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Match Report: Portsmouth 2-1 Rochdale
Friday, 2nd Apr 2021 17:02 by Chaff

Defeat for Dale for the 19th time in the league this season as they went down 2-1 away at Portsmouth despite a late Jake Beesley consolation.

Dale were back in action after a fairly lengthy break due to international call-ups, this time it was a very tough trip to Fratton Park to take on Portsmouth.

The last couple of games have brought 4 points against Lincoln and Peterborough so it's not beyond the realms of possibility to get something today but as always, a point would be a great result.

Dale lined-up without Stephen Humphrys which meant Kwadwo Baah got a start up front with Jake Beesley.

Dale got the game underway in their green/black third kit while we settled down to watch, Doritos and drinks in hand.

With 5 minutes gone, Dale were behind but we have no idea how given the fact that iFollow decided to show a very pointless replay in the build up so we just saw the goal go in. Replay showed that it looked like it could have been offside as Williams got on the end of a ball across from Harness and Williams was in loads of space to bundle the ball home to make it 1-0 to Portsmouth. Pathetic from iFollow.

Dale hadn't even got off to a bad start in all honesty and had tried to get forward at every opportunity.

What a miss! Rathbone gave the ball away in a really poor position and Portsmouth broke and Jacobs was one on one with Bazunu and he's somehow dragged his shot wide of the mark. A let off for Dale and for Rathbone.

Jimmy Keohane was given a yellow card for a late challenge on Ronan Curtis.

Dale were struggling in possession. Beesley and Shaughnessy were visibly struggling with this as every time Dale got in good areas, the final ball was poor.

With 36 minutes gone it was game over. Portsmouth were 2-0 up. A missed interception from Rathbone in the middle set Curtis away and despite O'Connell and McShane being in close proximity, he got his shot away with somehow got past Bazunu and went into the far corner. Could Bazunu have done more? I reckon so.

Dale had their first chance on goal on 40 minutes when Baah finally managed to cut inside but his shot was deflected wide.

What a chance!! A long ball from Bazunu found Beesley who really has to score for me but he was challenged well. His one on one effort on the bounce was easily the best chance of the game for Dale.

Dale have definitely finished the half better but behind 2-0 down before this happens is all too frequent.

The half time whistle went with Dale 2-0 down.

Pompey started the half the better side with Harness missing the opportunity to get on the end of a low cross. I'd have backed him to finish that but he miss-kicked it and Bazunu claimed the cross from the other side at the second attempt.

With just 5 minutes of the second half gone, BBM was ready to make changes with Haydon Roberts and Aaron Morley coming on for Conor Grant and Paul McShane. Haydon went left of the back three, swapping with Osho while Morley went into midfield.

The home side were now dominating possession and I just couldn't see a way back in this for Dale.

Some nice football from Dale created a half chance on 64 minutes. The ball came to Matty Done who crossed for Conor Shaughnessy who couldn't turn the cross into the net and the effort went wide.

With 67 minutes gone, Dale readied Stephen Dooley to come on. A big cheer went up from me, my other half quickly detected the sarcasm. He replaced Conor Shaughnessy.

Dale did manage another shot on target on 73 minutes though it wasn't remotely close. Good work from Baah ended up with the ball falling to Rathbone 35 yards out and he just hit it and it pretty much trickled to the Pompey keeper.

Both sides were getting subs ready with Pompey boss Dan Cowley giving instructions to former Dale midfielder Andy Cannon while Alex Newby was about to come on for Dale. Newby came on for Jimmy Keohane. Would this mean a back 4 now with Osho going right back? Game's gone now so I don't really care in all honesty.

I'd given up on the game if I'm honest but Dale did manage to pull a goal back on 93 minutes. Rathbone won the ball well and gave it to Newby who put a good ball across that Beesley managed to turn home.

Would we get one more chance?


Game finished 2-1 to Portsmouth. Ipswich at home next up on Easter Monday as games are now running out as we aim to retain our League One status. The run rate is only increasing.

Player Ratings:

Gavin Bazunu - 5 (Not particularly good for either goal)

Jimmy Keohane - 6 (Did ok Jimmy)

Eoghan O'Connell - 6 (Gave the ball away a couple of times but did ok apart from that)

Paul McShane - 5 (Struggled with the pace of the Pompey attack)

Gabriel Osho - 6 (Solid as usual)

MATTY DONE - 7 (Our best player by a distance today)

Conor Shaughnessy - 5 (Conceded possession numerous times and don't think he had a good game at all)

Ollie Rathbone - 5 (Poor today, gave the ball away a ridiculous amount of times but did have a positive hand in the goal)

Conor Grant - 6 (Didn't do much wrong but was subbed early in the second half. Had very little impact on the game tbf)

Kwadwo Baah - 6 (Worked hard and tried to create space to cause issues but Pompey more than matched him)

Jake Beesley - 6 (Goal covered up a below average game)


Haydon Roberts - 6 (Did alright)
Aaron Morley - 6 (Did nothing wrong when he came on)
Stephen Dooley - 6 (Did nowt wrong I guess)
Alex Newby - 6 (Great ball across for the goal)

Photo: Action Images

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Dalenet added 17:22 - Apr 2
Personally I thought Osho was our best player. Done wasn't used in the way we needed him today. I think we all know we aren't good enough and whatever we do in training isn't working on the pitch. I didn't expect us to get anything today from an in-form Portsmouth, but we let them dictate everything. It wasn't the spirit we need from a team battling relegation

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