Football: Sunderland 3 - 0 Rochdale
Date published: 12 February 2020
Rochdale were swept aside by a clinical Sunderland as they went down by 3 goals to nil at the Stadium of Light on Tuesday (11 February). The game was over as a contest just after the half-hour mark as the home side raced into an unassailable lead.
Denver Hume slotted the first from Chris Maguire’s low cross after ten minutes with Dale’s Eoghan O’Connell slicing the ball into his own net six minutes later. Hume got his second and Sunderland’s third when he reacted quickest to Robert Sanchez’ save from Luke O’Nien’s shot. Dale improved after the interval but rarely threatened; Ian Henderson firing over when played through on goal the closest they came to troubling the scoresheet.
Ollie Rathbone missed out through injury whilst Jim McNulty started instead of Paul McShane who is being rested whenever there are two games in a week.
Sunderland came into the game on the back of a run that has seen them lose just once in twelve games which has seen them climb into the playoff places of League One and they started the game on the front foot. Lynden Gooch shot wide when he really should have done better was a warning shot that Rochdale just didn’t heed as the USA International netted minutes later.
Gooch latched onto a low cross from Maguire to slot past Sanchez to set his side on course for victory.
The second came soon after; another cross from Maguire caused problems with O’Connell forced into evasive action with Charlie Wyke loitering as the Irishman sliced the ball over Sanchez for an unfortunate own goal.
2-0 soon became 3-0 when a smart passing move caught Dale out. George Dobson, Luke O’Nien and Chris Maguire all combined to create space with O’Nien seeing his shot blocked; Gooch drilling the ball in for his second.
The second half was a none event as Sunderland took their foot off the gas which allowed a couple of chances for Dale. Jimmy Ryan drilled a first shot on target for the visitors that was parried by Jon McLaughlin whilst their best chance came with nine minutes left. Substitute Aaron Wilbraham flicked a long ball on for Henderson who shrugged off a challenge from Bailey Wright; his lifted shot went over the goalkeeper but also over the crossbar.
The result leaves Dale ten points above Tranmere who travel to the Crown Oil Arena on Saturday 15 February.
Rochdale: Sanchez, Matheson, O’Connell, McNulty, Norrington-Davies (Keohane 39), Lund, Ryan, Morley (McLaughlin 69), Dooley, Henderson (c), Done (Wilbraham 51)
Substitutes: (not used) Lynch, Williams, Smith, McShane
Sunderland: McLaughlin, Willis, Flanagan, Wright, Hume, O’Nien, Power (c), Dobson, Gooch (Watmore 78), Maguire (Semenyo 72), Wyke (Lafferty 69)
Substitutes: (not used) Burge, C McLaughlin, Ozturk, Scowen
Referee: Mr G Salisbury
Assistants: Mr K Mulraine & Mr G Liddle
Fourth Official: Mr G Rhodes
Attendance: 27,401 (194 from Rochdale)
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