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Rochdale 3 v 2 Sutton United
SkyBet League Two
Saturday, 23rd October 2021 Kick-off 15:00
Match Report: Rochdale 3-2 Sutton United
Saturday, 23rd Oct 2021 19:32 by Chaff

From ecstasy to agony and back to ecstasy as Dale eventually came away with a 3-2 win over in-form Sutton United at Spotland thanks to a stoppage time winner from Aaron Morley.

I know I posted recently on the forum about CPR training and defibrillators, but I may have to buy one myself if Dale are going to put us through that again. A superb first half performance saw Dale go 2-0 up against 10-man Sutton before conceding twice and throwing the game away in the last ten minutes of the game. Just when all seemed lost, up popped Aaron Morley to rifle home a stoppage time winner.

There were a couple of changes to the side from Tuesday’s trip to Salford. Jeriel Dorsett was nowhere to be seen in the squad, so you’d presume he’s picked up a knock. He was replaced by Jim McNulty. George Broadbent dropped to the bench as Aaron Morley came back into the side. The bench also included second-year scholar Ben Kershaw.

After a couple of weeks of seeing Dale play awful in the first half but improve in the second half, it was great to see Dale play really well in the first half. They did ok for most of the second half I thought but allowed Sutton back in the game in the last ten minutes when we should have been out of sight.

Dale started the game well and should have been ahead with just a few minutes gone when Aaron Morley hit a shot wide of the target after good work by Odoh.

On 8 minutes Dale had another great chance and it was more good work by Abraham Odoh down the left as he crossed to Jake Beesley who headed on target, but his effort was well saved by Bouzanis in the Sutton net to keep the score level.

Skipper Eoghan O’Connell curled an effort well wide of the post on the 15-minute mark as Dale continued their search for goals. He did the same again just five minutes later and it really did look like Dale could get some goals here. How Sutton were where they are in the league is beyond me going off this performance.

BOOM! Get in there! Dale broke the deadlock on 23 minutes through the “Chorley Cruyff” Alex Newby! A phenomenal ball over from the “Irish Iniesta” Liam Kelly was fantastically cushioned on the volley into the far corner by Newby to give Dale a well-earned lead. There was a touch of Ian Henderson about that finish. It was a superb finish for his third goal of the season.

Sutton had a very rare first opportunity through Randall which Dale keeper Joel Coleman did well to save.

Dale went in search of a second goal and Alex Newby almost doubled Dale’s lead and his own tally for the afternoon with a deflected shot that looped over the bar. The resulting corner was put in by Liam Kelly and Sam Graham headed wide.

Jake Beesley and Eoghan O’Connell both had half chances as well before the half ended but the bigger talking point came when Sutton were reduced to 10-men. I’ll be honest, I didn’t see the incident as I was at the kiosk getting a drink but having spoken to some about it, Richie Bennett was sent off for a suspected stamp on Jake Beesley while he was on the ground.

The half came to a close and Dale looked to be in complete control here, especially with having a man advantage now too.

The second half began with Sutton kicking us off with Dale shooting towards the Pearl Street which isn’t usual. Would it make a difference to our fortunes?

Liam Kelly was having a great game and he put another good ball over to Newby who cut inside but Abraham Odoh smashed over the bar.

Dale thought they had doubled their lead on 55 minutes when Alex Newby again had the ball in the back of the net following a superb ball from Liam Kelly, but Newby was flagged offside by the linesman and the goal was ruled out.

Robbie Stockdale’s men continued in search of their second and Beesley had a shot saved by the keeper while Newby had a shot saved as well followed by a deflection.

Writing this, it must look like we absolutely hammered Sutton, but it really was as one sided as it gets at this point. Sutton weren’t pressing and had no urgency at all. Bit like us in recent weeks!

GOOOOOOOAL! Dale’s lead was doubled as Liam Kelly’s superb performance was rewarded with a goal, and a bloody good one at that! Aaron Morley pinged a wonderful ball over to Corey O’Keeffe on the right and the on-loan wing-back squared it for the “Irish Iniesta” who rifled the ball past Bouzanis into the bottom corner to make it 2-0 on 67 minutes. Get in there Dale! Surely to God we can’t f*** this up now!

Dale made their first change a minute later as Abraham Odoh came off for Danny Cashman, fighter of the nightman.

Cashman was involved almost as soon as he came on when he laid off to Morley who hit one over the bar.

On 73 minutes, Dale made their second change with Aidy White replacing Swiss Army Jimmy at left wing back.

Dale could, and possibly should, have been out of sight on 74 minutes when Cashman found himself bearing down on goal and went one on one with Bouzanis from a tight angle and his shot was well saved.

With just over 10 minutes left, Dale’s final change saw Alex Newby, who had been excellent all game, make way for Conor Grant.

Sutton were being allowed back into the game though which was a little infuriating. They started creating a couple of half chances. One saw O’Connell having to block Barden’s effort but on 82 minutes, the visitors were handed a lifeline. An Aaron Morley mistake saw the ball go out for a corner which was headed on goal and Coleman pulled off a brilliant point blank save but the rebound fell straight to Olaofe who had a simple finish to make it 2-1. We couldn’t, could we?!!

In a word yes, we could! Unbelievably given how the game had gone, Dale had ballsed this up massively. Sutton Made it 2-2. A corner, again, was swung in and Coleman came to collect but seemed to go for it and fail to get there and it was headed in by Smith to send the 117 visitors crazy in the Willbutts while I just stood in the Sandy with my head in my hands. Oh f*** off Dale. We must be the worst team in the entire football league for conceding goals in or around stoppage time.

Four minutes had been held up by the fourth official with Dale looking like they’d blown a glorious chance of ending their recent poor run.

OH MY DAYS!!! GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAL!!! Aaron Morley shoots from 20 yards and his shot flies past the keeper into the bottom corner for scenes not witnessed for a very long time. A 94th minute winner! BOOOOOM GTFI!!! That was pretty much the last action as the referee blew for full time thankfully.

Watching Dale is absolutely exhausting sometimes isn’t it! Jesus Christ!


Joel Coleman – 6 (Not seen a replay but think he has to do better with the second goal)

Corey O’Keeffe – 7 (Caused havoc down the right with Newby)

Sam Graham – 7 (Did well I thought today, possibly his best game for us)

Eoghan O’Connell – 7 (Typical EOC performance)

Jim McNulty – 7 (Thought he was very good today, I don’t say that often!)

Jimmy Keohane – 7 (Did well again today for the most part)

Aaron Morley – 7 (Great goal at the end and better performance from him)

LIAM KELLY – 8 (Fantastic today, assist and a goal and a really good performance, my Man of the Match, ahead of Newby)

Abraham Odoh – 7 (Did well before he went off)

Alex Newby – 8 (Superb today, a great goal and could have had more on another day)

Jake Beesley – 7 (Typical hard-working performance and did well bringing others into play)


Danny Cashman – 6 (Should have scored but did alright)
Aidy White – 7 (Did alright after coming on I thought)
Conor Grant – 6 (Pretty anonymous when he came on)

Photo: Action Images

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