|Notts County 1 v 2 Rochdale|
Tuesday, 16th November 2021 Kick-off 19:45
Match Preview: Notts County vs Dale
Monday, 15th Nov 2021 17:01 by AtThePeake
Rochdale will have another crack at eliminating non-league Notts County from the FA Cup as they travel to Meadow Lane on Tuesday night.
Date: Tuesday 16th November
After a frustrating display in the home tie against Notts County, Rochdale will have to travel to Meadow Lane on Tuesday night looking for a win to progress into the second round of the FA Cup.
A home match against either Plymouth Argyle or Sheffield Wednesday (who have a replay to contest themselves after a draw at Hillsborough last week) awaits the winner, and while that tie might not seem too appealing on paper for supporters, the added incentive of the game being on television does make it more appealing to the bank sheet.
But Dale will perhaps be happier to be on the road for this replay. Throughout the season, the team's best displays have come away from home, particularly in the wins over Port Vale and Northampton Town - while the victories at home have been less convincing and their have been some pretty disappointing displays at Spotland too.
That first tie against Notts County certainly fits into that category. In the first-half in particular, Dale didn't look like the higher-level opposition against National League Notts and were perhaps lucky to go in a goal ahead at the break thanks to Corey O'Keeffe's strike.
The second half did represent something of an improvement and Dale should've put the game to bed when Jake Beesley was presented with a guilt-edged chance, only to fire his shot at goalkeeper Anthony Patterson.
Moments later, County equalised through a Kyle Wootton header from a corner kick and Dale would spend the remainder of the game looking for a winner but struggling to create any more chances, despite claims for a penalty after a perceived trip on Conor Grant in the box.
Attention briefly switched back to the league on Saturday with Leyton Orient being the visitors, and Dale were perhaps lucky to escape with a point after what was another lacklustre display.
A close-range Alex Newby header had given Dale the lead inside 40 seconds, but Orient were much the better side for the majority of the game and deservedly equalised, before taking the lead in the second half thanks to a well-taken strike by midfielder Craig Clay.
Thankfully for us, that man Newby was in the right place at the right time in injury-time to pounce on a mistake from the O's keeper Lawrence Vigouroux and tap home an equaliser for the game to finish 2-2.
For many though, the result simply papered over the cracks of another below-par performance and much of the unhappiness centred around the performance of defenders Sam Graham and Jeriel Dorsett, both of whom struggled again with the movement of the O's forward line.
Graham was eventually withdrawn due to injury, so may see his place in the side taken by Max Taylor, who was finally introduced as his replacement and won the header that led to Newby's injury-time equaliser.
Liam Kelly struggled to have much of an effect on Saturday and may be rested having featured heavily in recent weeks. George Broadbent and Stephen Dooley will be among the candidates to replace him in central midfield alongside Aaron Morley if so.
Corey O'Keeffe and Jimmy Keohane could slot into the wing-back roles again, although Aidy White will hope for more minutes on the left, while Jake Beesley is expected to start as the central striker even after an encouraging display from Josh Andrews from the bench on Saturday.
With the TV money on the line for the winner here, this game has suddenly taken on more importance than it perhaps normally would have. Can Dale display their strengths on the road once again to set up a tie against League One opposition in the next round?
For some supporters, the name of Notts County still brings back bitter memories of the 2009/2010 campaign, when the Magpies overcame the Dale to pick up the League Two title.
It wasn't just that Dale fell just short of the top spot in that campaign as Keith Hill prepared his squad for League One in the latter stages, but that County's title-winning squad had mostly been assembled under the false pretences of the fraudulent Munto Finance, who's short reign saw a raft of big-name signings join the club - including former England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson as Director of Football.
Ray Trew was to become the club's saviour that season and he managed to stabilise them in League One for a handful of seasons, before selling the club to Alan Hardy after relegation back to League Two.
Now, undoubtedly, the aim is to return to League Two as soon as possible, but it's been play-off heartbreak for the Magpies fans in the last two seasons, firstly against Harrogate in the 2020 final and last season they were defeat in the semi-final stage by Torquay United.
As for this season, County have their play-off chase back on track at the moment having picked up an available 10 points from the last available 12, following a worrying trio of consecutive league defeats to Altrincham, Woking and Halifax.
Since then, Yeovil, Stockport and Grimsby have all been defeated, seeing Ian Burchnall's outfit rise to 7th in the table and they'll be hopeful of continuing their FA Cup run too after overcoming Tamworth in the Fourth Qualifying Round - after a replay at Meadow Lane.
In terms of their current squad, the most recognisable name for Dale supporters will be 'Player/Coach' Jake Kean, although the former Spotland loanee is certainly more of a coach than a player at Meadow Lane, having never made an appearance in the league since moving to Nottinghamshire in 2019.
Another former Dale loanee, Joel Taylor, currently plays for Notts, while Kean is kept out of the team by ex-Scunthorpe stopper Sam Slocombe and there are plenty of other former EFL players within Burchnall's squad through the likes of Richard Brindley, Kyle Wootton and Adam Chicksen.
One man the Dale defence will have to be wary of is Portuguese attacker Ruben Rodrigues. The 25 year old found the net for the 7th time in the National League this season when he bagged the only goal of the game in the team's victory over Grimsby last time out.
No doubt about it, this is a potential banana skin for a Dale side that have suffered their fair share of defeats to non-league opponents in the FA Cup over the years. A professional job is required if the team are to prevent Notts County from being the next club to dump them unceremoniously out of the competition this time around.
28 Feb 2012 - Rochdale 0-1 Notts County - League One
Photo: Action Images
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