|Rochdale 0 v 1 Oldham Athletic|
SkyBet League Two
Saturday, 25th September 2021 Kick-off 15:00
Match Preview: Dale vs Oldham
Friday, 24th Sep 2021 17:37 by AtThePeake
Saturday is derby day as our *ahem* friends from Oldham make the short trip to Spotland still looking for their first league win of the season.
Date: Saturday 25th September
So it's back to the reality of the league schedule for Dale this Saturday with another local rival next up on the fixture list.
Oldham are the visitors and although the Latics sit bottom of the league with just one league win to their name this season, dyed in the wool Dale fans will know not to get too confident ahead of any local derby, much less against a team that doesn't seem able to buy a win at the moment.
After they had us dreaming for a few minutes at Turf Moor in the EFL Cup on Tuesday night, fatigued legs and minds eventually succumbed to a 4-1 defeat against Burnley, despite Jake Beesley giving Rochdale a short-lived lead in the second half.
The performance was one to be proud of, at least for the first 60 minutes or so, but the quality of Burnley's attack (and in particular Jay Rodriguez who scored all four of the Clarets' goals on the night) eventually told.
And while that defeat may have ended the unbeaten run in all competitions, Dale can now look to build on their unbeaten league run that currently stands at five matches, stretching back to last month's 1-3 away win over Northampton Town.
Since then, Robbie Stockdale's side have played out 1-1 draws with Colchester United and Mansfield Town and picked up maximum points from fixtures against Tranmere Rovers and Port Vale.
With the team progressing well and looking to be in good form, it's been difficult for the manager to make too many changes to his team, but in that 1-1 draw at Field Mill last Saturday, some tiredness started to show in the latter stages for a squad that possesses several players in their debut EFL seasons.
And the fatigue was even more obvious in the latter stages at Turf Moor on Tuesday night, so it may be time for Stockdale to rotate his team and look to some of the bench players that haven't really had too much of an opportunity to shine as yet.
Alex Newby will expect a start in one of the wide attacking roles, having sat out the full 90 minutes of the Burnley clash on Tuesday. Jake Beesley is also likely to be a guaranteed starter, particularly after his well-taken strike versus the Clarets.
With a couple of goals to his name in his last two league games, Danny Cashman will hope to take the other slot, but Abraham Odoh's pace and trickery could also earn him a start, while Conor Grant has missed out on the last two match day squads altogether.
In midfield, Aaron Morley and Stephen Dooley do seem to be building something of a partnership at the moment and the former has played particularly well in his last two outings, but George Broadbent and Liam Kelly are knocking on the door and both were given game time from the bench on Tuesday night.
Corey O'Keeffe missed out at Mansfield last weekend due to the terms of his loan deal but returned at right wing-back in the EFL Cup. Jimmy Keohane is likely to keep his spot at LWB also, although both Aidan White and Matt Done will be hoping to get the nod there.
As for the back three, it seems that Sam Graham is still nursing an injury and Jeriel Dorsett also seemed to pull up towards the end of the Burnley fixture. If he isn't 100% fit, it's likely to be Jim McNulty who slots into the defence alongside Eoghan O'Connell and Max Taylor.
Jay Lynch was handed a start in the trip to Turf Moor between the sticks and applied himself well, particularly in the first half where he made two excellent saves to deny the Burnley attack. Stockdale has a decision on his hands on whether to stick or twist in goal, as Joel Coleman made a point-winning save in the late stages of last week's draw at Mansfield.
A series of protests that have included pitch invasions, orange wigs, flags, banners and plenty more in order to try and force vastly unpopular owner Abdallah Lemsagam out have been the story of the Latics' season so far, with on-pitch results almost secondary to the power struggle between fans and owner taking place off it.
In all honesty, it's probably a good thing for any fan that does see the on-field results as secondary at the moment because they've essentially been non-existent thus far and Keith Curle's men sit bottom of the table after eight games with just one win to their name thus far.
Last weekend's goalless draw with Hartlepool and a surprise 1-2 away win over newly-promoted Sutton United have been the only games in which Oldham have avoided defeat in the league this term, losing all six of their other fixtures including matches against Barrow, Leyton Orient and Bristol Rovers.
Some brief respite was handed to them via the EFL Cup, where they progressed on penalties in Rounds One and Two thanks to draws against Tranmere Rovers and Accrington Stanley to set up a trip to Premier League Brentford.
However, that visit to the capital resulted in an embarrassing 7-0 mauling at the hands of Bees and that result means that the Latics have now shipped 14 goals in their last four matches in all competitions with nothing in the way of reply.
No fewer than three former Dale players currently ply their trade at Boundary Park. Harrison McGahey is yet to make his debut for the club since joining in the summer, but Sam Hart has settled in at left-back and Nicky Adams has been a regular since joining from Northampton in January of last term.
There are a few other recognisable names in Curle's squad, but the most dangerous is undoubtedly Congolese winger Dylan Bahamboula. The 26 year old is a bag of tricks and already has two league goals to his name in five appearances so far this term.
With the own off-field battles we've had to face at Spotland this summer which continue to rage in another form, it would be ideal if the Dale support could, while obviously backing our own players to take full advantage, show some solidarity and support to our Latics brethren on Saturday.
We've already lost one rival in recent seasons and we'd hate to see another go the same way. It's time the EFL did more to protect these clubs from owners like Abdallah Lemsagam and Steve Dale but in order to do that, fans from all clubs will need to continue showing solidarity and protesting against their lack of action, so it would be great if the Dale fans were supportive of Oldham protests, while obviously still cheering the lads onto three important points.
29 Oct 2016 - Rochdale v Oldham Athletic - W - 1-0 - League One
Photo: Action Images
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