16 years of derby day hurt end in fine style

Date published: 30 August 2009

Rochdale produced a magnificent display to end a 16 year drought as Keith Hill's men stormed to a 3-0 victory against local rivals Bury at Spotland.

1993 was the last time a Rochdale side had beaten their near neighbours at Spotland and the relief of ending that run was apparent as goals from Joe Thompson, Chris Dagnall and a late Tom Kennedy penalty gave Keith Hill’s side not only the 3 points but the bragging rights too.

The Dale boss made just one change to the side that lost to Rotherham last weekend by bringing in Marcus Holness at the centre of defence to partner the outstanding Craig Dawson. Nathan Stanton was the man who dropped to the bench. Matt Flynn celebrated signing 2 year deal at Spotland after his successful loan spell from Macclesfield by keeping Scott Wiseman on the bench. Gary Jones lined up in the heart of the midfield for his 401st game in a Dale shirt – and was given a memento of his achievement by Rochdale director Andrew Kelly before the game.

The Shakers has former Dale loanee Tom Newey in their starting 11 after Spotland lad Dave Buchanan failed a fitness test. Another former Dale loanee Andy Bishop was on the bench as he recovers from injury.

With the atmosphere building inside Spotland the game got off to a whirlwind start with Chris Dagnall bearing down on Wayne Brown’s goal inside the first 20 seconds, but some good defending by Stephen Dawson forced the Dale man wide and the attack came to nothing.

That was a signal of Dale’s intent as they appeared to go on the attack at every opportunity.

Dagnall was cursing the Shakers defence again just 4 minutes later when veteran Sodje put in a great last gasp challenge to deny the diminutive striker after he raced through on goal.

Alan Knill’s side looked a little shell shocked at the ferocity of Dale’s attack but managed their best chance with 9 minutes on the clock. Danny Racchi’s diagonal ball brought Dale keeper Kenny Arthur into no mans land and as Worrall tried to chip the out of position stopper who got a hand to the cross, the ball fell kindly to Lowe who with just defenders on the line somehow managed to fire horribly wide from inside the 18 yard box.

Frustrations were shown both on and off the pitch and as Scott was booked for a late challenge on Will Buckley.

The police had their hands full as a bunch of away ‘supporters’ tried to charge at the Dale fans in the Sandy Lane.

Buckley was causing no end of problems for the Shakers defence and was up-ended once more but this time right on the left hand edge of the box although the resulting free-kick was easily dealt with.

Chris Dagnall went into referee Mr Stroud’s notebook after a late challenge on Racchi after losing the ball.

The last 15 minutes of the half saw no real chances but a glut of free-kicks as the half ended in a rather scrappy way with Dale slightly edging the opening 45.

Chris Dagnall was menacing throughout and had a couple of early chances after the interval but failed to convert his chances. One such chance was a wonderful break down the right when the striker found himself one-on-one with Brown but the keeper got the better of the battle.

Just as the game was starting to resemble a training ground attackers versus defenders workout Bury mustered their first shot on target when Ryan Lowe fired goal wards from distance but Arthur was behind it for an easy stop.

Ben Futcher was the next to enter the referee’s notebook after a cynical tug of Dagnall's shirt as the scouser looked to break away.

Just as it looked like being another frustrating day for the Dale, up stepped local lad Joe Thompson to give Rochdale the lead. A good cross from Buckley on the left evaded everybody in the 18 yard box and found it’s way to Thompson who hit a bit of a scuffed left footed shot that bobbled beyond Brown and into the bottom corner to give Hill’s men a well deserved lead.

That goal triggered a double change for the visitors as they looked to get back in the game with Bishop and Morrell replacing Lowe and the ineffective Robertson, and just for a couple of minutes the Shakers looked a little more lively up front.

Buckley nearly added to Dale’s lead as he waltzed through the Bury defence until one-on-one with Brown but yet again the keeper denied Dale.

With Rochdale in the ascendancy, Tom Kennedy played a delightful through ball and with the visitors claiming offside, Dagnall raced away for another one-on-one but this time made no mistake slotting the ball past the unlucky Brown.

Rochdale looked like they could run up a cricket score and 3 minutes later with Bury trying in vain to get back into the game, Dagnall raced away on the counter attack. After feeding the ball to Jones the skipper squared the ball for Dagnall who had continued his run but the fourth one-on-one for the home side ended with Brown saving smartly at the feet of the Dale striker.

Rochdale got their deserved third after another break, this time by Thompson down the right. His cross picked out O’Grady whose turn and shot was blocked and as Buckley tried to keep the move alive; he was bundled over by Sodje – penalty to Rochdale. Tom Kennedy slammed the spot kick into the roof of the net giving Brown no chance whatsoever. Kennedy’s over zealous celebrations in front of the visiting fans caused a few to spill onto the pitch and earned the Dale right left back a booking in the process.

Rochdale boss Hill was quite understandably happy with his side, he said: “It was a good performance; it does make it more difficult when it’s a local derby.

"There are a lot of emotions flying around but I think the lads handled it exceptionally well today.

"The performance again is one you are looking for from a footballing perspective and a management perspective.

"The game had everything and we had the end result today which is the only thing that matters to supporters.

“Nobody gives you anything and you have got to work hard.

"We were really pleased with the effort of the first half and the goal in the second half gave us the opportunity to do what we are good at which is counter attack.

"We have got a lot of pace, a lot of ability and we possibly had better and more opportunities to make the win more convincing but I won’t be complaining at 3-0.”


Rochdale 3-0 Bury
59 – Thompson
73 – Dagnall
81 – T Kennedy (pen)

Att: 4534

Rochdale: Arthur, Flynn, Dawson, Holness, T Kennedy, Thompson, Jones, J Kennedy, Buckley, O’Grady, Dagnall.
Subs: (not used) Edwards, Stanton, Wiseman, Stevens, Spencer, Higginbotham, Rundle

Bury: Brown, Scott, Futcher, Sodje, Newey, Worrall, Dawson, Barry-Murphy, Racchi (Rouse 68), Lowe, (Bishop 62), Robertson (Morrell 62)
Subs: (not used) Johnson, Creswell, Baker, Belford

Possession: Dale 57% - 43% Bury
Shots on: Dale 10 – 2 Bury
Shots off: Dale 7 – 3 Bury
Corners: Dale 7 – 5 Bury
Fouls: Dale 14 – 19 Bury
Yellow cards: Dale 3 (Flynn, T Kennedy & Dagnall)
Bury 4 (Scott, Futcher, Robertson, Sodje)


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