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Northampton Town 0 v 0 Rochdale
SkyBet League One
Tuesday, 23rd February 2021 Kick-off 19:45
Match Report: Northampton Town 0-0 Rochdale
Tuesday, 23rd Feb 2021 21:15 by Chaff

We've gone from being able to score for fun and concede for fun to being unable to score or concede. Another goalless draw, this time away at Northampton in awful conditions.

After an improved performance, Dale were back on the road with an away trip down to Sixfields to take on managerless Northampton Town, one of the few teams below us in the league. Three points absolutely vital.

The Dale team was hit with changes, presumably enforced. Lund we all know is out, we don't know how long for but it didn't look good for our top scorer. McShane was back on the bench despite being part of an excellent defensive partnership on Saturday. Maybe two games a week is asking too much? Osho missed out with McLaughlin coming back in. That was positive news for me as Osho looks lost at right back. There was also an unexpected first start for new January signing Conor Grant as well.

Dale lined up in the mint green kit despite iFollow suggesting the black and green third kit. Dale got the game underway in the windy conditions.

The home side were gifted a wonderful chance when O'Connell made a horrendous decision to let the ball bounce and was beaten to it by Ryan Edmondson on the edge of his box but the Dale skipper risked bringing him down before the ball ended up with Watson who forced Bazunu into a good save. A big let off for Dale and O'Connell.

Dale should have taken the lead and I'm still wondering how we didn't. Rathbone put a delightful ball in to Humphrys who was alone at the back post and his header was across goal instead of at goal and the chance was wasted. A really big opportunity missed for Dale.

Another chance for Northampton saw Miller head towards goal but his header was straight at Bazunu. A good ball in from Edmondson and Miller had got ahead of McNulty and should really have done better.

Northampton had another glorious chance when Watson picked the ball up in his own half and drove forward unchallenged. O'Connell fell over in front of him and he got his shot away but it was a poor effort that, again, was straight at Bazunu but the home side were looking more likely to score.

An awful half of football came to an end. The conditions had been horrendous with Dale playing into the wind and I was expecting us to have a better second half with the win hopefully assisting us instead. It needed to because we'd only managed one attempt all first half!

The half started with Northampton still attacking more than we were. Hoskins had a great chance on 46 minutes and Bazunu again had to make the save. They were adapting to the conditions a lot quicker than we were.

Eoghan O'Connell missed an interception which allowed Marshall in to shoot but his shot was deflected over the bar. All one way traffic this in a game that we desperately needed to win.

Dale were starting to finally get forward a bit more and won their first corner with the hour mark approaching but a good ball in wasn't challenged and was cleared.

Thankfully, Kwadwo Baah was readying himself to come on with just over an hour gone. Presumaby for Grant who had simply done nothing again. Baah for Grant was the change and hopefully this would give us a much needed spark because in all honesty, this was awful.

What a chance! Dale should have taken the lead! The ball comes all the way across the box and Kwadwo Baah has to score! He miskicks it and hits it straight at the keeper. An awful miss. Just over 15 minutes left.

Morley took a freekick in his own half, blasted it straight out of play. I mean, I can't be the only one who gets annoyed when he does that can I? Jesus wept!

Northampton should have sealed the win on 87 minutes. Morley was caught in possession and the ball fell to Kyoso who put a wonderful ball across the goal and all it needed was a touch but thankfully it didn't get one.

The game petered out into a goalless draw.

Yes, the conditions were a joke but they were for both teams and Northampton had more possession, double the chances and we only managed one shot on target all game.

We're getting closer to the relegation zone game by game with just one point separating up from the bottom four and there are teams below us with games in hand.

I don't think BBM can turn this around.

Player Ratings:

GAVIN BAZUNU - 7 (Good performance and my MOTM, made several saves to keep the scores level)

Ryan McLaughlin - 6 (Did ok in tough conditions)

Eoghan O'Connell - 5 (Another clean sheet but was poor first half)

Jim McNulty - 7 (Clean sheet and did well I thought)

Jimmy Keohane - 6 (Did well today both defensively and got forward when he could)

Aaron Morley - 4 (Poor, gave the ball away so many times it was painful)

Conor Shaughnessy - 6 (Did ok)

Ollie Rathbone - 6 (Got kicked all over the park but the workrate was always there)

Alex Newby - 6 (Did better defensively tonight)

Conor Grant- 5 (Did absolutely nothing)

Stephen Humphrys - 6 (Worked extremely hard but didn't quite come off for him)

Bench:

Kwadwo Baah - 6 (Had the chance of the game for Dale, has to score)

Photo: Action Images



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