Football: Charlton Athletic 4 - 4 Rochdale
Date published: 13 January 2021
Dale manager Brian Barry-Murphy
Rochdale and Charlton played out a stunning eight goal thriller with both teams taking a share of the spoils on Tuesday night (12 January).
In a breathless first half - which saw six of the eight goals - Rochdale went in at the interval 4-2 up after four stunning goals from Matty Lund, Kwadwo Baah (2) and Stephen Humphrys. The home side bossed the majority of the second half and notched two goals inside three minutes midway through the half to earn a point, despite ending the game with 10 men after captain Jason Pearce was sent off for a late lunge on Gavin Bazunu.
Dale manager Brian Barry-Murphy made three changes from the weekend comeback draw with Crewe. Captain Eoghan O’Connell missed out through injury; Jim McNulty preferred at the back whilst Ryan McLaughlin and Kwadwo Baah were given the nod ahead of Matty Done and Alex Newby.
The goal fest started in the 12th minute when Matty Lund’s fine finish from a Jimmy Keohane set-up crashed in off the right-hand post for his tenth goal of the season.
The visitors looked full of confidence after coming from behind to draw 3-3 at the weekend and soon doubled their advantage with a simply stunning finish from 17-year-old Kwadwo Baah. Stephen Humphrys spotted Baah unmarked on the left and slid a perfect ball into the path of the teenager whose first time shot beat Ben Amos in the Charlton goal.
That seemed to wake the home side up and they hit back almost immediately through Chucks Aneke. The former Arsenal youngster capitalised on some indecision from Hayden Roberts to drive at goal and finish low at Bazunu’s near post.
The game was a real end-to-end affair, but it would be Dale who restored their two-goal lead. With seemingly nothing on, Baah powered down the left and showed real strength inside the area to drive a low shot inside the far post from a narrow angle for his second of the game.
Rochdale’s defensive frailties came to the fore once again which allowed Charlton to reduce the deficit. A poor clearance from Matty Lund fell straight to Forster-Caskey with his curling shot deflecting off McNulty and into the top corner but the goalscoring wasn’t finished there.
Lund was caught by Gilbey outside the area and after a melee involving several players; Humphrys stepped up to thump the free kick into the top left hand corner to send the sides in at the interval with score 2-4 to Rochdale.
Lee Bowyer made a double change at the break with Alex Gilbey and Paul Smyth romoved; Albie Morgan and Ronnie Schwartz coming on. The changes saw the second half begin a little slower than the first and the next goal was always going to be important. Should Rochdale score then it could have been game over, but it was the home side who edged themselves back into the game.
A well worked move down the right saw Gunter whip a dangerous ball into the area with Aneke stooping to head past the Dale keeper to make it 3-4.
Brian Barry-Murphy made a change with Kwadwo Baah, who had been ineffective since the re-start, being replaced by Stephen Dooley, but it would be a mistake by the Irishman that allowed Charlton to draw level. The substitute was drawn into a challenge just outside the area and lost track of the ball which allowed Aneke the space to pick out Schwartz to sweep home his first for the club.
Both sides had chances to win the game; Rathbone and Lund forcing good fingertip saves from Ben Amos whilst at the other end Bazunu got down smartly to deny Aneke his hat-trick with a stunning one handed save.
There was still time for Charlton captain Jason Pearce to see red when he challenged the Rochdale keeper for a loose ball that referee Trevor Kettle adjudged to be too forceful and he issued Pearce with his second yellow with two minutes remaining.
In the end a draw was probably a fair result but it was an exciting game of football and both managers will have plenty to analyse before the weekend.
Rochdale: Bazunu, McLaughlin, McNulty, Roberts, Keohane, Rathbone ©, Lund, Morley, Baah (Dooley 66), Humphrys, Beesley
Substitutes: (not used) Lynch, McShane, Dunne, Done, Newby, Brierley
Charlton: Amos, Gunter, Oshilaja, Pearce ©, Williams (Washington 80), Forster-Caskey, Aneke, Gilbey (Morgan 46), Maatsen, Millar (Matthews 90+4), Smyth (Schwartz 46)
Substitutes: (not used) Maynard-Brewer, Purrington, Bogle
Referee: Mr T Kettle
Assistants: Mr M Begley & Mr J Stokes
Fourth Official: Mr D Rock
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