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Report: Dale 5 MK Dons 0
Report: Dale 5 MK Dons 0
Monday, 1st Jan 2001 06:30 by Chaff

It's very late but I've been busy so here's your match report. Everyone of the players gets 10 so I've not bothered with ratings.

Well, what a performance, what a result and what a bloody feeling after it as well.  Rochdale took on high flyers MK Dons at Spotland and you'd have taken a point before the game so to take all three plus five goals was a bit of a bonus shall we say.

With a few new players in the squad, the starting lineup was slightly changed.  Gilks was in net, Ramsden at right back, Goodall at left back with McArdle and Stanton at centre half.  Etuhu lined up on the right with new signing Rory Prendergast on the left and Jones and Doolan in the middle.  Loan signing Adam Le Fondre partnered Murray up front.  On the bench were Rigby, Crooks, new boys David Perkins and Reuben Reid along with Rundle.

Dale got off to a brilliant start and nearly took the lead after about thirty seconds when a great ball in from Etuhu was headed goalwards by Le Fondre but the keeper made a decent save to keep it 1-0.

Le Fondre's second attempt however found the net after just five minutes.  A long ball from McArdle went right over the MK Dons defence, being led by Dale legend Paul Butler, and Le Fondre ran clean through and with the ball bouncing, blasted it into the bottom corner with the sort of precision finishing you'd be more likely to see from a Shearer or Henry.  Dale were 1-0 up and it was to get much much better.

With just ten minutes gone, Rochdale were 2-0 up thanks to Simon Ramsden getting his third of the season.  Gary Jones set up Le Fondre's whose shot was saved but the rebound fell to Ramsden who had got forward well and Rambo put the ball into the empty net to make it 2-0 to the team in the relegation zone at the time.

This was too good to be true but it was to get even better on sixteen minutes when John Doolan drilled a ball across the box for debutant Rory Prendergast to finish making it 3-0.

This was amazing, the fans couldn't believe what they were seeing.  It was game over in our favour with less than twenty minutes gone.  It was pretty much party time from then on with the atmosphere being brilliant.

Simon Ramsden was forced off with an injury and on came David Perkins to make his Rochdale debut.

Martin Allen went mad at the half time break and thought he was Jose Mourinho by bringing on three substitutes!

Substitute David Perkins took about quarter of an hour to get settled in his unfamiliar position but he announced himself to the Dale faithful with a magnificent 70 yard run from defence to the edge of the opposition box before setting up John Doolan to cross for Adam Le Fondre to tap home his second of the afternoon to make it 4-0.

Le Fondre even scored his hatrick when he hit an effort goalwards but the ball was cleared from about a yard over the line, only for the linesman to decide it wasn't a goal at all.

Reuben Reid came on for Glenn Murray with about twenty minutes to go and he too had an immediate impact in a Dale shirt.

Just ten minutes after coming on, he held the ball up well, did a fantastic quick turn and played a glorious through ball for Kelvin Etuhu to run onto and slide the ball past Harper to make it 5-0. 

It was like Birthday, Christmas, New Years, Easter and Pancake Day all rolled into one.  It's games like this that make the weeks on end of garbage worth it if you ask me.

The game finished 5-0 and Dale fans went home with big beaming smiles on their faces as Dale climbed out of the relegation places.

More of the same please fellas.

Photo: Action Images



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