Football: Morecambe 1 - 2 Rochdale

Date published: 09 September 2020

Rochdale AFC scored two late goals to come from behind as they won the first of their EFL Trophy Northern Group B games at a wet Mazuma Stadium in Morecambe on Tuesday (8 September).

Fabio Tavares levelled the scores against Morecambe with just four minutes left on the clock before Alex Newby scored his first for the club, pushing them into the lead. Earlier, the hosts had taken the lead when captain Sam Lavelle headed in a Ben Pringle corner midway through the first half.

As in previous season’s, the Dale manager opted to use a mix of youth and experience in his starting line-up, making seven changes from the weekend win over Huddersfield in the Carabao Cup.

New loan signing from Manchester City 19-year-old defender Yeboah Amankwah, started in the heart of defence alongside Jim McNulty whilst first year pro Joe Dunne was given the left back berth. The midfield saw 16-year-old first year scholar Ethan Brierley get his first ever start alongside fellow youngsters Lewis Bradley and Aaron Morley. The front line was Fabio Tavares, Kwadwo Baah and the more experienced Ollie Rathbone.

The Shrimps controlled much of the first period although Jay Lynch was not seriously tested. In the opening quarter of the game, Derek Adams’ league two side took the lead through their captain Lavelle. The dangerous set plays of Ben Pringle came to fruition when his right-wing corner was headed in from eight yards out.

Morecambe created several half chances but again rarely threatened Lynch’s goal any further, whilst Dale’s forays forward came few and far between. A neat bit of build up play in one such attack saw Tavares’ clever back heel set up Bradley, but the youngsters shot was bravely blocked by Knight-Percival.

There was a shift in the pattern of the game after the break with Dale looking more threatening - Tavares once again using the back heel to set up a chance. The young striker’s clever touch gave Bradley a sight at goal; his low shot turned around the post by Mark Halstead in the Shrimps’ goal. Lynch had to stay alert when Adam Phillips powered a shot goalward with the former Fylde stopper equal to the effort.

The chances for either side came a little more frequently in the second half; Ollie Rathbone’s driven free-kick tip away for a corner whilst Kwadwo Baah should have done better when tee’d up by Tavares on the edge of the area.

With the game heading for defeat for Dale, up stepped Tavares to level things up with a clever finish. Aaron Morley’s quickly taken free kick caught the home defence unawares with Tavares finishing well on the turn.

The impetus was with the visitors and they won it deep into stoppage time. A wicked cross from the left from Dunne was turned towards goal by Bradley at the back post with Alex Newby - on as a second half substitute - there to put over the line in a congested six-yard box.

The young Dale side kept going until the very end and this result means it’s two wins from two cup games so far, heading into the start of the Sky Bet League One campaign on Saturday (12 September) with a trip to newly promoted Swindon Town.


Rochdale: Lynch, McLaughlin (Keohane 46), Amankwah (Newby 72), McNulty, Dunne, Morley, Brierley, Bradley, Rathbone © (Dooley 64), Tavares, Baah
Substitutes: (not used) Wade, O’Connell, Hopper

Morecambe: Halstead, Cooney, Knight-Percival (Davis 46), Lavelle ©, Conlan, Kenyon, Phillips (Mendes-Gomes 62), Pringle, O’Sullivan (Price 75), Slew, McAlinden
Substitutes: (not used) Turner, Mellor, Hendrie, Stockton

Referee: Mr S Barrott
Assistants: Mr B Smallwood & Mr P Graham
4th Official: Mr D Woodward

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