Football: Accrington 2 - 1 Rochdale

Date published: 12 October 2020

Accrington ended a 60 year wait for a win against Rochdale on home soil as they came from behind to earn three points at the Wham Stadium on Saturday (10 October). After a poor first half where chances were at a premium, the game came to life after the break when Jimmy Keohane put the visitors into the lead.

A teasing cross from Alex Newby from the left saw Keohane ghosting in at the back post to slide in his second of the season nine minutes into the second half but Accrington soon hit back with two quickfire goals. Wing-back Joe Pritchard’s right-wing cross sneaked in at the far post to restore parity whilst moments later Chelsea loanee Jon Russell netted on his full league debut to earn the win. Dale’s Ollie Rathbone had a glorious chance at the end to earn a point but headed wide when unmarked in front of goal.

Brian Barry-Murphy kept faith with the ten outfield players that earned a win at home to Fleetwood last weekend; the only change coming in the goalkeeper department with Jay Lynch getting a first league start since January with Gavin Bazunu away on international duty with Republic of Ireland U21s. New signing Tolaji Bola took his place on the bench after the Arsenal youngster joined on loan on Thursday.

The first half was poor with Accrington slightly the better of the two sides. Colby Bishop brought about a good one handed save from Lynch whilst Ollie Rathbone at the other end warmed the hands of Toby Savin with a shot from outside the area.

Dale improved after the half time interval and took the lead through full back Jimmy Keohane. An aerial challenge between Ross Sykes and Jake Beesley left the Dale man in a heap on the floor with the referee unmoved on a free-kick appeal. With no foul given, Newby played on and after leaving Sykes on the floor with his twisting and turning, the summer signing from Chorley sent a low ball towards the back post for Keohane to slide in and open the scoring.

Stanley reacted well to going behind and were soon level albeit through a slice of good fortune. Pritchard made space on the right wing to send a low cross that evaded everybody and nestled inside the far post.

After drawing level, John Coleman’s Accrington, who had lost their last six games against their Lancashire rivals, edged in front. Pritchard popped up once again, this time from the left, to tee up Jon Russell to side-foot home from inside the area.

Both sides had chances to add to the scoring as the game entered the final stages. Rathbone’s weak shot was partially cleared to Matty Lund with the midfielder’s shot turned towards goal by Beesley with Savin getting down well to save whilst Pritchard flashed a shot across the face of goal that had Lynch seemingly beaten.

The best chance came in stoppage time. Newby’s cross was perfect for Rathbone to run onto but his header lacked direction and went wide of the left hand post.

Rochdale: Lynch, Keohane (Tavares 76), O’Connell ©, McShane (McNulty 46), Done, Morley, Lund, Rathbone, Dooley (McLaughlin 72), Newby, Beesley
Substitutes: (not used) Chalton, Bola, Ryan, Brierley

Accrington: Savin, Burgess, Sykes, Hughes, Uwakwe (Nottingham 72), Pritchard, Conneely ©, Butcher, Russell, Cassidy (Allan 87), Bishop
Substitutes: Baxter, Barcley, Rodgers, Scully, Mohammed

Referee: Mr S Oldham
Assistants: Mr R Bartlett & Mr R Woodward
Fourth Official: Mr A Clayton

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