Football: Rochdale 0 - 3 Portsmouth

Date published: 25 November 2019

Rochdale were soundly beaten by a clinical Portsmouth side on Saturday 23 November to make it five league defeats in a row. Ronan Curtis netted a goal in each half with Ryan Williams sealing the win with a third late in the game.

With the injury crisis deepening, Brian Barry-Murphy picked his only fit 18 players which included second year scholar Joe Dunne on the bench for the first time in a league game. Luke Matheson and Rhys Norrington-Davies both returned to the starting line-up after missing the last two games whilst on international duty.

After an uninspiring performance in midweek when they narrowly scraped past Wrexham in their FA Cup replay, Rochdale started well against a Portsmouth side that had lost just once in their last eight league games.

Jimmy Keohane snatched a shot off target after Rochdale moved the ball well up field whilst another move down the left saw Keohane’s cross float over goalkeeper Craig McGillivray and bounce off the crossbar and behind for a goalkick.

Pompey, backed by almost a thousand fans from the South coast took the lead with their first attack of the game. Some good one touch football and a great turn from John Marquis created space for the former Doncaster man to pick out Ronan Curtis whose first time shot went through the legs of Luke Matheson and into the net.

Dale continued to see plenty of the ball but the old trouble of not testing the keeper was again on show. They did however come close again when Rekeil Pyke’s flicked header from Aaron Morley’s curling cross came back off the post with McGillivray beaten.

The Dale manager would have wanted a similar start to the second half as his side produced in the first, but it was Portsmouth that would extend their lead. Some more good play from Ryan Williams down the right saw him beat Keohane and his centre ball was swept past Sanchez 90 seconds after the restart.

Goal mouth action was hard to come by until after the hour mark; Callum Camps’ rasping drive warmed the hands of McGillivray as Dale looked for a way back into the game.

Ollie Hawkins’ powered header came back off the face of the crossbar as the visitors looked to seal the win whilst Sanchez had to be alert to block Williams’ effort when the Australian was played through one-on-one with the keeper.

The Australian international wouldn’t be denied a goal for long as with just two minutes left on the clock, Williams made it 3-0. Substitute Brett Pitman ran at the Dale goal and when you thought he was about to pull the trigger, the veteran unselfishly teed up Williams who couldn’t miss from inside the area.


Rochdale: Sanchez, Matheson, O’Connell, Norrington-Davies, Keohane (Tavares 77), MJ Williams, Morley (Hopper 87), Camps, Pyke, Done (Bradley 83), Henderson ©
Substitutes: (not used) Lynch, Gillam, Brierley, Dunne

Portsmouth: McGillivray, Haunstrup, Burgess, Hawkins, Brown ©, Walkes, Close, Williams, Curtis (Harness 90), Marquis, Harrison (Pitman 75)
Substitutes: (not used) Bass, Cannon, Evans, Bolton, Downing

Referee: Mr J Adcock

Assistants: Mr D Ford & Mrs N Aspinall
Fourth Official: Mr P Newhouse

Attendance: 3,789 (993 from Portsmouth)

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