Football: Hull City 2 - 0 Rochdale
Date published: 03 March 2021
Brian Barry-Murphy's side is now second bottom of the League One table
Dale's defeat by Hull City on Tuesday 2 March saw them drop into the relegation places in League One. Hull moved up to second spot in the league after a comfortable victory over 10-man Rochdale. Dale lost 2-0 thanks to Malik Wilks’ 19th goal of the season and an own goal from Gabriel Osho, and Conor Shaughnessy was shown a straight red card for a late challenge on Reece Burke; Dale’s second red card in successive matches.
Rochdale have now failed to score in their past six matches, with their last goal coming from Matty Lund in a 4-1 defeat to MK Dons on 9 February
With injuries and suspensions still hampering Brian Barry-Murphy, the Dale manager opted to play central defender Eoghan O’Connell in central midfield whilst Jimmy Keohane returned from a slight injury to start at left back. Conor Grant was given his second start since his transfer window move from Sheffield Wednesday.
Hull came into the game looking to keep the pressure on the top two of Lincoln and Peterborough as they aim for a swift return to the Championship after relegation last season.
The game was played at a very pedestrian pace with neither side really looking like scoring until winger Malik Wilks picked up the ball on the right side of the pitch in the 24th minute. The former Barnsley man jinked past O’Connell and on his favoured left foot hit a low shot that crept inside the right-hand post past the dive of Gavin Bazunu.
One of Rochdale’s problems of late is a lack of goals or even shots on target and this game was no different. They did show a little more attacking intent as the half drew to a close; Stephen Humphrys’ shot deflected over whilst the striker headed well wide moments later from a Jimmy Keohane centre.
Hull looked the more likely to add to the scoresheet at the start of the second period. A delightful through ball saw Lewie Coyle baring down on goal but the quick thinking of Bazunu saw the on-loan Man City keeper come off his line to bravely smother at the feet of the fullback.
The reprieve was not to last too long as Hull doubled their advantage in fortunate circumstances. A cross from the right hit the standing leg of defender Gabriel Osho and whistled into the bottom corner with pressure being put on the on-loan Luton man from substitute Tom Eaves who had only been on the pitch just over one minute.
That signalled the end of the game for Dale as they had rarely threatened and against a side that had conceded just nine goals at home all season, it looked unlikely Barry-Murphy’s side would net two.
Things got even worse for the Dale manager as Conor Shaughnessy was sent off with thirteen minutes of the game remaining. A rash challenge inside the Hull half on defender Reece Burke saw referee James Bell quickly brandish the red card which on the back of Ollie Rathbone’s sending off against Burton at the weekend, leaves Rochdale with a shortage of players through injuries and suspension.
Bazunu denied Wilks his 20th of the season with a fingertip save as the game approached stoppage time with Hull seeing the game out without facing a single shot on target from Rochdale; the second game in a row that Dale have failed to register a shot on target.
Defeat sees Dale slip to second from bottom, two points from safety and with a trip to Sunderland’s Stadium of Light on Saturday, things are looking bleak for the Rochdale faithful.
Rochdale: Bazunu, McLaughlin, Osho, McShane (Baah 75), Keohane (Done 88), Newby (McNulty 82), Morley, Grant, O’Connell ©, Humphrys
Substitutes: (not used) Lynch, Roberts, Hopper, Odoh
Hull: Ingram, Coyle ©, Greaves, Burke, Elder, Jones (Slater 82), Wilks, Docherty (Crowley 90), Honeyman, Whyte (Eaves 67), Lewis-Potter (Scott 82)
Substitutes: (not used) Long, Emmanuel, McLoughlin
Referee: Mr J Bell
Assistants: Mr D Avent & Mr G Liddle
Fourth Official: Mr D Ford
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