Football: Rochdale 1 - 2 Stockport

Date published: 09 November 2020

Rochdale were knocked out of the FA Cup after being beaten by National League side Stockport County on Saturday (7 November). Two goals in seven minutes set the non-league side on course to victory, the first a stunning shot from the half-way line from John Rooney.

John Rooney’s speculative effort flew over Gavin Bazunu with the visitors doubling their lead minutes later; Alex Reid prodding home from close range after Connor Jennings’ shot fell kindly for him. Matty Lund halved the deficit midway through the first half but a resilient second half display from Jim Gannon’s side earned them passage through to the second round.

Dale boss Brian Barry-Murphy named one change to the side that lost to Oxford in midweek. Jim McNulty starting against his former side with on loan Haydon Roberts dropping to the bench.

Stockport’s squad had plenty of Dale connections with former players Mark Kitching, who started the game, and substitutes Sam Minihan and Jordan Williams all featuring against their former side.

County, who ply their trade two divisions below Dale shocked their league hosts in the seventh minute when John Rooney scored from the half-way line. The brother of former Manchester United striker Wayne spotted Gavin Bazunu off his line and tried an audacious shot from just inside the Dale half which flew into the net.

If that shocked the Rochdale players, seven minutes later they found themselves 2-0 down although this goal had a hint of luck. Jennings’ shot from the edge of the area was heading well off target with Alex Reid reacting quickest to stick out a foot to divert the ball into the net.

It looked a real uphill task for Dale to come back but they gave themselves a lifeline five minutes later through leading goal scorer Matty Lund. Alex Newby’s teasing cross from the right was perfect for Lund who climbed the highest to nod in from close range.

The home side had finally woken up and had a few chances to draw level as they bossed the remainder of the first period. Ben Hinchliffe in the County goal had to be brave as he slid out at the feet of Lund who was agonisingly close to getting the touch before the keeper whilst Hinchliffe again was brave diving at the feet of Bola as the on loan Arsenal man threw himself at the ball.

Hinchliffe denied Alex Newby when the former Fylde keeper punched away his 25 yard free kick.

Dale dominated the ball after the re-start but just couldn’t break down a resolute Stockport rear-guard. Jimmy Ryan coming the closest early in the second half, but his shot deflected up off Rooney which needed tipping over the bar by Hinchliffe.

Jake Beesley, still looking for his first goal in Dale colours forced a low save from Hinchliffe whilst Rathbone also was denied by the stopper who would have expected to save both the shots.

Deep in stoppage time Beesley fired over after a Lund flick dropped over his shoulder with the summer signing blazing over from close range.

In the end the home side ran out of time and defeat means Dale failed to progress to the second round for the first time in eight years.


Rochdale: Bazunu, Keohane, O’Connell ©, McNulty, Bola (Dooley 74), Morley, Lund, Ryan (Tavares 72), Rathbone, Newby, Beesley
Substitutes: (not used) Lynch, Roberts, Done, Hopper, Brierley

Stockport: Hinchliffe, Hogan ©, Palmer, Keane, Stott, Thomas, Croasdale (Williams 75), Rooney (Maynard 68), Kitching, Reid (Britton 86), C Jennings
Substitutes: (not used) Barnes, Minihan, J Jennings, Southam-Hales

Referee: Mr S Oldham
Assistants: Mr B Gordon & Mr D Avent
Fourth Official: Mr P Stonier

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