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Rochdale 0 v 1 Crawley Town
SkyBet League Two
Saturday, 9th October 2021 Kick-off 15:00
Match Report: Rochdale 0-1 Crawley Town
Sunday, 10th Oct 2021 11:10 by Chaff

Rochdale’s poor run of form continued as they lost 1-0 at home to Crawley Town at Spotland.

I’ve no idea if anyone actually reads these reports but if you do, first of all thank you, and secondly, please accept my apologies for a lack of them recently. A combination of a lack of time and suffering with covid are to blame but whenever I do get time to do them, I will.

This defeat means it’s five defeats on the spin for Dale and no win in six now with many fans calling for a change of tactics as we persist with the 3-4-3 system we’ve used since pretty much the second game of the season.

We saw rare starts for Aidy White, Liam Kelly and Conor Grant but there was no place for Max Taylor in the squad.

I actually thought we started the game off alright, but it wasn’t long before that changed, and we started to struggle. In fact Crawley could have been ahead in the first minute when Payne volleyed just wide of Coleman’s near post.

We didn’t make their keeper work anywhere near enough which has been the case in the last few games. One early effort for Conor Grant was saved and was probably the most that Morris had to contend with in the Crawley net.

With just 14 minutes gone, Crawley led 1-0. At the time I was adamant it was offside, and the replays seem to back that up but regardless, it was so poor from Dale to concede in the manner we did. A catalogue of errors defensively started with Aidy White looking out of position which allowed Nicholls to get a cross in for the visitors which was met by Appiah and well blocked by Sam Graham, the ball fell to Aaron Morley who attempted a clearance, but it was a pathetic attempt in all honesty and fell straight to a Crawley man who scuffed a shot through four Dale defenders and was poked home by Appiah. Appiah was offside by all accounts but as I said, our defending didn’t deserve anything other than a goal against.

Aidy White picked out Liam Kelly who connected well but his volley was well wide of the post before Coleman did brilliantly to keep out Hessenthaler with a full stretch diving save to his right.

Dale then had a glorious chance to level things up. Aaron Morley did well to win the ball in midfield before setting Conor Grant away. He broke forward and instead of having a shot himself, laid it off to Odoh whose shot was well saved by Morris. A golden opportunity that we just have to take.

The first half came to a close and Dale were behind.

Dale started the second half alright and both Grant and O’Connell were unlucky not to get more from their early second half chances but again, we didn’t test the keeper and the visitors started getting back into the game.

Nicholls had a shot brilliantly blocked by O’Connell before Payne rattled the crossbar just after the hour mark as well.

That sparked Robbie Stockdale into his first changes as Newby and Cashman replaced Odoh and Grant which was pretty much like for like which saw some groans around where I was stood.

Cashman had a positive impact after coming on but Crawley continued to pressure the Dale defence with both Dorsett and O’Keeffe putting in good blocks to prevent further goals.

Another like for like substitution for Dale on 72 minutes as Matty Done replaced Aidy White who I thought had probably been our best player.

Sam Graham turned and smashed an effort way over the bar with just less than 20 minutes left as Dale began to turn on the pressure. O’Connell had an effort brilliantly blocked a few minutes later after good work from Done.

The clock was ticking down quickly, and Cashman was fouled just outside the box which gave Dale a freekick within shooting range. Liam Kelly’s effort was over the bar.

Aaron Morley had a good chance from the edge of the area as we entered stoppage time, but he dragged his effort wide when he really should be hitting the target.

Done had one last effort on goal which was saved by the keeper and the full-time whistle sounded and it was another defeat for Dale.

This run of form is slightly concerning now and needs to change sharpish but everyone knows that, including the manager who openly admitted he was angry with the performance in the post-match interview.


PLAYER RATINGS:

Joel Coleman – 6 (Nothing he could do with the goal and pulled off a couple of good saves)

Corey O’Keeffe – 6 (Did alright, got forward but not much came off for him)

Sam Graham – 7 (The pick of our back three I thought)

Eoghan O’Connell – 6 (Could possibly have done better for the goal but did ok other than that)

Jeriel Dorsett – 6 (Better than recent games)

AIDY WHITE – 7 (Pick of a bad bunch today for me)

Aaron Morley – 4 (Awful for their goal and another costly mistake)

Liam Kelly – 6 (Tried to create but looked a tad rusty as well. Sat too deep at times with Morley)

Abraham Odoh – 5 (Didn’t offer enough today and missed a glorious chance)

Conor Grant – 6 (Did alright but drifted out of the game too much)

Jake Beesley – 6 (Worked hard and won lots in the air but there was nobody within 20 yards of him most of the game to receive them)

SUBS:

Danny Cashman – 7 (Sparked us into life second half)
Alex Newby – 5 (Offered little unfortunately)
Matty Done – 6 (Did ok)

Photo: Action Images



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