Rochdale 1 - 0 Bristol Rovers
Date published: 21 October 2017
Rochdale v Bristol Rovers
Matty Done scores Dale's winning goal
Rochdale recorded their first win in six games with a narrow victory over Bristol Rovers at a very wet and windy Crown Oil Arena.
Matty Done scored the only goal of the game, his third of the season, from close range after brilliant work from Bradden Inman.
With Storm Brian battering the country, the weather was always going to be a factor but in fairness the game was fairly entertaining with both sides looking for the win.
Keith Hill named an unchanged side from the midweek draw with Northampton and they started very brightly and took the lead in the eighth minute. Inman’s pace down the left drew the defence towards him and when he clipped a brilliant shot over the onrushing Adam Smith in the Rovers goal, Done was on hand to make sure the ball went over the line.
Dale were playing some good football and time after time ripped through the Rovers defence but could not find the final ball or the finishing touch.
Rovers did look dangerous in flashes, although the Dale defence stood firm and limited them to shots from distance, which Lillis comfortably held.
Joe Rafferty’s poor defensive header on the half hour mark gave Ollie Clarke a clear sight of goal but his powerful shot flashed just over the bar.
As the half wore on, Dale started to threaten once again as they looked to add to their advantage.
Calvin Andrew headed wide of the mark from Bunney’s corner.
Done slid a shot just the wrong side of the post when he latched onto a Bunney cross from the left.
Rovers put pressure on Dale in the second half and, with the wind swirling around, almost got back on level terms after a mistake in the Dale defence. What looked an easy catch for Lillis saw the ball spill from his hands as he and Jim McNulty got in each other's way and when the loose ball bounced around inside the six yard box, Dale just about smothered it behind.
Rovers piled on the pressure in the latter stages but Rochdale stood firm to record the victory they so desperately wanted.
Rochdale: Lillis, Rafferty, McGahey, McNulty, Bunney, MJ Williams, Camps, Inman ( J Williams 72), Henderson (c), Done, Andrew (Davies 72).
Subs: (not used) Moore, Ntlhe, Daniels, Slew, Rathbone.
Bristol Rovers: Smith, Leadbitter, Lockyer (c), Partington (Lines 57), Broadbent, Brown, Sercombe, Clarke (Nichols 70), Gaffney, Harrison (Telford 77), Sinclair.
Subs: (not used) Slocombe, Sweeney, Moore, Bola.
Referee: Mr S Oldham
Assistants: Mr A Moore and Mr R Wigglesworth
Fourth Official: Mr C Isherwood