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Rochdale 0 v 1 AFC Wimbledon
SkyBet League One
Saturday, 21st November 2020 Kick-off 15:00
Match Report: Rochdale 0-1 AFC Wimbledon
Saturday, 21st Nov 2020 17:48 by Chaff

An awful result saw Dale on the end of another defeat, this time at home to AFC Wimbledon thanks to a 91st minute goal.

Dale were back in action after an extended break with a home game against AFC Wimbledon. The Charlton game was called off last week due to international call ups giving BBM's men a much needed rest period. It had also been a much needed rest period for me not doing the match report!

The Dale twitter had a video of Alex Newby challenging youngsters to do as many kick ups as possible so I had to take mine outside so he could have a go before we both headed back in soaked!

The Dale line-up came through the Dale twitter and the two big bits of news were that Gavin Bazunu was out with a broken finger, picked up on international duty with Ireland U21's so Jay Lynch deputised. There was also the news we'd been waiting weeks for as Stephen Humphrys was back from injury! Hallelujah! No pressure Steve but you're hearby given the task of keeping us up! He started the game on the bench while Dale lined up with Jay Lynch in net, a back four of Jimmy Keohane, skipper Eoghan O'Connell, Haydon Roberts and Tolaji Bola. Aaron Morley, Jimmy and Matty Lund were in midfield while Ollie Rathbone and Alex Newby played either side of Jake Beesley. On the bench were Ben Chalton, Jim McNulty, Matt Done, Stephen Dooley, Fabio Tavares, Kwadwo Baah and Stephen Humphrys.

I missed the first couple of minutes of the game because of buffering but the stream soon sorted itself out without me missing too much action.

Dale seemed to have a lot of the early possession and that would be how the half went in all honesty, a lot of the ball without creating anything clear cut.

AFC Wimbledon clearly came to play on the counter and they were afforded the first opportunity when Jimmy Ryan was caught in possession when he had a lack of options. Wimbledon broke and Longman's effort was blocked for a corner. The resulting corner was headed well wide and the danger was gone.

With 9 minutes gone, Aaron Morley smashed a first time effort goalwards after some really good work by Newby on the right hand side but Morley's effort was blocked as well.

The game was moving at a pretty frantic pace. Almost like being on x32 on Sky Plus and Wimbledon countered again when a good ball was threaded through between Bola and Rathbone and sent into the box low and none of the Dale defence reacted to it. The ball ended up falling to a Wimbledon man at the back post but his effort went well over the bar thankfully for Dale. Easily the best chance of the game to that point though to be fair, we'd only played quarter of an hour!

Just moments later, more good work down the right by Newby saw him put a great ball in for Lund but it was ever so slightly too high for Lund to control and his difficult effort went over the bar.

The visitors had a good chance that they probably should have done better with. Piggot put a delightful ball through the Longman who tried an outside of the foot dink over Lynch but got it well wrong and Lynch was left with a simple catch in the end.

Dale had a free kick on the half hour mark when Rathbone was brought down on the corner of the box. Morley and Newby stood over it and it was Morley who curled it goalwards towards the back post but the keeper punched clear.

Dale were enjoying a lot of possession but the focus seemed to be give it to Morley who was frequently played wide on the right but very deep, he'd switch it over to the left and the ball would come back inside. The happened quite a few times and one such time saw Jimmy Ryan pick the ball up outside the box but he absolutely spooned an effort high, wide and not very handsome.

With the half nearing it's conclusion, another good ball in from Morley from a freekick wide on the wide was met by Beesley but he couldn't keep his header down.

The game was goalless at the break with Dale dominating the possession stats but not really creating much to trouble the keeper while Wimbledon had tried to play on the counter but also hadn't really troubled Lynch either.

Rathbone had a glorious chance to give Dale the lead. A good cross ball from Morley was well shielded by Beesley and Rathbone managed to sneak in with a brilliant first touch and he found himself one on one with the on-rushing keeper. Rathbone tried dinking the ball past the keeper and did so but it also went past the far post.

Dale continued to look for an opener and an Aaron Morley cross was a bit closer than we thought and ended up needing to be tipped over by the keeper.

Bola did well down the left for Dale and got past his man and his cross also had to be tipped over by the keeper.

With Dale in the driving seat, they also made a change with Humphrys making his long awaited return and he came on for Jimmy Ryan.

The change immediately saw Dale struggle to keep hold of the ball now and Wimbledon came forward more and more.

Rudoni, the young substitute for the visitors forced Lynch into a good save after tenacious work from Longman on the touchline to keep a ball in. It was allowed into the Dale box far too easily.

More good play from Rudoni saw him flash a ball low across the box which only needed a touch from anyone to end up in the back of the net. Alarm bells ringing for Dale.

With 12 minutes of normal time left, Matty Done came on for Jake Beesley. I couldn't quite get my head around this change. We were crying out for an injection of life in the final third and behind with us seemingly having stopped controlling possession so Baah's pace may have caused more trouble but no, Done entered the play instead.

BBM waited until far too late for the next changes with Baah and Dooley coming on in the first use of the more than three subs rule. They replaced Rathbone and Newby. This late in the day though, this was going to prove pointless and could and probably should have happened 10 minutes earlier minimum.

With four minutes of stoppage time given, I wasn't happy with us only getting a point from the game as a I saw it as a huge opportunity to get something out of the game and then on 91 minutes, Jimmy Keohane gave the ball away and Wimbledon somehow worked the ball into the box and it fell to Chislet who was able to turn and fire past Lynch to earn the three points for Wimbledon. Morley attempted a shot from the kick off but it was way wide.

Full time, Dale had lost a game we should be winning. I can't dance around how poor that second half was and how little impact ANY of the four substitutes had.

I'm absolutely fizzing at that result, what a missed opportunity that was. I can't remember the last time I felt so angry after a Dale result, not even Stockport.

Ryan going off completely killed us off. We stopped controlling possession and let them in far too often. We have to be better and create more chances when we have possession.


PLAYER RATINGS:

Jay Lynch- 6 (Did ok, had no chance with the goal)

Jimmy Keohane - 5 (Struggled again and gave away possession for the goal)

Eoghan O'Connell - 7 (Defended well for the most part and did well)

HAYDON ROBERTS - 7 (My man of the match. Doesn't belong at this level, even at 18 years old)

Tolaji Bola - 6 (Didn't look to get past his man enough in the first half but did ok)

Aaron Morley - 6 (I may be in a minority here but thought he did a little better today than recent weeks)

Jimmy Ryan - 6 (Kept possession while he was on but fell apart when he went off second half)

Matty Lund - 6 (Did ok)

Ollie Rathbone - 6 (Worked hard and got forward when he could)

Alex Newby - 6 (Our most creative player again first half but completely anonymous second)

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


Subs:

Stephen Humphrys - 6 (Worked hard but got no service)
Matt Done - 5 (Offers nothing)
Stephen Dooley and Kwadwo Baah weren't on long enough.

Photo: Action Images



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