Rochdale 1 (T. Kennedy 90 pen) Aldershot 0 – Full Time Report
Date published: 15 August 2009
Photo: Daniel Youngs
Tom Kennedy steps up to give Dale a late, late winner.
Ten-man Rochdale secured an injury time win over Aldershot in controversial circumstances.
Tom Kennedy struck the winner from the penalty spot after Adam Hinshelwood was somewhat harshly adjudged to have handled Chris Dagnall's shot in the penalty area.
Dale were good value for the win, as they continued to take the game to their opponents despite the early sending of Nathan Stanton.
Stanton hauled down Marvin Morgan and as the centre half was the last defender the referee had no choice but to follow the award of a free kick with a red card for Stanton.
Keith Hill immediately introduced Marcus Holness from the bench to bolster the backline and he formed a solid partnership with the outstanding Craig Dawson to keep the Shots at bay.
The visitors should have scored when Kenny Arthur spilled a cross and the ball bounced up for Morgan, who should have hit the unguarded net rather than the advertising hoardings.
Chances were few and far between, and the sending off somewhat killed the atmosphere and the nature of the game, but Dale came within inches of taking an unlikely lead into the break.
Gary Jones made a lung-busting run from the middle of the Dale pack to the edge of the box. Chris Dagnall made the perfect run across the Aldershot defence and Jones sent the striker clear with the goalkeeper. Mikhael Jaimez-Ruiz was beaten by the shot but the ball flew inches past the far upright.
In the second half Dale burst out of the traps and could have gone ahead. Will Buckley burst out the traps, beyond four defenders and into the box but his finish was weak, allowing Jaimez-Ruiz a comfortable save. Dale practically had the ball in the net after Dawson scrapped for it in the box and it popped up for Buckley six yards out, but his poke towards goal was somehow hacked off the line.
From a rare Aldershot attack Kenny Arthur made a fine save. Debutant Matt Flynn gave the ball away and Louie Soares preyed on the mistake, and shot from the edge of the box, only to see Arthur turn the ball away at full stretch.
The shot sparked a period of pressure for the visitors and it looked as though Dale's moment had passed and they would have to survive for a point. A wave of corners and free kicks came into the Dale box, each was repelled, unconvincingly at times, and Dale hung on to set up one last attack.
Dagnall twisted on the edge of the box, following good build up work from Gary Jones and Tom Kennedy, to set up space for a shot. The ball struck Hinshelwood and it was all eyes on the referee to see him point to the spot.
Rochdale: Arthur, Flynn (Wiseman), T. Kennedy, Stanton, Dawson, Rundle (Holness), Jones, J. Kennedy, Thompson, Dagnall, Buckley.
Subs (not used): Edwards, Spencer, Stevens, Shaw, Higginbotham.
Aldershot: Jamiez-Ruiz, Blackburn, Hinshelwood, Soares, Chalmers (Grant), Morgan, Halls, Donnelly, Hudson, Harding, Sandell.
Subs (not used): Masters, Straker, Hylton, Winfield.
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