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Rochdale 0 v 2 Charlton Athletic
SkyBet League One
Saturday, 6th February 2021 Kick-off 15:00
Match Report: Rochdale 0-2 Charlton Athletic
Saturday, 6th Feb 2021 17:05 by Chaff

Another home game, another defeat as Dale were soundly beaten by Charlton Athletic at Spotland.

Dale took on Charlton Athletic at Spotland this afternoon on the back of a huge win down at Bristol Rovers last week. There had been a weeks gap between fixtures which is very rare these days given the pretty hectic schedule everyone faces this season. That also gave Dale time to bring in three new additions to the squad in Conor Shaughnessy, Conor Grant and Jack Vale. All started on the bench for today's game but there was pleasantly surprising news that captain Eoghan O'Connell was back for the match after looking like he was going to be out for a lot longer. Ryan McLaughlin also came back into the starting lineup with Jimmy Keohane dropping to the bench and Haydon Roberts having another go at left back.

The last time the two sides met, it was all a bit mental. A 4-4 draw down at the Valley which included a sensational performance and brace from Kwadwo Baah who this week agreed a deal to join Manchester City in the summer. While I'm not sure I can cope with a game quite as exciting as that one, I'd like us to approach the game the same way and try and push forward as much as we can.

The coin toss saw the teams swap ends. This is never appreciated by Dale fans when we're in the ground as it's very much tradition to kick towards the Sandy in the second half but that wasn't to be today.

It was clear that Dale were lining up as a 4-4-2 with Lund and Humphrys playing up front.

With 6 minutes gone, the first big chance fell to Charlton and fell to Aneke and it was 1-0 to Charlton. Aneke did well to turn Osho and finish on the turn. Another poor start for Dale and another game where we've conceded an early goal.

Liam Millar almost made it 2-0 on 12 minutes, he jinked one way, then another with Dooley just about able to stick with him but he rifled an effort that deflected off Ryan McLaughlin and hit the crossbar.

Dale had barely touched the ball in the Charlton half in the first 15 minutes.

Shinnie also hit an effort from distance but his effort was deflected over by Rathbone this time who had given away the opportunity in the first place with a poor touch.

Dale hadn't got going at all yet.

An appalling free kick from Haydon Roberts allowed Charlton to counter attack but fortunately the ball across was poor and went out but a massive example how we're the cause of our own downfall so bloody often.

With 26 minutes on the clock it was 2-0 to Charlton. A corner came in, Bazunu pulled off a fantastic save to tip the ball onto the crossbar. The ball came back out and was crossed in and ends up with Oshilaja turning the ball past Bazunu despite the calls for offside.

I don't mean to sound negative so often but we'd been awful to this point. Not even in the game.

Aneke went agonisingly close again for Charlton as his turn and shot came back off the post with Bazunu getting nowhere near. Would have been a brilliant finish but this wasn't looking like a League One game. We look awful.

In fact we look so bad, I was half wishing Jackie Weaver would kick me out of iFollow.

Charlton, still controlling proceedings should have had a penalty when Lund clumsily brought down a Charlton man in the box. Referee, despite signalling advantage in the build up, gave absolutely nothing.

Dale finally had a shot on goal. It only took 39 minutes. Kwadwo Baah somehow managed to get into the box for the first time all afternoon and his effort, aiming for the far post, went high, wide and and about as handsome as Iain Dowie as it sailed high into the Pearl Street stand.

Bazunu was forced into another good save with about 5 minutes before half time. The stats weren't going to be kind to Dale at half time!

Sweetmore read out 3 minutes of added time as Charlton had a corner. Bazunu came out and got nowhere but it was headed over the bar.

Half time finally came and ended an absolute shambles of a first half. Had fans been there, we'd have been booed off.

The stats read that we'd had 1 shot to Charlton's 11. That's off the BBC Stats, the iFollow stats are evidently a load of bollocks as they had us down as having made zero saves when Bazunu had arguably stopped it being even worse.

The second half began and Dale actually got forward pretty much straight away and got forward more than we did all first half.

Dale managed to get a free kick from about 25 yards out. Humphrys smashed it but the wall defelcted it over the bar for a corner as Dale reddied Alex Newby and Matty Done to come on when I'm sure many Dale fans would have preferred to see what the new lads could offer.

Newby came on for Dooley and Done came on for Roberts in a double swap.

Aaron Morley hit the foot of the post from a corner but the ball was cleared after that.

Another double sub saw Conor Grant come on to make his debut, he replaced Ollie Rathbone while Jimmy Keohane replaced Ryan McLaughlin.

Dale were definitely having more possession in the second half, with Baah trying to get into the game more. We were pushing forward and winning a few more corners without creating anything real.

Charlton broke and Eoghan O'Connell was rightly booked for a really poor challenge right on the edge of the box on 72 minutes. A free kick that Aneke and Gunter stood over and it was Aneke who curled the ball high and wide.

That man Aneke again had a chance, he toe poked the ball just past the far post.

Another debut for one of the new lads as Jack Vale replaced Gabriel Osho. A bizarre sustitution but I'm not the manager.

Liam Millar should have wrapped up the game for the visitors when he got on the end of a good ball by Aneke but Bazunu came out well to make the save.

Stephen Humphrys had a couple of attempts, the first saw him hit a shot from the edge of the box but the keeper saved low down and then a second attempt came from a good cross from Keohane but his header was headed into the ground.

Jayden Stockley had a great chance to finish Dale off as the 90th minute approached. His first time half volley flew wide of the post.

Dale had a great chance to at least get one back as Humphrys fired just wide of the post.

The whistle blew for full time and Dale were beaten 2-0. An awful first half killed us. We improved second half but couldn't get back into the game.

Much work is needed and much improvement is needed if we're going to give ourselves a chance of staying up.

PLAYER RATINGS:

GAVIN BAZUNU - 7 (Couple of really good saves and had no chance with the goals)

Ryan McLaughlin - 6 (Did ok before going off. Got forward more in the first half, tough day being up against Millar)

Eoghan O'Connell - 6 (Struggled a bit today as well. Aimless balls forward seemed to get wound up by Aneke too easily)

Gabriel Osho – 6 (Not as impressive as his last couple of games and got turned very easily for the first goal)

Haydon Roberts - 6 (Doesn't look comfortable at left back I don't think)

Aaron Morley - 6 (Gave the ball away too much)

Stephen Dooley – 5 (Poor performance again. Gives the ball away more than any Dale player I can remember)

Matt Lund - 5 (Up front didn't work for him at all, completely ineffective)

Kwadwo Baah - 6 (Did at least attempt to show off his ability but found himself man marked all game and chances were rare)

Ollie Rathbone - 4 (Awful today. Gave the ball away countless times and just really struggled)

Stephen Humphrys - 6 (Couple of chances that didn't come off)

Subs:

Alex Newby - 5 (Had no effect when he came on)
Matt Done - 6 (Looked ok after replacing Roberts, would be tempted to start him at left back on Tuesday)
Conor Grant - 5 (Struggled when he came on. Didn't get to grips with the game)
Jimmy Keohane - 6 (Did ok. Put in a great ball for Humprhys)
Jack Vale - 6 (Worked hard but ineffective)

Photo: Action Images



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