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Match Report: Rochdale 3-1 Accrington Stanley
Saturday, 17th Apr 2021 14:35 by Chaff

In a season where we'd won just one win at home all season before this week, we've only gone and won two on the trot at home, this time against John Coleman's Accrington Stanley, which is always nice.

Fresh of the back of only our 2nd home win all season, Dale took on an old acquaintance in John Coleman and his Accrington Stanley team who had been doing really well in League One this season until recently.

Tuesday's win over Swindon Town has given that little flicker of hope at a time when it seemed we were doomed, on the pitch and off it. Could we give ourselves that little bit more hope by picking up another win today? It's the hope that kills you.

The team news came through and we were unchanged from Tuesday but Matt Done returned to the squad at the expense of Haydon Roberts.

An 12:30pm kick-off today due to Prince Phillip's funeral meant setting up the laptops earlier than usual on what is the 11th anniversary of our promotion to League One, the first in my lifetime and only the second in our history, and what a bloody day it was! Lets hope for more to celebrate come the end of the game.

Accrington got us underway in their white away strip once the minutes silence and taking of the knee were observed.

A great chance for Dale on 6 minutes as Ryan McLaughlin did brilliantly down the left to beat the left back and get a wonderful cross in which was met by Conor Grant but he got his header all wrong although he did look to be stretching slightly.

GOAL!!!! Dale lead on 10 minutes!! Rathbone received the ball in the box from Beesley and produced a wonderful back-heel straight into the path of Jimmy Keohane who curled a beautiful effort into the far corner, not too dissimilar to Tuesday's wonderful strike. His 8th goal of the season! Not bad for a makeshift full back!

Just two minutes later and the score was level. An absolute kick in the bollocks for Dale. A wonderful cross by Morgan saw Barclay rise higher than O'Connell to head past Lynch at the near post to make it 1-1.

On 16 minutes, Osho's marauding run resulted him being tripped right on the edge of the box for a free kick. Morley's poor freekick was cleared to Rathbone who volleyed high into the Pearl Street stand.

CLOSE!! Another good move from Dale saw Morley play a good ball over to Rathbone who beat the Accy defender and pulled it back to Conor Grant who's effort was deflected onto the post and the ball was cleared!

Rathbone had another chance for Dale after some really good work from Osho but after turning and getting the ball on his favoured left foot, his effort was harmlessly wide of the post.

Gabriel Osho headed straight at Savin in the Accy net for another half chance for the home side.

A Sean McConville freekick was brilliantly saved by Lynch after a reckless challenge from McLaughlin resulting in a yellow card. Easily the closest Accy had come since they scored the equaliser.

Dale were awarded a freekick on 33 minutes when Conor Grant was fouled on the edge of the D, about 22 yards out. A training ground routine fooled Accrington and the ball was chipped in by Morley and headed by Osho but his header was wide.

Dale continued to push forward, a brilliant ball from Morley to Keohane set the Irish Cancelo away and he laid off to Rathbone who had a shot blocked as did McLaughlin on the rebound as half time approached.

The last action of the half saw Morgan hit a shot from distance that was straight at Lynch who saved comfortably.

Half time came and Dale were level but had had the chances to put themselves back in front. The current score at Wigan was a disastrous one as well as it would take them to 44 points while we were on 37. AFC Wimbledon taking the one spot outside the drop zone but playing Swindon later. If both Wigan and Wimbledon win, we've got no chance of staying up.

Dale kicked off the second half, kicking towards the Sandy in desperate need of a win.

Jake Beesley was the victim of a high boot right on the edge of the area and Morley's freekick was straight at Savin.

Jay Lynch was forced into another good save when it looked like the offside flag should have gone up. A corner given and the corner is headed narrowly over the bar by the visitors.

Accrington did have the ball in the back of the net but Lynch was judged to have been fouled thankfully for Dale.

Ifollow issues meant I missed a couple of minutes but as it came back on, Dale had a corner that was kept out by Accy and piling the pressure on.

CLOSE! Keohane and Rathbone combined well down the left and Rathbone's cross was spilled by Savin onto his own crossbar! Is it going to be one of those days? Dale have had all the best chances in this game.

GOOOOOOOOOOOOAL!!! Get the **** in there! A good freekick swung in by Morley found Gabriel Osho who's effort was parried by Savin straight to Jake Beesley for his 6th goal of the season to make it 2-1 to Dale! We deserve that!

Some more good link-up play between Rathbone and Grant set the Irishman away and he laid off to Dooley whose shot was deflected wide for a corner on 76 minutes. Dale still pushing forward.

McLaughlin had a shot brilliantly blocked before Rathbone went down in the box and despite the appeals from Dale, the referee waved play on.

Accrington had a rare attack through Adam Phillips but his shot was scuffed wide and trickled past the post harmlessly.

Dale continued to attack, a couple of penalty shouts again, one on Keohane and one on Rathbone before the ball fell to Dooley who had a shot deflected wide. The corner was headed over by Osho.

Dale made their first change of the game on 84 minutes as Alex Newby replaced Stephen Dooley. Newby's first action was to win another corner for Dale.

This has been an excellent performance, one full of heart, full of fight and had we seen more of this, we wouldn't have been in the position we find ourselves.

Accrington substitute Russell had a completely free header from a wonderful cross but his header was weak and simple for Jay Lynch.

Conor Grant was replaced by Conor Shaughnessy.

The 4th official held up 5 minutes of stoppage time.

GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAL. Wow, what an absolutely howler again from the Accy keeper Toby Savin. He came out of his net to clear, completely cocked it up and cleared it straight to substitute Conor Shaughnessy who finished it into the empty net from 30 yards.

Matt Lund made his first appearance in months deep into stoppage time to wind the clock down but the referee blew for full time before he touched the ball.

A very welcome three points and in a season we've only won 3 games at home, 2 of them have been this week! The Wigan result is a bit of a disaster though but we're at least showing some fight.

Player Ratings:

Jay Lynch - 6 (Could possibly have done better with the goal but pulled off a couple of good saves)

Ryan McLaughlin - 7 (Did well going forward and got some good crosses in)

Eoghan O'Connell - 7 (Defended well and got forward more than usual as well)

Paul McShane - 7 (Defended well and organised us well I thought)

Gabriel Osho - 7 (Got forward more than we've seen and played really well)

Jimmy Keohane - 7 (Scored again and did really well down the left)

Aaron Morley - 7 (Much better from Morley, couple of really good balls in, one that led to the second goal)

Stephen Dooley - 6 (Similar to Tuesday in that he showed some good neat passing to get us moving up the field but also lost possession needlessly)

Conor Grant - 7 (Bit quieter than Tuesday but still showed glimpses of quality)

Ollie Rathbone - 7 (Got forward really well and had chances to score)

Jake Beesley - 7 (Another really hard working performance, this time rewarded with a goal)


Alex Newby - 7 (Did well in the brief time he was on and won us a couple of corners.
Conor Shaughnessy - 7 (Not on long but managed to score his first Dale goal, albeit into an empty net from 30 yards)
Matt Lund - Welcome back!

Photo: Action Images

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