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Rochdale 2 v 2 Leyton Orient
SkyBet League Two
Saturday, 13th November 2021 Kick-off 15:00
Match Report: Rochdale 2-2 Leyton Orient
Saturday, 13th Nov 2021 20:40 by Chaff

Somebody call the Police, Dale have absolutely stolen a point at home to Leyton Orient.

A brilliant start saw Dale ahead through Alex Newby after just 30 odd seconds but a very lacklustre next 89 minutes saw Leyton Orient lead 2-1 before Alex Newby popped up again in the 90th minute to rescue a point for Robbie Stockdale’s side.

There was a change to the line-up as Stephen Dooley dropped to the bench, with the “Chorley Cruyff” Alex Newby coming back into the starting eleven. We had no Danny Cashman on the bench, presumably not fully recovered from his knock against Bolton in the Pizza Cup. The Dale line-up was as follows:

To say we got off to a good start would be an understatement! I think people were still observing the minutes silence when Alex Newby put Dale ahead. A fantastic ball across from Liam Kelly found Corey O’Keeffe who headed across to Alex Newby who was on hand to head Dale into the lead after just 30 odd seconds of the game gone!

Leyton Orient should have been back in the game as a ball came across from the left and Harry Smith was left with the whole net to aim for, but Jeriel Dorsett just about managed to get the block in to keep Dale in the lead.

Dan Kemp had a free kick that wasn’t far over the bar as Orient started to get into the game more and more.

With just over quarter of an hour gone, I was certain Orient had equalised. Aaron Drinan headed a cross which hit the underside of the bar and looked perilously close to being over the line, but the officials didn’t think so and Dale had a real let off.

Dale did manage to get a couple of half chances in when Sam Graham won what must have been his only successful aerial battle of the day but his headed looped harmlessly over the bar. Eoghan O’Connell hit an effort straight at the keeper having been laid off by Odoh.

Orient had looked dangerous while Dale had looked extremely suspect at the back and it seemed like a goal was coming and on 24 minutes, it did. God knows how but Drinan was left in acres of space and a through ball came through to him as Sam Graham tried stepping up to claim offside and although he looked offside, it looks like Graham was playing him on. A desperate Dale defence tried to chase back but he slotted the ball past Coleman to make it 1-1.

An off-the-ball incident involving Alex Newby and Shadrach Ogie ended up with Newby on the floor. I had no idea what had happened being so far away in the Sandy Lane, but Ogie was booked, as was Corey O’Keeffe after the incident.

Eoghan O’Connell has been trying to get forward and get shots away quite regularly in recent weeks and his second attempt of the afternoon was harmlessly wide from distance having done well to get past the Orient player.

The first half came to a close and the score was level. We hadn’t been great at all.

Abraham Odoh had been quiet all game, but he finally had an opportunity to run at the defence and as he drove forward, he got into the box and hit pretty much the tamest effort you could imagine. Christ, if that lad had an end product, he’d be very good, but he doesn’t!

With just over an hour gone, Leyton Orient had a great chance to go ahead as Harry Smith met a cross from the right and thankfully his header just clipped the bar before going over.

That was another warning sign though and two minutes later Orient were ahead. A long throw was pathetically headed away by Dorsett, straight into the path of Craig Clay who absolutely walloped it past everyone, Coleman included, into the back of the net to make it 2-1. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a wonderful finish but the header away from Dorsett is garbage.

Robbie Stockdale had been readying Josh Andrews for a couple of minutes before the goal went in and he was joined, strangely, by Matty Done in a double substitution. Andrews and Done replaced Abraham Odoh and Jimmy Keohane as Dale went two up front.

The third and final substitution was a forced one as Sam Graham went down injured. Disappointingly, a section of the crowd cheered this which can’t be condoned. Graham has struggled since arriving at Dale in the summer but he’s still young and that reaction won’t have helped. He was replaced by the forgotten man, Max Taylor. He came on to a great reception from the Dale crowd. Please can we see him more regularly Robbie?

Some have criticised performances this season which I get but also think we have to realise, and take into consideration, the situation we found ourselves in during the summer. That said, today had been really poor. We were giving the ball away far too much, even players you expect better from like Liam Kelly. Stockdale has also been criticised for his use of subs at times but Josh Andrews had come on and added a real presence to the forward line. He was winning balls in the air and holding the ball up. Max Taylor was also a very welcome sight, instantly more calming than Sam Graham.

With time running out, Matty Done won a corner that was swung in by Liam Kelly and met brilliantly by Max Taylor and parried straight to Alex Newby who was left with his second simply finish of the game and more importantly, equalised for Dale to make it 2-2 as we went into stoppage time!! Get in! Completely undeserved but we’ll take it!

Josh Andrews drilled a shot wide as Dale went in search of an undeserved winner before a header straight at Coleman at the other end.

A panicky 6 minutes of stoppage time finally came to a close and Dale had got away with one. We knew it, they knew it.

Onto the next one!


Joel Coleman – 6 (Couldn’t do much with either goal)

Corey O’Keeffe – 6 (Good header across for the first goal)

Sam Graham – 4 (Awful performance, actually felt sorry for him)

Eoghan O’Connell – 7 (Must have felt like he was defending on his own)

Jeriel Dorsett – 4 (Another poor performance)

Jimmy Keohane – 5 (Didn’t think he had a good game either)

Aaron Morley – 5 (Not at his best, gave the ball away too much)

Liam Kelly – 5 (Worst I’ve seen Kelly play)

Abraham Odoh – 5 (Barely in the game, no end product)

ALEX NEWBY – 7 (Gets a 7 for his brace but didn’t do much else in fairness)

Jake Beesley – 6 (Worked hard but nothing worked for him)


Matty Done – 6 (Not sure why he was favoured over White but didn’t do owt wrong)
Josh Andrews – 7 (Really put himself about a bit)
Max Taylor – 7 (Did well when he came on I thought, big hand in the equaliser)

Photo: Action Images

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