Football: Shrewsbury 0 - 0 Rochdale

Date published: 19 August 2019

Rochdale maintained their unbeaten start to the season with a hard-fought draw at Shrewsbury Town, but were unlucky to not take all three points after having a late goal ruled out for offside.

Both goalkeepers were forced into saves during the game as the two sides battled to gain the advantage.

Dale thought they had snatched an 88th minute winner only for referee Ben Toner to rule out the goal for offside against Ian Henderson; replays later showing that the visitors captain was in fact onside.

On loan winger Rekeil Pyke missed the game after picking up a knock to his knee, so Matty Done replaced him whilst Ollie Rathbone was preferred to Aaron Morley who dropped to the bench.

On a blustery day in Shropshire, Brian Barry-Murphy’s side used the impeccable playing surface to good effect as they passed the ball around at ease trying to create an opening.

The first half chance came Dale’s way; Ollie Rathbone driving from midfield although his powerful drive was always rising over the crossbar.

Ethan Ebanks-Landell, who’s performances during a loan spell from Wolves last season was a major factor in Dale staying in league one, plays for Shrewsbury now and he almost scored against his former side with a header; Sanchez equal to his effort.

At the other end, Matty Done and MJ Williams fired off target as the game looked to be swinging in Dale’s favour although they couldn’t edge in front.

The latter stages of the first half belonged to Shrewsbury with veteran striker Steve Morison going close; his shot being tipped away by Sanchez.

Central defender Aaron Pierre acrobatically sent a shot narrowly wide after Morison sent a header back into the danger area following a corner.

The second half started slowly with neither keeper really troubled until twenty minutes left of the game. Callum Camps’ 25 yard freekick was only punched by O’Leary with the ball landing at the feet of MJ Williams; the former Liverpool midfielder hitting horribly over the bar.

Stephen Dooley was thwarted by O’Leary after a swift Rochdale counter attack, the keeper turning the ball around his left hand post. From the corner Camps tried to replicate his efforts from the midweek win over Bolton but his volley from inside the area was wide of the mark this time.

It was Shrewsbury’s turn next as they went close following a mistake by Williams. Shaun Whalley picked the pocket of the scouser and drove at goal; his shot parried by Sanchez with Dale’s O’Connell and the Shrews’ Edwards battling for the loose ball. As they lay prone on the floor, substitute Fejiri Okenabirhie blazed over with the goal at his mercy.

The major talking point came at the end of a tight game. A Rochdale corner was only cleared by the home defence as far as Camps who sent his shot back in with interest and it bounced through and into the net. With Dale players celebrating, the Shrewsbury players complained that Ian Henderson who was almost on the goal line was in an offside position. Despite keeping his flag down, the assistant, via the headset concluded, with the referee that Henderson was interfering with play and the goal was ruled out. Replays later showed that Shrewsbury defender Omar Beckles was at least level with the Dale striker.

The point was probably a fair result in the end and but for that offside decision, could have been a lot better for Brian Barry-Murphy’s men heading into the midweek visit of Sunderland to the Crown Oil Arena.

Rochdale: Sanchez, Keohane, O’Connell, McNulty, Norrington-Davies, Williams, Camps, Rathbone, Dooley Andrew 72), Done (Morley 57), Henderson ©
Subs: (not used) Wade, Delaney, Magloire, Tavares, Matheson

Shrewsbury: O’Leary, Beckles, Ebanks-Landell, Pierre, Love, Giles, Edwards ©, Goss (Walker 90), McCormick (Thompson 57), Whalley, Morison ( Okenabirhie 62)
Subs: (not used) Murphy, Golbourne, Barnett, Rowland

Referee: Mr B Toner
Assistants: Mr A Moore & Mr A Hendley
Fourth Official: Mr M Smith

Attendance: 5,641 (425 from Rochdale)

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