Football: Rochdale 0 - 1 Portsmouth

Date published: 03 December 2018

Substitute Andre Green’s heavily deflected shot in the 90th minute was enough to see Portsmouth through to the third round of the Emirates FA Cup after an even contest looked to be heading for a replay. Green’s strike after a well worked free-kick deflected up off Matty Done to wrong foot Josh Lillis in the Dale goal. Rochdale were denied a penalty by referee Seb Stockbridge deep into stoppage time when Andy Cannon was pushed over inside the box by Matt Clarke but the Newcastle official turned down the appeals.

After the midweek defeat at Oxford, Keith Hill issued a heartfelt apology for his team selection after making five changes. For the visit of Sky Bet League One leaders Portsmouth in the FA Cup, Hill made six changes with Joe Rafferty, MJ Williams, Calvin Andrew, Matty Done, Jordan Williams and Stephen Dooley recalled to the starting eleven.

After last season’s heroics in this competition, the Dale faithful were optimistic heading into the game, despite playing the highest ranked side in the second round.

Dale started brightly and had a half chance through Jordan Williams. A brilliant flick on by Calvin Andrew picked out the former Barrow forward but he dragged his shot off target.

Visiting captain Gareth Evans saw a dipping volley land on the roof of the net whilst tricky winger Ronan Curtis saw his snap shot well held by Lillis.

Williams had another sight of goal as the half drew to a close. Another flick by Andrew picked out Williams; his volley flashing narrowly wide of the far post.

The closest either side came to breaking the deadlock in a tight first period was when Curtis broke free; his 20 yard shot crashing back off the face of the crossbar.

The second half took a while to get going although the home side controlled for the most part.

Calvin Andrew should have done better when played in by Henderson; the big striker hitting a weak right footed shot which was blocked by the legs of MacGillivray.

Moments later and full back Done thought he’d netted the opening goal; his shot beating the keeper but not the woodwork.

With the game heading for a replay back at Fratton Park, Kenny Jackett’s side struck the killer blow. Ryan Delaney’s trip on substitute Andre Green just outside the area provided the opportunity the South Coast club needed. A short free-kick across the face edge of the area found Green whose shot deflected off Done and into the top corner to crush the home contingent.

With four minutes of time added on, Dale pressed for a leveller and almost got it through Ian Henderson. The Captain, who had a quiet game by his standards, was denied by a brilliant low save by MacGillivray and when the ball spilled out, Dale substitute Andy Cannon was seemingly pushed over but referee Stocksbridge said no penalty.

It was a cruel end to the game with Keith Hill’s men deserving of at least another crack in 10 days time but it wasn’t to be as Portsmouth held out for the passage through to round three.

Rochdale: Lillis, Rafferty, McGahey, Delaney, Done, MJ Williams, Adshead, Dooley (Cannon 55), Henderson ©, J Williams, Andrew
Subs: (not used) Norman, McNulty, Perkins, Rathbone, Inman, Gillam

Portsmouth: MacGillivray, N Thompson, Clarke, Whatmough, Brown, B Thompson, Close, Evans © (Pitman 72), Lowe (Green 76), Curtis, Hawkins
Subs: (not used) McGee, Burgess, Haunstrup, Rose, Walkes

Referee: Mr S Stockbridge
Assistants: Mr H Karaivanov & Mr G Mellor
Fourth Official: Mr R Aspinall

Attendance: 2,555 (599 from Portsmouth)

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