Football: MK Dons 0 - 3 Rochdale

Date published: 09 May 2021

Rochdale left League One with a flourish after a last day victory over mid table MK Dons at Stadium:MK. Aaron Morley’s clever free-kick a minute into the second half set Dale on their way to victory with Jimmy Keohane soon doubling the lead with a deflected shot. Substitute Stephen Humphrys dinked a third late on with victory, coupled with results elsewhere, meant Brian Barry-Murphy’s side finished one point from safety.

Having been relegated last weekend following defeat at home to Doncaster, Dale arrived for the final day of the season looking to finish on a high. The home side had nothing riding on the result but went close after five minutes when Matt Sorinola crashed a free-kick off the crossbar from 20 yards out.

Jake Beesley hit the side netting from an acute angle having rounded keeper Andrew Foster following Jimmy Keohane’s defence splitting pass whilst Jay Lynch in the Dale goal saved with his foot from Andrew Surman as both sides looked for an opener.

Good work from Matty Done saw him racing towards goal and unselfishly cutting the ball back to Stephen Dooley; his scuffed shot almost creeping past Foster who had to get down well to push his effort away.

The game needed a spark, and it came from Aaron Morley straight from kick-off in the second half. Ollie Rathbone’s bursting run forward was abruptly brought to a halt by Dean Lewington with Morley’s clever free-kick flying over the wall and into the top corner at Foster’s near post despite the stopper getting a hand to it.

1-0 soon became 2-0 through Keohane who made it double figures for the season with a deflected shot. Rathbone’s tenacious play gained possession with Keohane collecting a pass before cutting back in field; his shot taking a strong deflection off Harry Darling, completely wrong footing the keeper.

The hosts rarely threatened with Dale doing all the running. Conor Grant hit the side netting whilst he was thwarted on another opportunity through a good save by Fisher.

Beesley had the ball in the net midway through the second half although an assistant’s flag cut short his celebrations despite replays showing he was clearly onside.

Ollie Rathbone went close with a shot from the half-way line with Fisher struggling to get back he was thankful the ball landed on the roof of the net before substitute Humphrys sealed the win with five-minute’s left.

A poor kick from Fisher landed at the feet of Abraham Odoh with the diminutive forward unselfishly playing in Humphrys for the striker to clip the ball over Fisher and into the net.

It was a positive end to what has been a largely disappointing season and with many players out of contract, it will be a busy summer for the Dale management team to re-build ahead of next season in League Two.


Rochdale: Lynch, O’Connell ©, McNulty, Osho, Keohane, Done, Morley (Ryan 87), Rathbone (Odoh 72), Grant (Newby 72), Dooley (Brierley 87), Beesley (Humphrys 79)
Substitutes: (not used) Bazunu, Lund

MK Dons: Fisher, Lewington ©, Jules, Darling, Laird (Thompson 31), Sorinola, McEachran (Bird 68), Fraser, Surman (O’Riley 56) (Ilunga 69), Kasumu, Grigg
Substitutes: (not used) Nicholls, Sorensen, Mason, Davies

Referee: T Robinson
Assistants: L Venamore & C Taylor
Fourth Official: D Lamport

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