Football: Rochdale 1 - 1 Bolton (5 - 3 on penalties)

Date published: 02 October 2019

Jimmy Keohane exercised the demons of Old Trafford when he scored the winning penalty as Rochdale earned a bonus point against Bolton in the EFL Trophy at the Crown Oil Arena.

Ali Crawford had given Bolton the lead with a spectacular free-kick only for Aaron Wilbraham to head home the equaliser against his former club.

Each team earned a point when the game ended 1-1 in 90 minutes and it was down to penalties to decide who got the bonus point. Jay Lynch saved Bolton’s fourth penalty meaning that if Keohane, who missed against Manchester United last week, could hold his nerve, Dale would earn the bonus with the Irishman sending Remi Matthews the wrong way to net his spot kick.

Manager Brian Barry-Murphy stuck with his philosophy of blooding young players in this competition by making seven changes to the side that lost to Wycombe on the weekend. 21-year-old Rhys Norrington-Davies, on loan from Sheffield United, was handed the captains armband as he was deployed as a central defender whilst first year professionals Fabio Tavares and Lewis Bradley were in the starting 11. Goalscoring hero from Old Trafford Luke Matheson was also given a start.

Bolton, managed by former Dale manager Keith Hill and his assistant David Flitcroft, named a strong side as they looked for their first win since being named as the management team.

There was an early scare for the visitors when Liam Bridcutt’s back-pass to Remi Matthews went a little astray with the keeper scurrying to stop the ball crossing the line.

Bolton certainly had the better of the first half and in Ali Crawford, one of nine deadline day signings for Keith Hill, they have a threat from any set piece. The former Doncaster midfielder brought the best out of Jay Lynch with the stopper brilliantly tipping Crawford’s free kick onto the bar.

It took a while for the home side to grow into the game and with 10 minutes left before the interval, they started to impose themselves. Rhys Norrington-Davies' free-kick from the right was perfectly weighted for Gillam; the fullback’s cushioned volley going narrowly over the bar.

Gillam came close moments later after some intelligent play from Tavares whose back-heel set Gillam in on goal but the defender could only find the side-netting.

The game was really opening up as the half wore on. Lewis Bradley shot over after some more terrific forward play from Tavares whilst at the other end Thibaud Verlinden should have done better when picked out by Emmanuel down the right.

With time running out in the first half, Bolton took the lead through a brilliant free-kick. Jimmy Ryan’s foul 30 yards out seemingly held no threat until Crawford sent his dead ball effort flying into the top left hand corner giving Lynch no chance whatsoever.

Dale came out looking much better in the second half and levelled 12 minutes after the re-start. Calvin Andrew, a first half substitute for the injured Stephen Dooley, won his aerial battle to pick out Tavares who in turn picked out Gillam. The defender sent a delightful cross towards the back post for Wilbraham to thump a header past Matthews to level the game.

Dale’s young side looked full of confidence and pressed forward looking for a second. Wilbraham brought the best out of Matthews with a close range save whilst Tavares tested the Bolton keeper who saved with an outstretched foot.

Tavares, who was starting only his second ever senior game, was causing problems with his pace and skill, will feel he should have at least hit the target when his turn and shot flew narrowly over from the edge of the box.

Bolton had a couple of half chances as the game entered three minutes of added time but the game ended all square and needed penalties to decide the bonus point. Rochdale scored all of their spot kicks whilst defender Adam Chicksen saw his effort well saved by Jay Lynch as Dale earn their first points in this competion.


Rochdale: Lynch, Matheson, Keohane, Norrington-Davies ©, Gillam, Ryan, Morley, Bradley (Hopper 90), Dooley (Andrew 11), Wilbraham (Baah 82), Tavares
Subs: (not used) Sanchez, Brierley, Clarkson, Thomas

Bolton: Matthews, Emmanuel, Bridcutt ©, Chicksen, Lowe, Crawford, Verlinden, Politic, Graham (Hobbs 73), Zouma, Buckley
Subs: (not used) Alexander, Murphy, Weir, Boon, Senior, King-Harmes

Referee: Mr L Doughty
Assistants: Mr B Gordon & Mr M Cunliffe
Fourth Official: Mr G Hilton

Attendance: 1,412 (660 from Bolton)

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