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Wigan Athletic 0 v 5 Rochdale
SkyBet League One
Tuesday, 15th December 2020 Kick-off 19:45
Match Report: Wigan Athletic 0-5 (FIVE!) Rochdale
Tuesday, 15th Dec 2020 21:41 by Chaff

Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle All The Way, oh what fun it is to see the Rochdale win away, albeit sat at home as Dale put five past Wigan Athletic!

And with barely a blink, another game was here as Dale made the short trip over to the JJB Stadium or whatever it's called these days to take on Wigan Athletic. Maybe it was good we had a game so soon after Saturday as it gave fans and players little time to dwell on it.

A piss poor first half display on Saturday saw Dale come out of the trip to Peterborough on the wrong end of a 4-1 hammering while Wigan come into tonight's game second bottom of the league thanks to a 4-3 win over Accrington Stanley at the weekend lifting them off the bottom. This had now become a huge match with Dale creeping closer to the relegation zone with each passing game. These really are the games we have to pick up points in aren't they and I just didn't fancy us to be able to do that.

God I was wrong! What the bloody hell do I know?!

The Dale team news came through the usual channels and there were a couple of changes, changes that I wasn't expecting, nor gave me confidence. Jim McNulty came in for Tolaji Bola who was poor at the weekend. I reckoned this would see Haydon Roberts go to left back with Big Jim going central next to Eoghan O'Connell. The other change was the Kwadwo Baah came in for Stephen Dooley for his first league start of the season. The rest of the side was unchanged so we had Jay Lynch in net, Jimmy Keohane at right back, Eoghan O'Connell and Jim McNulty at centre back with Haydon Roberts at left back. In midfield we had Aaron Morley, Jimmy Ryan and Matty Lund with Kwadwo Baah and Alex Newby either side of Stephen Humphrys. On the bench were Ben Chalton, Paul McShane, Tolaji Bola, Stephen Dooley, Ethan Brierley, Matt Done and Fabio Tavares.

Dale got the game underway with Lund taking the kick-off and Dale got off to a great start and found themselves ahead on 3 minutes. Kwadwo Baah cut inside from the left wing and hit an absolute thunderbastard of a shot past former Dale loannee Jamie Jones. Jones never moved. A wonderful start and a wonderful strike to put Rochdale 1-0 up. Also a great way to score your first professional goal!

The lead should have been extended just a few minutes later when Matt Lund hit a first time effort straight at Jones who knew nothing about it. Great work from Keohane down the right and quick feet gave him a good position to put a great ball in for Lund and Lund should really have scored.

Lund wasn't to be denied for too long as he extended Dale's lead just eleven minutes later. A wonderful ball in from Morley was glanced home by Lund to make it 2-0 and give Dale a dream start to the game and a commanding position. That was Lund's 7th goal of the season!

Dale were the only team in this and the stats backed that up with Dale having nearly 70% possession and 7 shots to Wigan's 1 and that was a half chance that had looped up to Lynch very easily.

With 26 minutes on the clock, Stephen Humprhys hit a speculative effort on the bounce from well outside the area but his effort flew over the bar.

Then came Wigan's first real goalmouth action, certainly their first good chance. A wonderful ball came over from the left side and Haydon Roberts missed the interception with allowed James to get past him and fire an effort at goal but Lynch pulled off an excellent stop to keep the score at 2-0.

The way Dale were lining up saw Lund almost being utilised at a target man up front next to Humphrys as Lund was winning everything in the air. That didn't last long though as he had to come deeper when Dale were forced into a change. Adam Long can count himself very lucky to have stayed on the pitch in all honesty. He lunged into a challenge with Jimmy Ryan and completely wiped the Dale midfielder out, right in front of the referee. The referee produced a yellow card when I reckon it was worthy of a red. Ryan was unable to continue and Stephen Dooley came on.

With first half time running out, Kwadwo Baah, quiet since his goal, did well down the left to lay the ball off to Humphrys who managed to get a shot away and Jones did well to steer it wide.

Humphrys had another effort at goal that went just went wide of the post as Dale ended the first half, seemingly in control.

