Football: Rochdale 1 - 2 Plymouth Argyle
Date published: 18 December 2018
A howler from goalkeeper Josh Lillis handed Plymouth the win in a poor game at a bitterly cold Crown Oil Arena.
Lillis completely missed the ball as he attempted to clear a David Perkins back-pass with the ball rolling harmlessly into the empty net. The visitors had taken the lead a few minutes earlier; Joel Grant providing the finishing touch from close range after Antoni Sarcevic’ low cross. Bradden Inman had levelled for Dale with a neat finish under Matt Macey but Lillis’ mistake cost Dale at least a point.
In heavy rain and almost freezing temperatures, it certainly wasn’t a day for the purist and free flowing football was at a premium.
Olly Rathbone came closest for Dale when his shot on the run was beaten away by Macey whilst at the other end defender Yann Songo’o touched Graham Carey’s cross just wide of the far post.
The game sprung into life just after the 70th minute, a Rochdale throw in was charged down and when Sarcevic was played in, despite the close attendance of Matty Done, the midfielder shot across Lillis with Grant on hand to turn the ball over the line from inside the six yard box.
The lead lasted just 90 seconds as Dale hit back. Ian Henderson’s clever through ball sent Inman racing through with his angled finish under Macey levelling the score.
With Dale looking to go on and get maximum points, they hit the self destruct button. Trying to play their way out of danger, Perkins played a ball back to his keeper. Whether it took a bobble it was unclear but as the keeper went to kick upfield, he completely missed the ball and it trickled over the line.
The goal knocked the stuffing out of the home side although substitute Matty Gillam’s cross for Ryan Delaney almost brought about a second equaliser; the Irishman’s header going just the wrong side of the post.
Lillis slightly redeemed himself in stoppage time with a brilliant one handed save to deny Carey but the damage was already done as Dale slipped to their tenth league defeat of the campaign.
Rochdale: Lillis, Rafferty, MJ Williams, Delaney, Done, Perkins (Gillam 79), Camps, Rathbone (Cannon 62), Andrew, Inman, Henderson ©
Subs: (not used) Norman, McGahey, J Williams, Adshead, McNulty
Plymouth: Macey, Riley, Sawyer ©, Songo’o, Smith-Brown, Sarcevic, Fox, Carey, Grant, Jephcott (Taylor 61), Ladapo (Ness 66)
Subs: (not used) Edwards, Ainsworth, Wylde, Letheren, Moore
Referee: Mr C Boyeson
Assistants: Mr P Hobday & Mr M Smith
Fourth Official: Mr D Avent
Attendance: 2,863 (371 from Plymouth)
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