Football: Barnsley 2 - 1 Rochdale
Date published: 27 January 2019
Rochdale put in a battling performance against high flying Barnsley and despite taking the lead, couldn’t hold on as the home side turned the game around to take the points. Ian Henderson put Dale into the lead early in the second half when a quickly taken Jim McNulty free-kick caught the home side napping. Barnsley’s front two of Kiefer Moore and Cauley Woodrow took their combined tally to 25 for the season with a goal apiece to move their side up to third.
New signing Ryan McLaughlin was handed his Rochdale debut with Ryan Delaney returning to the starting eleven at left back as Keith Hill made two changes from last weekend.
In a tight first half, neither goalkeeper was seriously tested with both teams misfiring in front of goal. Ryan Delaney had a decent chance as the first half drew to a close; the Irishman guilty in firing over from a narrow angle.
Barnsley thought they’d taken the lead when Moore rifled the ball past Lillis; an assistant’s flag ruling out the home side.
Rochdale edged in front just moments later when they were awarded a free-kick on the half way line. As the home side were lining up to face the dead ball, McNulty opted to quickly play in Henderson who beat the offside trap before slotting past Davies from inside the area.
Disappointingly for Keith Hill, the lead lasted only five minutes as Moore drilled a low shot past Lillis from the edge of the area. Full back Ben Williams, who was later handed the home sponsors man-of-the-match award burst through the Dale midfield and when he picked out Moore, the 6’5” striker finished well despite Lillis getting his finger tips to the ball.
The game really began to open up as neither side wanted to settle for a point. Calvin Andrew headed narrowly wide after good work from McLaughlin down the right whilst Ian Henderson brought about a save from Davies as the Welshman tipped his angled drive into the side netting.
Josh Lillis had to be alert to save from Woodrow after Cavare’s low cross found the striker at close quarters to the goal.
The Rochdale stopper could do little to prevent Woodrow two minutes later as the former Fulham striker powered the ball home after a lucky touch from substitute Kenny Dougall set the ball up nicely.
Both sides had chances in the latter stages, but it was deep into stoppage time that Rochdale almost snatched a point. A deep corner was headed back into the mix with a mass of bodies preventing the ball crossing the line as a real melee ensued. Wilbraham saw a shot blocked and whilst there were appeals from both sides of handball, Barnsley eventually cleared with the full time whistle coming soon afterwards.
It was bitterly disappointing for Dale after putting so much into the game against a side pushing for promotion and defeat leaves them hovering just above the drop zone
Rochdale: Lillis, McLaughlin (Matheson 76), McNulty, Ebanks-Landell, Delaney, Dooley, Camps (Wilbraham 81), Hamilton , Holden, Henderson (c), Andrew (Inman 81)
Subs: (not used) Norman, MJ Williams, J Williams, Adshead
Barnsley: Davies (c), Cavare, Pinnock, Lindsay, Williams, Brown, Mowatt, McGeehan, Thiam (Dougall 46), Woodrow (Adeboyejo 90), Moore (Green 78)
Subs: (not used) Greatorex, Hedges, Jackson, Pinillos
Referee: Mr A Young
Assistants: Mr W Grunnill & Mr S Rushton
Fourth Official: Mr C Boyeson
Attendance: 11,379 (334 from Rochdale)
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