Rochdale - 1 (Henderson 59’)
Saturday 11th April, 2015
Keepmoat Stadium, Doncaster
Sky Bet League One
Kick off 3.00pm
It was a slow start to the game from both teams as neither kept possession for any length of time.
Eleven minutes in Rochdale should have gone ahead as a low ball found an unmarked Ian Henderson at the near post. From six yards out some how the visiting captain’s header went wide of Stephen Bywater’s right post.
Rovers were appealing for a penalty on fifteen minutes as lovely play by James Coppinger released Reece Wabara into the box. Driving forward Wabara went down following what looked like a push from the Dale defender. Appealing for a penalty the referee gave the decision the other way and booked Wabara for diving.
Minutes later there were cheers at the Keepmoat as Kyle Bennett continued his good run of form by putting the ball in the back of the net for the home side.
Lovely interplay between Coppinger and Wabara allowed Wabara to whip a low ball across the box. After going past a number of bodies, Bennett was there at the back post to apply a controlled finish.
Rochdale looked to respond and went close through Michael Rose as he struck a fierce low shot through bodies in the box, forcing Bywater to make an excellent save low to his right.
A minute later Bywater was called into action again, and made a great save to deny Jamie Allen. Henderson followed up the shot to tap in the rebound but the goal was ruled out for offside.
Rovers were enjoying a decent spell. Curtis Main broke down the left before squaring the ball to Nathan Tyson whose volley from 30 yards out clipped the top of the cross bar and had Jamie Jones scrambling.
Chances were few and far between as we approached half time, Bennett went close with a minute to go as he pinged a shot towards goal from 20 yards but it went just wide of the post.
HALF TIME: Rovers 1-0 Rochdale
The second half started similarly to the first, no clear chances from either side, sharing the possession.
Rovers went close following a lovely ball in from Wabara towards Main, who used the pace of the cross to guide it goalwards, however Ashley Eastham got enough on it to head it behind.
Shortly after, Tyson’s deflected effort from the edge of the area had Jones beaten. Unfortunately it was inches wide of the post.
After a quiet spell, Rochdale found an equaliser from nothing. Michael Rose played a low cross in from the left which was neatly flicked home by Henderson.
Henderson should have doubled his tally when he was released finding himself one on one with Bywater. Going for the chip, he didn’t make good enough contact with the ball and his effort was easily saved by Bywater.
Momentum switched and the visitors found themselves on top. Peter Vincenti’s left footed volley from a corner cannoned back off the inside of the post, and Rovers escaped.
Paul Dickov introduced Jonson Clarke-Harris and Harry Forrester to the game to try and add some energy to the Rovers side.
Clarke-Harris caused problems down the left for Rhys Bennett but Rovers struggled to break through the Rochdale back line and Jones remained untested for the majority of the second half.
With five minutes to go the visitors went route one. Vincenti went close with a header just over the bar.
Vincenti then had the chance to win the game as Rochdale were three on two with the Rovers defence. With Andy Cannon free to his right, the midfielder went for the glory shot which whistled over the bar and on that the referee blew for full time, as the spoils were shared.
Team Lineups -
Rovers: Bywater, Stevens, Wabara, Butler, McCombe, Furman (Forrester 73’), Wellens, Coppinger (c), Bennett, Tyson (Mandeville 80’), Main (Clarke-Harris 67’)
Unused Subs: Marosi, Jones, Evina, Middleton
Cautions: Wabara 15’, Furman 60’
Rochdale: Jones, Rafferty (Camps 53’), Bennett, Eastham, Vincenti, Allen, Rose, Logan (Andrew 67’), Cannon, Kennedy, Henderson (c)
Unused Subs: Lillis, Brandy, Noble-Lazarus, Hery, Bunney