Football: Boston 1 - 2 Rochdale

Date published: 17 December 2019

Rochdale will host Premier League side Newcastle United at the Crown Oil Arena after coming through a real scare against non-league Boston United in the second round replay.

After Boston goalkeeper Peter Crook palmed Ian Henderson’s early cross into the net, the home side levelled three minutes into the second half through Jordan Thewlis. The striker headed home when Dale failed to clear Jonathan Wafula’s shot that hit the bar. The winner came from the penalty spot after Stephen Dooley was felled inside the box; Aaron Morley dispatching from 12 yards to send his side through to face Newcastle United for a first ever meeting between the two.

Brian Barry-Murphy was boosted by the news that Stephen Dooley was fit enough to take his place on the bench after missing two and a half months through injury. The Dale boss made one change from the side that beat Rotherham last weekend. Aaron Wilbraham coming in with Rekeil Pyke dropping to the bench.

Rochdale were gifted the lead inside four minutes when goalkeeper Peter Crook tried to palm Ian Henderson’s cross-cum-shot away but ended up diverting the ball into the net for an own goal.

The skipper’s evening was cut short minutes later when he collided with Luke Shiels; Henderson trying to run off the injury but went down four minutes later knowing his game was over; Rekeil Pyke was brought on to replace him.

Rochdale almost doubled their lead midway through the first half. Matty Done’s poor free-kick was sliced into the area by a defender with O’Connell seeing his low shot blocked by the keeper’s outstretched foot and the home defence scrambling the ball away.

Boston rarely threatened Sanchez but the Spaniard had to be alert to keep out Knowles’ near post shot with a strong right handed stop.

Dale finished strong and went close with three minutes left of the half. Good work from Jimmy Ryan created space and when he fed Pyke, the on loan Huddersfield striker saw his low effort come back off the foot of the far post with neither Camps or Wilbraham able to capitalise on the loose ball.

Boston deservedly levelled early in the second half through leading scorer Jordan Thewlis. Jonathan Wafula struck a powerful shot that crashed back off the crossbar but the home side  kept the move alive and when the ball was swung back in; Knowles nodded the ball across to Thewlis to head in the equaliser.

Both sides had half chances as the half wore on. A quickly taken free-kick from the home side caught Dale out; Thewlis’ angled shot was simple for Sanchez.

At the other end, Matheson set Dooley away on the right of the area and as he sent the ball towards goal; Done slid in but his poked effort was saved by Crook.

The winner came when Stephen Dooley earned Dale a penalty with a little over ten minutes remaining. The substitute drew a foul from Jay Rollins with referee Ollie Yates showing no hesitation in pointing to the spot. Aaron Morley stepped up and sent the keeper the wrong way to make it 2-1.

Brian Barry-Murphy’s men saw out the remainder of the game with little trouble to set up a mouthwatering tie against Newcastle on Saturday 4 January.


Rochdale: Sanchez, Matheson, O’Connell, Norrington-Davies, Keohane, Morley, Ryan, Camps, Wilbraham, Done, Henderson (c)
Substitutes: Lynch, Dooley, Williams, Pyke, Tavares, Baah

Boston: Crook, Penny, Platt, Shiels, Bird, Whittle, Wafula, Thewlis, Rollins, Knowles, Woolford
Substitutes: Willis, Wright, Ainge, Jackson, Walker, Byrne, Tuton

Referee: Mr Ollie Yates
Assistants: Mr Abbas Khan & Mr Joe Clark
Fourth Official: Mr Peter Wright

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