Fleetwood Town 2 - 2 Rochdale
Date published: 15 October 2017
Bradden Inman scored Rochdale's first goal
Rochdale had to settle for a point against ten man Fleetwood after Devante Cole’s late equaliser denied Dale a first win in five games.
Fleetwood's Ashley Eastham stabbed home the opening goal against his former side after a corner was not cleared.
Two goals in five minutes turned the game in Rochdale’s favour; Bradden Inman’s deflected shot drew the sides level and Ian Henderson headed Dale in front minutes later from a Joe Bunney cross.
Substitute Wes Burns was shown a straight red card for a high challenge on Callum Camps just after the hour mark.
Cole stole in at the near post to turn Ash Hunter’s cross beyond Josh Lillis seven minutes from time.
Dale manager Keith Hill made two changes from last weekend’s defeat to Rotherham, Bradden Inman and Calvin Andrew were preferred to Ollie Rathbone and Steven Davies.
Fleetwood, who started the game just outside the top six, took the lead through former Dale man Ashley Eastham. A low left wing corner was not dealt with by Joe Bunney at the near post and the loose ball dropped to Eastham, who scored from close range.
Rochdale had not scored in five games and in all fairness did not look like troubling Alex Cairns in the Fleetwood goal as they were restricted to shots from distance.
Callum Camps fired straight at Cairns from 20 yards, whilst MJ Williams flashed a shot wide from a similar position.
Joe Rafferty was introduced at the start of the second half with Donervon Daniels making way and Dale soon got themselves back on level terms. Good work down the right from Rafferty saw the substitute fire a ball into the area, which was only partially cleared out to Inman whose first time shot deflected beyond the despairing dive of Cairn’s and into the bottom corner.
After waiting over 400 minutes for a goal, the travelling Rochdale fans did not have long to wait for another when captain Ian Henderson edged Dale in front. Bunney was released down the left by Camps and the full back delivered a brilliant cross for Henderson to run onto and head home.
The main talking point of the game came just after the hour mark when Burns was sent off for a high challenge on Camps. After deliberating for a few moments, referee Jon Brook brandished the red card, much to the annoyance of the Fleetwood fans.
Fleetwood continued to press forward and got an equaliser seven minutes from the end. Substitute Ashley Hunter beat Camps down the right before driving a low cross in towards the near post for Cole to turn in.
Dale almost won in stoppage time when a Jordan Williams deflected shot wrong-footed Cairns with the keeper just about scrambling back to push the ball around the post.
A share of the spoils was probably a fair result, although Rochdale manager Keith Hill was disappointed to concede the late goal.
Fleetwood: Cairns, Coyle, Eastham, Pond (c)(McAleny 79), Bolger, Bell, Dempsey, Grant (Hunter 59), O’Neill, Hiwula (Burns 54), Cole.
Substitutes: (not used) Neal, Glendon, Schwabl, Cargill.
Rochdale: Lillis, Daniels (Rafferty 46), McGahey, McNulty, Bunney, MJ Williams, Camps, Henderson (c), Inman, Andrew, Done (Williams 70).
Substitutes: (not used) Moore, Ntlhe, Slew, Rathbone, Davies.
Referee: Mr J Brooks.
Assistants: Mr G Liddle and Mr K Mulraine.
Fourth Official: Mr P Graham.