Football: Plymouth Argyle 0 - 4 Rochdale

Date published: 02 December 2020

Rochdale put in the performance of the season as they swept aside Plymouth Argyle with a convincing 4-0 victory marred by a serious injury to Jake Beesley which saw 19 minutes of added time at the end of the first half.

Beesley put Dale into the lead after he rounded the keeper to slot in his first league goal for the club but was involved in a nasty collision with Plymouth goalkeeper Mike Cooper moments later.

After a lengthy stoppage, the Dale striker was taken off on a stretcher to hospital. The stoppage didn’t derail the visitors who doubled their advantage soon after with a thunderbolt from Aaron Morley.

Jimmy Keohane made it 3-0 thirteen minutes into first half added time with a tame header that dribbled over the line after a mix up in the Argyle defence.

Plymouth improved after the interval but rarely tested Lynch with Stephen Humphrys netting his second in two games with a glancing header to seal the win.

After a run of seven games without a win, a long midweek trip to Devon would not have been on the wish list for Dale as they came up against a Plymouth side in a mixed run of form themselves.

The game started very brightly for Brian Barry-Murphy’s side with Stephen Humphrys picking up a Beesley flick; the striker seeing his shot bravely blocked inside the first sixty seconds.

Dale looked lively and took the lead with their next attack. Humphrys’ perfectly timed through ball found Beesley who rounded the keeper to slot in from a very narrow angle despite the best efforts of Kell Watts on the line.

Beesley’s night was cut short when he was involved in a nasty collision with Plymouth keeper Cooper who came to punch a high ball away clattering the Dale and landing awkwardly on top of him.

A hurried response from both sets of medical teams and the ambulance service showed the severity of the injury with the time and care needed to make sure he was tended too correctly.

On a chilly night in Devon, a stoppage such as that wasn’t what either side needed and it was the hosts who almost levelled soon after the restart.

Edwards down the right put a low ball in with Luke Jephcott seeing his shot crash off the right hand post; the follow up by Cooper cleared off the line by Lund.

That was as close as Plymouth came as Dale took command. Great work from Humphrys to keep the ball in play inside the area ended with Rathbone laying the ball off to Morley who lashed an unstoppable shot into the top corner to double the advantage.

Both sides had half chances but it was deep into the 19 minutes of added time that Dale scored their third. A cross from Dooley looped up to Keohane who put a weak header towards goal but a mix up between goalkeeper and defender saw the ball dribble over the line.

Plymouth manager Ryan Lowe made a triple change at the break but it was the visitors who extended their lead midway through the second half.

Ollie Rathbone’s deep cross found Dooley at the opposite edge of the area with Humphrys stealing ahead of Will Aimson to glance Dooley’s cross inside the far post.

The win ends a run of seven without a win and moved Dale up to 17th in League One.

Jake Beesley had scans at hospital and was released later the same night. Dale have thanked the medical team at Plymouth for their assistance in treating Beesley at the ground.


Rochdale: Lynch, Keohane, O’Connell (c), Roberts, McLaughlin, Morley (Ryan 82), Lund, Rathbone, Beesley (Dooley 20), Newby (Done 77), Humphrys (Tavares 82)
Substitutes: (not used) Bola, McNulty, Baah

Plymouth: Cooper, Watts (Camara 73), Wootton (Aimson 46), Canavan (Opuku 46), Edwards (c) (Hardie 46),  Cooper (Moore 34), Reeves, Grant, Fornah, Jephcott, Nouble
Substitutes: (not used) McCormick, Telford,

Referee: Mr W Finnie
Assistants: Mr R Dabbs & Mr A Ricketts
Fourth Official: Mr J Amey

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