Port Vale 2 - 3 Rochdale
Date published: 06 September 2021
Rochdale’s unbeaten run in all competitions stretched to five games after a first ever league win at Vale Park over Port Vale. Jake Beesley scored two goals and Corey O’Keeffe bagged the winner eleven minutes from time.
Jim McNulty started his second game in succession after Jeriel Dorsett failed to make the squad as Robbie Stockdale went in search of another positive result following the midweek win over Liverpool U21’s in the EFL Trophy.
Port Vale are known to start games very quickly and should have taken the lead inside four minutes. Jamie Proctor found a scuffed shot fall into his path inside the 6-yard box; the striker inexplicably fired wide with just the keeper to beat.
That miss didn’t stop the Port Vale onslaught as they laid siege to the Dale goal, and they edged in front on eight minutes. Forward thinking defender Nathan Smith got down the right and sent a perfect cross for Proctor who powered his header past Coleman.
The hosts continued to be a threat with Dale rarely getting into the Port Vale half of the pitch in opening 24 minutes until O’Keeffe created a first opportunity with Beesley applying the finishing touch to level the score. A delightful cross was headed into the bottom corner by the striker for his first league goal of the season.
Vale started the second period as they had the first on the front foot, but it was Stockdale’s men who would take the lead for the first time in the game just eight minutes after the re-start. A well worked move involving Odoh, Morley and Newby eventually found its way out to Keohane on the left with his cross perfect for Beesley to head his second of the game.
One of Rochdale’s problem areas is conceding soon after scoring and Port Vale took advantage of that frailty by levelling minutes later. Morley was caught napping with Conlon nipping in to take the ball. He fed Proctor who dropped his shoulder to cut back onto his left foot to fire beyond Coleman.
Keohane had a great chance to give his side the lead after Beesley’s intelligent knock down although the Irishman fired into the ground which took all the sting out of his shot and made it easy for Covolan in the Port Vale net.
The winner came in the 79th minute and was a goal of real quality. Danny Cashman, a 67th minute substitute for Abraham Odoh played a fantastic ball over the top to pick out the run of O’Keeffe. The on-loan defender managed to stay onside before controlling the ball with his right foot before sweeping past the keeper with his left for his third goal in 2 games.
The win was a first ever league victory over Port Vale at the Burslem ground and sees Stockdale’s men start to climb the table with Tranmere up next at the Crown Oil Arena (Saturday 11 September).
Rochdale: Coleman, Taylor, O’Connell ©, McNulty, O’Keeffe, Keohane, Dooley (Broadbent 77), Morley, Odoh (Cashman 67), Newby (Grant 84), Beesley
Substitutes: (not used) Lynch, Done, Andrews, Kelly
Port Vale: Covolan, Smith, Jones (Cass 46), Martin, Benning, Worrall, Garrity (Rodney 46),Conlon ©, Pett, Proctor, Wilson (Walker 62)
Substitutes: (not used) Amoo, Lloyd, Polotic, Stone
Referee: Mr M Edwards
Assistants: Mr D Ford & Mr A Ricketts
Fourth Official: Mr G Russell
Attendance: 6,113 (488 from Rochdale)
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