alike, although by the time they overcame AFC Wimbledon away from home last weekend, the three points may have been needed to ease any worries that had set in after defeats to Burton Albion and Oxford United, the latter being a 1-4 mauling on home soil.
Stanley's modus operandi will continue to yield them results and although an already small budget will have been undoubtedly affected by COVID-19 like our own, you have to feel they have the experience and mentality to be a tough nut to crack in League One this term.
15 Mar 2014 - Rochdale 2-1 Accrington Stanley - League Two
Photo: Action Images
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