Rochdale 2 - 1 Doncaster Rovers
Date published: 12 September 2017
Rochdale v Doncaster Rovers
Steven Davies celebrates scoring Rochdale's winning goal
Rochdale scored twice in stoppage time to earn a dramatic first win of the season at a rain soaked Crown Oil Arena on Tuesday night.
Heading into the 92nd minute behind, Mark Kitching scored a stunning volley for his first ever professional goal to level the score but better was yet to come.
As the clock ticked into the 94th minute, Steven Davies ghosted in at the back post to side foot the winner sparking unbelievable scenes at the Sandy Lane end of the ground.
Davies had earlier seen his penalty kick saved by Rovers keeper Ian Lawlor after Matt Done was tripped inside the area.
Dale manager Keith Hill made three changes from the defeat to Blackburn at the weekend. Joe Rafferty, Bradden Inman and Ollie Rathbone were given starts whilst new signing Jordan Slew, who was only announced as a Dale player 60 minutes before kick-off, started on the bench.
Having not registered a shot on target in the game against Blackburn three days ago, the Dale faithful were hoping for a better showing and they certainly got it with the Dale showing their attacking intent from the first whistle.
With eight minutes on the clock, Dale had a glorious chance to open the scoring when they were awarded a penalty kick after Done was felled. Ollie Rathbone’s powerful drive was only parried by Lawlor and as the defence were about to clear, Done nipped in to take the ball but was clipped with the assistant flagging for a penalty. Steven Davies, who has already scored twice from the spot this season, stepped up but saw his kick from 12 yards comfortably saved by the Doncaster keeper.
That brought an openness to the game as both sides piled forward at every opportunity, aided by a slick pitch. Though the Crown Oil Arena was battered by torrential rain throughout the game, the pitch coped impeccably with the deluge.
On loan Chelsea midfielder Jordan Houghton saw his volley rise over the bar whilst Joe Rafferty warmed the hands of Lawlor with an angled shot.
Dale were having the better of the chances in front of goal with both McGahey and Rafferty going close in the latter stages of the first half.
Doncaster manager Darren Ferguson changed things for the second half and they stemmed the Dale attack and looked dangerous themselves. Experienced forward James Coppinger forced Moore into a smart low save whilst John Marquis was being a nuisance, but Dale stood firm.
The opening goal came with 15 minutes left with Marquis in the right place at the right time to turn the ball into a virtually open net after Andy Williams’ initial effort had come back off the post.
Davies saw a header cleared off the line as Dale went in search of an equaliser and just as it looked like luck was not on their side, they drew level in stoppage time.
Mark Kitching, on as a 73rd minute substitute, fired a stunning volley from 22 yards out, which beat Lawlor hands down to earn what looked like a deserved point, but Davies had other ideas.
With the three minutes of added time up, Joe Bunney whipped in a delicious corner and from McGahey’s flick, Davies stole in at the far post to score and celebrated with a 10 man pile on the drenched Spotland pitch.
Rochdale: Moore, Rafferty, McGahey, McNulty (c), Bunney, MJ Williams, Cannon, Rathbone (Kitching 73), Inman, Davies, Done (Slew 83)
Substitutes: (not used) Lillis, Canavan, J Williams, Daniels, Gillam
Doncaster: Lawlor, Coppinger (c), Butler, Wright, Garrett, Mason, Houghton (Kongolo 72), Whiteman, Khemis (Blair 34), Marquis, Williams (May 85)
Substitutes: (not used) Marosi, Mandaville, Alcock, Toffolo
Referee: Mr B Toner
Assistants: Mr N Sharp and Mr I A Dudley
Fourth Official: Mr T Peart