Rotherham United 2 (McArdle o.g 77, Reid 90) Rochdale 2 (Rhodes 43, Buckley 51) - Full Time Report
Date published: 13 September 2008
Photo: Jon Coluccio
Will Buckley slots the ball past Andy Warrington to double Dale's lead, but things went downhill from there.
Rotherham United 2 (McArdle o.g 77, Reid 90) Rochdale 2 (Rhodes 43, Buckley 51)
Rochdale snatched a draw from the jaws of victory after taking a two goal lead at the Don Valley Stadium.
A strike from Jordan Rhodes and a first career goal for youngster Will Buckley left Dale looking comfortable.
But things became needlessly difficult for the visitors when substitute Lee Thorpe was sent off for a two footed tackle and Rory McArdle headed the ball into his own net.
The nerves were not helped when six minutes of additional time were announced and in the fourth of them former Dale loanee Reuben Reid popped up to slam the ball into the far corner of the net to send the home fans into delirium.
Dale took the lead just before half time when a sharp interchange between Adam Le Fondre and Will Buckley allowed the latter to waltz through on goal. Amazingly Buckley allowed Rotherham keeper Andy Warrington to save from just a couple of yards out but new loan signing Jordan Rhodes was on hand to fire in the rebound.
Both sides had earlier had one good chance each to open the scoring but other than that there was little goalmouth action. Rotherham goalkeeper Andy Warrington somehow kept out Jordan Rhodes’ back post header, while at the other end Sam Russell did well to keep out Danny Harrison’s rising drive.
It was a quiet opening at Rotherham’s newfound Sheffield home and it was some time before either goalkeeper saw any action.
Adam Rundle and Le Fondre both curled efforts wide for the visitors before Clark Keltie tested Warrington with a quickly taken free-kick. The Rotherham stopper was comfortably up to task.
At the other end former Dale loanee Reuben Reid’s shot was too hot for Russell to handle and he spilled the ball out for a corner.
Only Warrington will know how he kept out Rhodes’ downward header after the loan striker rose at the back post to get on the end of Simon Ramsden’s deep cross.
Russell then saved competently from Harrison after the midfielder found himself in the clear when an intricate move carved open the Dale backline.
The home crowd became increasingly frustrated as Rochdale began to dominate the possession, reducing the home side to hopeless long balls whenever they did get the ball.
Within minutes of the re-start Dale doubled their lead. Rotherham were found wanting at the back as Dale produced a classic counter attack. Gary Jones fed the pacy run of Buckley who this time got his goal with a calm finish past a helpless Warrington.
The home side’s frustrations grew with every minute of Dale domination and it could have been worse for Rotherham had an eagle-eyed linesman not ruled out another tap-in for Rhodes for offside after Warrington spilled Adam Rundle’s long range effort.
With the visitors looking comfortable they managed to jeopardise their chances when substitute Lee Thorpe piled into a tackle two footed and was sent off by referee Darren Drysdale.
Times got even more nervy for the Dale fans despite the fact that Russell never had to make a save. He did, however, have to pick the ball out of the back of his net when Rory McArdle had an aberration and headed the ball back towards the Dale goalkeeper. Russell had already left his line and the ball looped over his head and into the net.
Minutes later Rotherham, who had looked hapless for such long periods, should have been level. Reuben Reid stole between two defenders and squeezed his shot past Russell but the ball trickled inches past the post.
Adam Rundle cleared Andrew Nicholas’ header off the line and substitute Chris Dagnall was presented with a chance to make victory secure when Dale broke late on but he blazed wide of the target.
The game went into stoppage time and Rotherham even had a chance to win it when Mark Burchill stole in to get onto Nicholas’ cross but put his free header was sent wide from just eight yards out.
Rotherham: Warrington, Lynch, Nicholas, Hudson, Harrison, Fenton, Taylor, Reid, Mills, Sharps, Burchill.
Subs not used: Cann, Cummins, Rhodes, Green, Broughton.
Rochdale: Russell, Ramsden, Kennedy, Stanton, McArdle, G. Jones, Rundle, Keltie, Buckley, Rhodes, Le Fondre.
Subs not used: Dagnall, Thorpe, Toner, Wiseman, M. Jones.
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