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Burton Albion 0 v 1 Rochdale
SkyBet League One
Tuesday, 20th October 2020 Kick-off 19:45
Match Report: Burton Albion 0-1 Rochdale
Tuesday, 20th Oct 2020 22:30 by Chaff

Dale recorded a huge win away at Burton Albion with Matt Lund's second half header giving Dale a valuable three points.

I would have taken a point before the game without doubt so to come away with three was huge.

A new centre back partnership had to start the game with both Paul McShane and captain Eoghan O'Connell missing out through injury and illness respectively. This allowed new loan signing Haydon Roberts to make his debut alongside Jim McNulty. With O'Connell out, Ollie Rathbone was Dale captain for the night. Dale lined up with Gavin Bazunu in net, Jimmy Keohane at right back, Tolaji Bola at left back with Haydon Roberts and Jim McNulty at centre back. Aaron Morley and Jimmy Ryan were sitting deep in the middle of the pitch with Matty Lund and Ollie Rathbone slightly more advanced with Alex Newby playing off Jake Beesley. The bench was made up of Ben Chalton, Ryan McLaughlin, Harrison Hopper, Ethan Brierley, Stephen Dooley, Matt Done and Fabio Tavares.

To be honest, the first half wasn't anything special and there wasn't much in the way of goalmouth action but both sides did create a few little openings. I wanted a better first half than the Hull game at the weekend and I'd say I got that.

A slippy surface meant it was difficult for players to keep their footing at times but both sides enjoyed large spells of possession.

The first opening fell to the home side and it came from a Vassilev header as he got on the end of a Neal Eardley cross but his header looped harmlessly over the net.

At the other end, Jake Beesley did well to get away from his marker and opened up to shoot from the edge of the area but a Burton defender put in a brilliant tackle to stop the Dale number 11 from potentially opening his account.

With just over 20 minutes gone, Burton had the best chance of the first half when Hemmings got onto the ball about 12 yards out but his effort clipped the outside of the post and Dale were off the hook.

Stephen Quinn had a header easily saved by Bazunu before Dale's best chance was spurned as well. Tolaji Bola put in a really good low cross that found Alex Newby and he hit his shot wide of the target. Has to score for me. Absolutely has to at least hit the target but he did neither.

Jimmy Ryan had a shot blocked after good work from Roberts and then Keohane on the right.

Burton had another good chance just after the half hour mark but Powell hit his shot wide.

Dale were awarded a free kick with about 10 minutes of the half remaining and Lund of all people decided to hit it but his effort hit the wall before Bola gave away a free kick.

It was goalless at the break and Dale had done alright to be fair. Much improved in most areas with the issues we all know about still highlighted, such as a lack of creativity and a finisher.

The second half got under way and very early on, Aaron Morley gave the ball away cheaply and it resulted in a shot wide by Powell. A real let off for Dale.

That said, with just two minutes of the half gone, Dale went ahead! Haydon Roberts did well towards the left touchline and as he turned quickly, he was brought down. Every pass Morley had made so far had been poor but this one was perfect. He swung the freekick and Matty Lund was on hand to glance the header into the far corner to make it 1-0. A great start to the half and further proof that sometimes, all you need is Lund.

Burton reacted well to going behind to be fair and just five minutes later, they had the ball in the net! A deep cross as headed in at the back post despite Bazunu getting a hand to it but the referee had given a foul thankfully.

Ollie Rathbone was having a much better game and he was getting forward whenever possible and on 71 minutes, he burst forward but his effort was weak with his left foot and easy for O'Hara.

Alex Newby made way for Fabio Tavares with a little over quarter of an hour left and his first action was an attacking corner. The corner from Morley was headed out to Keohane who struck a difficult half volley well wide of the post.

A stupid foul was given away by Morley in a very dangerous area, not far outside the box and central. Ben Fox stepped up and hit it narrowly wide of the mark.

Burton continued to push for an equaliser and a tremendous ball in from Vassilev basically hit substitute Gilligan rather than him attacking it and it went wide.

With around ten minutes left we saw a rare mistake from Jimmy Keohane who missed a header and allowed the dangerous Vassilev in again. His wonderful cross evaded the oncoming Hemmings by inches and that was the chance for Burton. I reckon any connection and it's in. It was becoming a nervy last few minutes.

With Vassilev causing issues down the left, BBM brought on Ryan McLaughlin for McNulty with Keohane going to centre half and McLaughlin did well in the short time he was on and dealt with the threat really well.

Ollie Rathbone went on another dangerous run from the middle of the pitch and again hit an effort with his left foot but this one was a much better strike and O'Hara did really to push it wide.

The final whistle blew and Dale had recorded their first away win of the season and a huge win having only won once this season and sitting in the relegation zone. I know league tables mean little at this stage of the season but seeing us rise to 17th was certainly nice.

PLAYER RATINGS:

Gavin Bazunu - 6 (Did quite well without being forced into making any major saves)

Jimmy Keohane - 7 (Been superb so far this season and did well again today)

Haydon Roberts - 7 (Impressive debut, looks composed and looks like he's from a higher level)

Jim McNulty - 7 (Did well did Jim without any mistakes)

Tolaji Bola - 7 (Superb first half, won plenty of free kicks and his crossing was excellent)

Aaron Morley - 6 (Might have been lower but for the assist for the goal, frustrating to watch at the minute)

JIMMY RYAN - 7 (My Man of the Match. Thought he and Lund were excellent. Such a contrast to weekend)

Matty Lund - 7 (All you need is Lund)

Ollie Rathbone - 7 (Much better from Rathbone)

Alex Newby - 6 (Quiet game for Newby really)

Jake Beesley - 7 (Ran himself into the ground again)


Subs:

Fabio Tavares - 6 (Did ok when coming on)
Ryan McLaughlin - 7 (Did well up against Vassilev)

Photo: Action Images



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