Crawley Town 1 - 0 Rochdale
Date published: 29 March 2022
Luke Charman made his second start for Dale since joining in January
Rochdale fell to defeat on the road once again on Saturday 26 March, losing 1-0 away at Crawley Town.
Ashley Nadesdan’s first half goal proved to be the difference between the two sides at the People’s Pension Stadium.
James Ball and Tahvon Campbell who were forced off with injury in Tuesday night’s game against Mansfield Town and are expected to be out for the rest of the season were replaced by Alex Newby and Luke Charman in the starting eleven. There was a place in the matchday squad for Josh Andrews for the first time since January as he made his return from injury.
Rochdale had the first attempt on goal inside the opening sixty seconds, with Matty Done having had his shot blocked after being played in by Newby.
The home side’s Tom Nichols then glanced a header wide from a cross in from the left.
Dale created another couple of chances. Charman laid the ball off to Newby from Done’s delivery, and Newby fired a first-time effort over the bar after it didn’t quite sit for him.
Soon after, Max Clark played Charman in on the half-way line and he drove forward before striking wide of the target on the edge of the area.
Crawley broke the deadlock in the 18th minute. After the hosts capitalised on a Rochdale error, Jay Lynch initially kept Nadesdan out with his foot, but the Crawley forward turned the ball home on the rebound as it fell kindly for him.
Dale showed plenty of attacking intent after going behind and had opportunities to equalise before the break, but couldn’t convert.
Charman had a shot blocked inside the area, before seeing an acrobatic overhead-kick loop over the bar.
Done then found himself in one-on-one with Glenn Morris after a Crawley ball spun fortuitously for him, but he couldn’t get his shot away and was closed down before playing in Newby who had shot blocked. In the end the ‘keeper had to make a save to keep out his own’s players clearance.
Up the other end, Nichols struck a dipping effort narrowly over the bar.
Morris then produced two excellent saves to deny Rochdale.
He firstly dived to his right to tip Newby’s superb curling effort round the upright, before getting his fingertips to Charman’s powerful strike to tip it over the bar. From the resulting corner, Captain Eoghan O’Connell skewed a shot wide.
Before the break, Tilley had a dipping effort kept out by Lynch.
The first substitution of the game came shortly before the hour, as George Broadbent made way for Liam Kelly.
There was little in the way of chances for either side for much of the second half, with Rochdale having one key moment to net the equaliser, despite enjoying plenty of the possession.
Dale’s best chance of the second period followed, when Dooley drove forward and slid the ball through to Corey O’Keeffe, who fired a first-time shot narrowly wide of the far post.
Soon after, Newby made way for Danny Cashman, in Rochdale’s second change of the afternoon.
A third and final switch came with 15 minutes remaining - Andrews made his return from injury, replacing Done.
As the game ticked towards its conclusion, the resolute Crawley side continued to stand firm and rebuffed Dale who were unable to find a way through, although Rochdale did have a couple of late chances to get on level terms.
Crawley’s ‘keeper was brave as he came out to the feet of Andrews with seven minutes to play, denying the Rochdale forward at source just inside the area, after he’d raced onto O’Keeffe’s pacey ball up the line.
And as it was announced that Morris has been named as Man of the Match, he pulled off a superb save to deny Kelly, pushing his long-range strike round the upright.
Right at the death Charman curled an effort just over the bar from the edge of the area.
Report courtesy of rochdaleafc.co.uk
Rochdale: Lynch, Downing, O'Connell, Dorsett, O'Keeffe, Broadbent (Kelly 60), Dooley, Clark, Newby (Cashman 65), Charman, Done (Andrews 76)
Substitutes: (not used) McNulty, Grant, Keohane, Wade
Crawley Town: Morris, Francillette, Tunnicliffe, Francomb, Tilley, Payne, Hessenthaler, Ferry (Davies 60), Appiah, Nadesan (Hutchinson 61), Nichols
Substitutes: (not used) Matthews, Seymour, Marshall, Kastrati
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