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Rochdale 1 v 4 Gillingham
SkyBet League One
Saturday, 19th December 2020 Kick-off 13:00
Match Report: Rochdale 1-4 Gillingham
Saturday, 19th Dec 2020 15:19 by Chaff

Dale were hammered 4-1 at home to Gillingham in the final game before Christmas. Proceed with caution if you're not in a great place mentally. It's not good reading.

With the fixtures coming thick and fast, Dale began their festive fixtures with a home game against Gillingham. It was a game that we should arguably have been at but the Government decided to keep the area in tier 3 so it was iFollow again. I can't speak for anyone else but I wasn't expecting to go into tier 2 but that didn't mean it didn't hurt when it was made official. After the game though it was very much a case of keep us in tier 3 for however long you want.

Dale were looking to build on Tuesday's brilliant 5-0 win at Wigan Athletic but with Lund being suspended and Jimmy Ryan being injured in that win in addition to Rathbone, I'd have taken a point before the game I think.

With those forced changes, we saw Stephen Dooley come in and also a first professional start for the highly rated 17 year old Ethan Brierley. 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, Ethan Brierley and Stephen Dooley with Kwadwo Baah and Alex Newby either side of Stephen Humphrys though that could easily be 4-4-2 with Dooley one side and Baah the other. On the bench were Ben Chalton, Tolaji Bola, Joe Dunne, Harrison Hopper, Lewis Bradley, Matt Done and Fabio Tavares.

Well to put it as bluntly as possible, the first half was an absolute shambles. We were awful and we need to find a way of playing at home because the home form this season is a joke, the style of play at home is a joke and our inability to cope with any opposition at home is a joke.

We had the first chance of the game when Humphrys broke from the half way line, drove forward and shot from the edge of the box but dragged his effort just wide. He'll have been annoyed he didn't hit the target I suspect.

Gillingham had a bit of a secret weapon in the throw of Ryan Jackson. He was launching the ball into the box and one such throw ended up finding a Gillingham man who shot from the edge of the box but the shot was blocked and easy for Lynch in the end.

With just 8 minutes gone, Dale were 1-0 down and it was so frustrating to see how sloppy a goal it was to concede. McNulty was guilty of giving the ball away in his own half and the ball found its way to Akinde who broke forward and shot at goal. Lynch could only parry it straight to McKenzie who finished to give the visitors the lead. Awful goal to concede.

It should have been 2-0 with just over 10 minutes gone. A defence splitting ball bypassed McNulty and Lynch was forced into a very good save to prevent McKenzie.

Dale did manage a break forward where Brierley did well to find Baah and his shot was delflected wide.

Dale were 2-0 down on 20 minutes. Akinde was on the end of another long throw from Jackson. O'Connell didn't do enough to get in front of him and his shot on the turn and a weak effort from Lynch isn't enough to keep it out. A truly awful goal to concede.

This was turning into an awful performance.

Dale should have had one back when Newby shot on goal. His effort was saved at the near post when he should have put it in the far post. Humphrys had done superbly to break again and set up Newby.

Just into stoppage time for the first half and it was 3-0 and game well and truly over. Ogilvie shot from the edge of the box and it took a massive deflection which sent Lynch the wrong way. Summed up our half.

Absolutely awful.

The second half didn't start off well either and youngster Ethan Brierley fouled a Gills man inside the box right in front of the referee who had no hesitation in pointing to the spot. Akinde stepped up and hit it straight down the middle to make it 4-0.

The contrast to Tuesday is frightening.

Our home form is excrutiating. It's worrying and it's worthy of putting BBM under big pressure it has to be said.

Baah came off for Done and Bola came on for Brierley with just over an hour gone. That meant Roberts went into midfield. People were moaning about the subs being too late and I agreed until I remembered who was on our bench and there's nobody on it who I'd want coming on anyway.

Ten minutes later and Tavares replaced Newby.

I'll be honest, I pretty much zoned out for the rest of the game. My lad was playing Fifa while I was on the laptop and his game was miles more entertaining than ours.

I did see Lynch pull off a good save from Robertson after Morley didn't do enough to stop the shot coming in.

With stoppage time upon us, Humphrys made a chance out of nothing and went just wide with his left footed effort. It took a nick off someone and went out for a corner. The resulting corner fell to Eoghan O'Connell who smashed it from 35 yards past the keeper to make it 4-1. A wonderful goal but having endured the performance we've just turned in, I found it difficult to enjoy it.

Game over.

Merry Christmas.

PLAYER RATINGS:

Jay Lynch- 5 (Should have done better with first two goals)

Jimmy Keohane - 5 (Struggled)

Eoghan O'Connell - 6 (Only a 6 because of his goal)

Haydon Roberts - 4 (Awful, never want him at left back ever again)

Jim McNulty - 4 (Awful for the first goal and his passing was awful)

Aaron Morley - 4 (Awful performance)

Ethan Brierley - 4 (Not his day unfortunately)

Stephen Dooley - 5 (Not a great performance )

Kwadwo Baah - 5 (Looked dangerous on occasion but those occasions too few and far between)

Alex Newby - 5 (Offered next to nothing today but should have scored)

STEPHEN HUMPHRYS - 6 (Worked tirelessly again and looked like the only way we were going to score)

Subs:

Matt Done - 5 (Looks like he's playing piggy in the middle where he never actually gets the ball but can never win it either)
Tolaji Bola - 5 (Offers nothing now but still rather him there at left back than Roberts)
Fabio Tavares - 5 (No idea if he touched the ball)

Photo: Action Images



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