Football: Rochdale 0 - 3 Wycombe Wanderers
Date published: 30 September 2019
Crown Oil Arena
Rochdale’s heroes from Wednesday night at Old Trafford couldn’t repeat the performance level as they went down to defeat at home to Wycombe Wanderers. The exertions of the Cup game against Manchester United certainly took their toll on the Dale side who let in three soft goals whilst not really troubling Ryan Allsop in the visitors’ goal.
The Dale manager said prior to the game that there could be a hangover from the midweek trip to Old Trafford and Brian Barry-Murphy made three changes to his starting line-up to try and combat the issue. Goalscoring hero Luke Matheson and midfielders Aaron Morley and Stephen Dooley all took their places on the bench with Calvin Andrew and Aaron Wilbraham starting their first games of the season whilst Jimmy Ryan also got a start.
The visitors arrived at the Crown Oil Arena in good form but still to win away from home this season and they took the lead after 16 minutes helped by some sloppy defending. A flicked header into the area saw Jimmy Keohane ball watching allowing Fred Onyedinma plenty of time to pick his spot despite MJ Williams’ best efforts on the line.
1-0 soon became 2-0 as the man known as “the Beast” headed in his side’s second. A long throw from the left was powered at goal by Akinfenwa from 12 yards out which flew past Robert Sanchez who’s positioning was questionable.
That second goal seemed to wake the home side up and in the latter stages of the first half, at least showed signs of making Allsop work for his wages. Rhys Norrington-Davies sent a low cross into the area from the left flank; Ian Henderson not really connecting as he’d like and his weak effort was comfortable for Allsop.
Jim McNulty came mightily close to halving the deficit when he powered a Jimmy Ryan corner at goal; the woodwork frustrating the Dale defender as the ball crashed back off the face of the bar.
The game was in doubt prior to kick off as torrential rain in Rochdale left the pitch under water in places but excellent work from the ground staff got the game on after two morning pitch inspections. Many with Dale persuasion will probably have wished they hadn’t tried so hard as Wycombe sealed the win with 12 minutes left in the game. A quick counter-attack saw the Rochdale defence back off and when substitute Josh Parker fired a shot beyond Sanchez, the left hand post seemingly came to Dale’s rescue only for the ball to ricochet off Calvin Andrew's face and fall kindly to Onyedinma for his second and Wycombe’s third.
It was a lacklustre performance from Rochdale but after the performance levels put in against Manchester United, it wasn’t a huge surprise. Onwards now to an EFL Cup game on Tuesday at the Crown Oil Arena (7.45pm kick off) before a long trip to struggling AFC Wimbledon on Saturday in Sky Bet League One.
Rochdale: Sanchez, Keohane, MJ Williams, McNulty, Norrington-Davies, Ryan (Dooley 60), Rathbone (Morley 86), Camps, Andrew, Wilbraham (Tavares 71), Henderson ©
Substitutes: (not used) Lynch, Baah, Bradley, Matheson
Wycombe: Allsop, Stewart, Phillips (Mascoll 85), Charles, Grimmer, Onyedinma, Pattison (Kashket 62), Thompson, Gape, Akinfenwa © (Parker 76), Wheeler
Substitutes: (not used) Yates, Jombati, Gardiner Smith, Aarons
Referee: Mr D Handley
Assistants: Mr R Bartlett & Mr S Clayton
Fourth Official: Mr D Benton
Attendance: 3,039 (334 from Wycombe)
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