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Match Reports

REPORT | Rovers 4 Rochdale 3

29 December 2022

Match Reports

REPORT | Rovers 4 Rochdale 3

29 December 2022

Tom Anderson grabbed the winner as Rovers triumphed over Rochdale in a frantic seven goal thriller.

Charlie Seaman and Ben Close had Rovers comfortably ahead inside nine minutes only for Devante Rodney and a Ro-Shaun Williams own goal to have the visitors level.

Harrison Biggins restored the lead heading into the break before substitute Tyrese Sinclair equalised for Rochdale.

And the stage was set for Anderson to turn hero as he slammed in nine minutes from time for the victory.

Danny Schofield made three changes to the side that started at Tranmere Rovers on Boxing Day with Luke Molyneux, Ro-Shaun Williams and Kyle Hurst all inserted into the side.

Rovers showed real intent from the kick-off and were camped in the Rochdale in the early minutes of the game.

And it was made to count with just six minutes on the clock as they took the lead. A short corner routine saw the ball moved inside to Harrison Biggins and then Seaman, who shifted into space and fired low, with a wicked deflection taking the effort past Rochdale keeper Richard O’Donnell.

Rovers remained on the front foot and Kyle Hurst saw a shot blocked inside the box less than a minute after the opening goal.

And the lead was doubled on nine minutes with a beauty from Close - his first goal for the club. Hurst showed brilliant tenacity on the left to win the ball back and play inside to George Miller who laid off for Close with the midfielder curling in a superb fro 20 yards.

But as quickly as Rovers were ahead, Rochdale drew the game back level.

First, Rodney worked space on the corner of the box for a shot which took a deflection and went in off the inside of the post with 14 minutes gone.

And three minutes later, Williams turned into his own goal as he attempted to block a dangerous cross from former Rovers defender Cameron John.

Despite the setback, Rovers continued to have the better of the attacking play.

Miller just failed to connect in front of goal after Rochdale failed to deal with a ball played across the box midway through the half.

The Rovers striker went close again twice in quick succession - heading over the bar and volleying wide from a good position.

The lead was restored on 37 minutes however when Biggins powered a free kick over the wall and beyond O’Donnell from 25 yards for his fourth goal of the campaign.

Rochdale produced a couple of half chances before the break. Abraham Odoh fired into the side netting from a tight angle while Scott Quigley drilled wide after pouncing on a mistake.

The second half was a much less eventful affair in the main. Rochdale enjoyed the better of the possession play but rarely troubled the Rovers goal.

Quigley found space for a shot but it deflected into the arms of Jonathan Mitchell just before the hour mark.

Rochdale grabbed the equaliser on 77 minutes when substitute Sinclair looped a header over Mitchell.

But parity lasted just four minutes. A corner was recycled into the box and dropped to Anderson, who rifled in low from eight yards to put Rovers back in front and on the way to the win.

Rovers: Mitchell, Knoyle, Williams, Anderson, Seaman, Close, Biggins, Maxwell, Molyneux (Woltman 83), Hurst, Miller (Agard 83). Subs not used: Jones, Long, Ravenhill, Barlow, Griffiths.

Rochdale: O’Donnell, Seriki, Ebanks-Landell, Nelson, John, Kelly, Diagouraga (Sinclair 75), Ball (Keohane 75), Odoh (Henderson 75), Quigley, Rodney (Lloyd 63). Subs not used: Kelly, White, Graham.

Attendance: 6,025 (357)

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