Dale started the second half well as well and could have made it 3-0 when a wonderful ball from Baah found Dooley but his shot was blocked.

Dooley was lucky to stay on the pitch a few minutes later as his high challenge was only deemed a yellow card. Evened out the one on Jimmy Ryan I guess, that was until Tilt absolutely wiped out Baah on the left hand side in what looked like the worst challenge of the three and he also escaped with just a yellow card as Baah was left in a heap. Thankfully, he was ok to continue.

With 55 minutes played, Dale had another good chance to extend their lead, Lund chested the ball into the path of Newby who half volleyed straight at the keeper.

Just a couple of minutes later however and Dale DID extend that lead. Stephen Dooley picked the ball up on the right, cut inside and hit the ball past Jamie Jones inside his near post to make it 3-0 to Dale and pretty much game over!

Baah was having more fun down the left and really causing issues. He was taken out again, this time by James as Wigan couldn't really cope with his pace.

A fantastic ball in from the impressive Aaron Morley found O'Connell who headed well wide when he should arguably have done better as Dale continued to hammer the home side.

Dale made it 4-0 just after the hour mark and put themselves out of sight. What is it with this Dale side?! Humphrys was pulled back by Johnson and Newby stepped up to fire the penalty past Jones into the corner.

With just 20 minutes left in the game and the game well and truly over as a contest, BBM decided to make a triple substitution, making the most of the new 5 sub rules. Off came Haydon Roberts, Stephen Humphrys and Kwadwo Baah and on came Tolaji Bola, Fabio Tavares and Matty Done.

Ethan Brierley also came on with ten minutes left to replace Matt Lund who had picked up a yellow card earlier and misses the next game through suspension. That, in addition to Jimmy Ryan going off may give BBM a headache for the midfield spots on Saturday.

Done had an effort on goal but his effort was high and wide and had he looked, Newby was in a miles better position on the edge of the box.

Wigan did manage a very rare attempt, and probably their best attempt, when James hit a shot just wide after Bola had failed to intercept the ball on the edge of the box. That was followed by Eoghan O'Connell having to head the ball off the line after Lynch was rooted to his spot and the ball looped over him.

As we entered stoppage time, Dale hit a 5th goal. Us scoring five goals in a game is about as rare as rocking horse crap but it was fully deserved. Dale had been excellent and Wigan had been god awful. The fifth came from Alex Newby who had been superb. His left footed strike took a deflection before finding the far corner.

I'll be honest here, I didn't see us winning tonight so to win 5-0 is staggering to me but I will take it!

Onto the next one, Gillingham at home on Saturday.

PLAYER RATINGS:

Jay Lynch- 6 (Pulled off a really good save in the first half but rarely troubled until he was rooted to the spot late on when O'Connell cleared off the line)

Jimmy Keohane - 7 (Much better from Jimmy)

Eoghan O'Connell - 7 (Much better than Saturday as well, much more like it)

Haydon Roberts - 6 (Wouldn't want him at left back as a long term option as he didn't look 100% comfortable)

Jim McNulty - 7 (Looked impressive did Jim, comfortable on the ball and looked solid)

Aaron Morley - 8 (Another improved performance, though he did really well. Another assist for Lund's goal as well)

Matt Lund - 8 (Excellent again from Lund, another goal as well)

Jimmy Ryan - 7 (Thought he was doing very well before having to go off)

Kwadwo Baah - 7 (Great goal and then caused problems second half before going off)

ALEX NEWBY - 8 (My Man of the Match, superb, two goals as well)

Stephen Humphrys - 7 (Worked tirelessly again and good performance only lacking a goal really)

Subs:

Stephen Dooley - 7 (Did well when he came on and even bagged a goal!)
Matt Done - 6 (Could have scored, should have squared it though)
Tolaji Bola - 6 (Did ok, still think he's not quite up to speed at this level)
Fabio Tavares - 6 (Ran at the defence a couple of times and did well for Newby's second but weak as water against the defenders)
Ethan Brierley - 6 (Not really involved when he came on)

Photo: Action Images



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