Football: Rochdale 2 – 1 Blackpool
Date published: 27 December 2018
Ian Henderson netted a last-minute winner for Rochdale
Ian Henderson netted a last-minute winner to finally break the resolve of a Blackpool side that played for over an hour with just ten men after Jordan Thompson was sent off for a headbutt on Callum Camps.
The Dale captain coolly finished from close range after the Blackpool defence and in particular goalkeeper Mark Howard looked to have frustrated Keith Hill’s side with a string of brave blocks and superb saves.
Ollie Rathbone had given Dale the lead midway through the first half before Thompson’s moment of madness saw the visitors reduced in numbers. Full back Michael Nottingham slotted his side level just five minutes later and looked to have earned a point until Henderson’s last-minute heroics.
After the win at Southend on Saturday, Keith Hill named the same starting eleven for this festive visit of Blackpool but it was the visitors who perhaps should have taken the lead ten minutes in. Marc Bola’s quick break and cross down the left was only pushed away by Moore into the path of Gnanduillet with the big striker hitting his volley into the ground and wide of the right-hand post.
The next real attack saw Rochdale take the lead. Brendan Moore’s quick release set Ian Henderson away and when he unselfishly picked out Gillam 12 yards out, the young striker saw his effort saved by Howard, although Rathbone was quickest to react to slot in from close range.
Blackpool almost hit back straight away; Jordan Thompson with a curling shot crashing back off the upright.
The travelling contingent were clambering for a penalty when Gnanduillet clashed with Moore inside the area; referee Bramall saying no.
The major talking point of the game came on the half hour mark when Thompson was sent off. The Blackppol midfielder reacted angrily to a Camps challenge, giving referee Thomas Bramall no choice but to brandish the red card, despite Thompson intimating that the Dale midfielder had stamped on him.
To be fair to the visitors, the numerical disadvantage didn’t really show and they were soon back on level terms. Gnanduillet’s layoff to Nottingham saw him have time to pick his spot in the bottom left hand corner.
Once level, it was almost as if Blackpool thought they would hold on to the point as Dale took control. Rathbone and Henderson both forcing saves from Howard in the Pool’s goal as the teams went in at the interval level.
A change at half-time saw Kgosi Ntlhe come on for Gillam with Matty Done pushed up front and the move almost paid dividends immediately. Done cut in brilliantly onto his left foot; his curling shot hitting the woodwork.
Howard pulled off a superb one-handed save from a powerful Camps volley whilst the defence threw their bodies in front of anything Dale had. With coming up to 30 shots on goal, it looked like a frustrating day for Rochdale boss Keith Hill until Henderson got through.
A perfectly weighted through ball by second half substitute Bradden Inman found Henderson, and despite the claims for offside from the visitors, Henderson slid in his 14th of the season to earn maximum points.
Back-to-back wins has now seen Dale climb to 16th; nine points clear of the bottom four with struggling Bradford City next up at the Crown Oil Arena on Saturday (29 December).
Rochdale: Moore, Rafferty, MJ Williams, Delaney, Done, Camps, Rathbone, Adshead (Inman 65), J Williams (Andrew 65), Henderson ©, Gillam (Ntlhe 46)
Subs: (not used) Lillis, McNulty, McGahey, Perkins
Blackpool: Howard, Nottingham, O’Connor, Heneghan, Bola, Spearing ©, Thompson, Guy (Bunney 81), Gnanduillert, Feeney (Pritchard 72), Delfouneso (O’Sullivan 90)
Subs: (not used) Boney, McLaughlin, Taylor, Davies
Referee: Mr T Bramall
Assistants: Mr I Dudley & Mr J Simpson
Fourth Official: Mr K Haycock
Attendance: 4,006 (740 from Blackpool)
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