Football: Rochdale 0 - 2 Lincoln City
Date published: 06 December 2020
Lincoln City closed the gap to top spot in league one with a comfortable victory over Rochdale at a bitterly cold Crown Oil Arena on Saturday (5 December). The visitors took the lead with the first real bit of quality from either side seven minutes before the half time break with James Jones firing in Tayo Edun’s cross from the left after some great build up play.
Lincoln doubled their advantage midway through the second half when central defender Lewis Montsma took aim from 35 yards out as he hit a thunderous shot that squirmed under Jay Lynch who should have done better. Dale rarely stretched the Imps defence and on the rare occasion they got through, Stephen Humphrys was denied by the feet of Alex Palmer.
After the magnificent result at Plymouth in midweek, confidence was high coming into the game. Jake Beesley had to miss the match due to the protocols in place for players who suffer head injuries, after the striker received hospital treatment following a nasty knock he took at Plymouth on Tuesday. That meant a start for Stephen Dooley after impressing when he came on at Home Park.
Dale just never really got going against Lincoln side who have won nine of their opening 14 games so far.
The first real chance of the game brought about the opening goal as James Jones finished off a flowing move. Jorge Grant picked out the run of Tayo Edun down the left and when the former Fulham defender swung the ball into the area, Hopper stepping over the ball which created space for Jones to sweep the ball past Lynch.
With the advantage, Lincoln controlled the game after the re-start with Lynch much the busier of the two goalkeepers with Lynch having to make a couple of regulation stops.
Dale’s best effort fell to Humphrys when he latched onto an Alex Newby flick. The striker was forced wide but he managed a shot from a very narrow angle that was kept out by an outstretched foot of Palmer.
That save would prove crucial as within two minutes, the visitors doubled their lead. Montsma picked up the ball a long way from goal and unleashed a powerful shot that caught Lynch out as it bounced under his dive and into the net for the Dutch defenders eighth goal of the season.
There was no way back for Brian Barry-Murphy’s men who created very little in the final quarter of the game; Substitute Kwadwo Baah dragging a shot wide after working himself into space about the closest Dale came on a disappointing afternoon.
Rochdale: Lynch, McLaughlin, O’Connell ©, Roberts, Keohane, Morley, Lund, Rathbone (Baah 60), Dooley (Done 73), Newby (Ryan 73), Humphrys (Tavares 90)
Substitutes: (not used) Bola, McNulty, Brierley
Lincoln: Palmer, Eyoma, Montsma, Walsh, Edun (Melbourne 78), Grant ©, Jones, McGrandles, Johnson (Scully 73), Anderson, Hopper
Substitutes: (not used) Long, Archibald, Howarth, Gotts, Roughan
Referee: Mr S Allison
Assistants: Mr P Stonier & Mr K Hughes
Fourth Official: Mr R Lewis
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