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Match Report: Rochdale 1-2 Stockport County (FA Cup)
Saturday, 7th Nov 2020 18:27 by Chaff

Dale are out of the FA Cup at the first hurdle with Stockport County win 2-1 at Spotland with the help of a quite stunning David Beckham style goal from inside his own half from John Rooney.

It was FA Caup first round day at Spotland and local rivals Stockport County were the visitors. Only nowadays, there was two divisions between the two sides than when we were taking them on regularly over a decade ago. The County squad included former Dale players Jordan Williams and Sam Minihan on the bench while former Dale midfielder Mark Kitching started the game. Scott Hogan's brother Liam was in defence while Wayne Rooney's brother John was in the County midfield. Former Dale trialist Lois Maynard was also on the County bench.

Dale made one change to the starting eleven with Jim McNulty replacing Haydon Roberts in defence. So Dale had Gavin Bazunu in net, Jimmy Keohane at right back, Tolaji Bola at left back and skipper Eoghan O’Connell and Jim McNulty at centre half. Aaron Morley, Jimmy Ryan and Matty Lund were in midfield with Alex Newby and Ollie Rathbone playing off Jake Beesley. The bench consisted of Jay Lynch, Jim McNulty, Haydon Roberts, Matt Done, Stephen Dooley, Harrison Hopper and Fabio Tavares. Ryan McLaughlin was not included in the squad.

Stockport started the game like a house on fire and had an early chance through former Dale man Mark Kitching as his effort went over with just over a minute gone.

Connor Jennings found himself in acres of space and forced Bazunu into a good save at his near post. That was with just three minutes gone!

And then Stockport took the lead in an absolutely extraordinary manner. John Rooney, brother of Wayne thought anything Wayne can do, I can do better. He picked the ball up well inside his own half, looked up, saw Gavin Bazunu off his line and went for it, David Beckham style and lobbed the ball over the on-loan City keeper and into the back of the net. What an incredible goal that was and if you haven't seen it, you will see it all over social media that's for sure. Goal of the round, probably goal of the whole competition already. One nil to County and there were only just over five minutes gone.

With Dale seemingly still in bed, Stockport went 2-0 up on 13 minutes. Connor Jennings did really went to switch feet on the edge of the box before drilling the ball goalwards but Alex Reid nipped in and got a foot on it to divert it past Bazunu to extend the lead.

Stockport had been dominant so far and Dale had an absolute mountain to climb.

Dale finally turned up and found themselves back in the game at least. With just over 20 minutes gone, Dale made it 2-1. Newby did brilliantly on the right and dinked a lovely cross in and both Lund and Beesley were queuing up to head it home and Lund won that one to get another to add to his impressive tally this season.

Dale were getting more and more into the game as Stockport soaked up the pressure a little and Eoghan O'Connell trying to bring the ball forward at every opportunity trying to find that decisive pass.

Jimmy Keohane had struggled at right back against Mark Kitching and as a result, Keohane and Jimmy Ryan swapped places which seemed to have a better result.

With the half coming to a close, a rare Eoghan O'Connell wayward pass found Reid who thankfully scuffed his effort wide.

In first half stoppage time, Gavin Bazunu was forced into a tremendous save from a powerful but deflected Mark Kitching shot.

The whistle went and Dale were behind at the break.

The second half saw Dale really push for the equaliser that would never come.

Jimmy Ryan shot from the edge of the box but his effort was heavily deflected and tipped over Hinchcliffe in the Stockport net.

Moments later, Matt Lund couldn't get enough on a great Aaron Morley cross and the keeper did superbly to keep it out.

Dale were playing with a much higher line and trying to build up their attacking play and wait for an opening.

Ryan ballooned one over the bar in what would be his last action of the game before being replaced by Fabio Tavares before Stephen Dooley came on for Bola a few minutes later but neither change had the desired effect.

Bazunu was forced into another good save from Alex Reid in a rare second half Stockport attack.

Dale pushed and pushed to stay in the FA Cup and Rathbone's fierce left footed effort was very well saved before Lund had a header easily saved from an O'Connell cross.

The fourth official held up 3 minutes time allowed and Dale were on the brink of a rare first round exit in this years FA Cup and there was just time for one last chance when a Matt Lund flick on was volleyed over by Beesley in what was a difficult chance.

The final whistle went and Dale's FA Cup run was ended at the very first hurdle.

A very special opening goal hit Dale hard and the second goal was a bit too easy but a resolute and hard working Stockport County profited from Dale being unable to break them down and the non-league side go into the hat for the next round.


Gavin Bazunu - 6 (Lobbed from beyond the half way line but did pull off a couple of good saves)

Jimmy Keohane - 5 (Struggled against Kitching in a rare below average performance from Jimmy)

Eoghan O'Connell - 7 (My man of the match but more for the way he tried to attack)

Jim McNulty- 6 (Did ok overall)

Tolaji Bola - 6 (Worked hard down the left before coming off)

Aaron Morley - 6 (Worked hard to try and create an opening)

Jimmy Ryan - 6 (We looked more solid with him at right back but went off second half)

Matty Lund - 6 (Did ok and bagged another goal)

Ollie Rathbone - 6 (Was pretty much man marked all second half)

Alex Newby - 7 (Our most creative player again and got the assist for Lund's header)

Jake Beesley - 6 (Worked hard as always but empty handed again)


Fabio Tavares - 5 (Didn’t have any impact)
Stephen Dooley– 5 (Came on for Bola, offered nothing)

Photo: Action Images

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Yorkshire_Dale added 18:36 - Nov 7
Good report about an absolute dismal display from our lot.....very little pride evident.

But well done Stockie.......you showed us the way!

TVOS1907 added 13:51 - Nov 8
Decent summary, Chaff. It's just a shame some take more pleasure out of us losing.

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