Sheffield Wednesday 2 - 0 Rochdale

Date published: 13 November 2010

Rochdale’s poor run of form continued after going down 2-0 to Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough. The Owl’s weathered an early Dale storm before some clinical finishing by Giles Coke and Clinton Morrison in the second half kept the points in Yorkshire.

Keith Hill’s side were looking to turn around their recent bad results and try and erase last week’s FA Cup defeat but came up against a resolute Wednesday side.

The Dale boss made two changes to the side that lost to FC United with Tom Kennedy returning at left back whilst Joe Thompson was preferred to Anthony Elding.

The Owls had plenty of experience in their starting line-up including keeper Nicky Weaver and strikers Clinton Morrison and Neil Mellor.

Rochdale were by far the better side in the opening 45 minutes and were the only side trying to play football with Alan Irvine’s side resorting to a more direct approach.

With just five minutes on the clock Joe Thompson brought the best out of Weaver when his cross-come-shot was tipped away by the former Manchester City keeper.

Thompson was again probing for an opening and when he managed to squeeze a cross Gary Jones’ shot was blocked by a last ditch tackle by O’Connor. Barry-Murphy’s resultant flag kick found O’Grady who made space down the left and his centre was turned goal wards by Adams but his shot was also blocked.

Dale Captain Gary Jones, playing in a more forward role, saw his 25 yard free-kick deflected but Weaver gathered comfortably.

The home side’s first real foray forward should have opened the scoring. Clinton Morrison was proving a real handful for Dawson and the veteran striker managed to evade Dawson and put a cross in which Mellor met on the edge of the six yard box but his header came back off the bar with Lillis a spectator.

That spurred the home side on and they finished the half slightly the stronger.

The second half started much the same way the first half ended.

Morrison had a snap shot saved by Lillis whilst the on loan stopper had to be at his best again when Teale cut inside but Lillis pushed his effort wide.

The deadlock was finally broken just after the hour mark when Morrison was strong in the box and pushed the ball to the on rushing Coke who fired an unstoppable effort into the top of Lillis’ net.

Hill’s men didn’t accept that it was game over and really should have been on level terms just seven minutes later. A raking 50 yard diagonal pass by Dawson was headed into the centre by O’Grady to Thompson who found himself one-on-one with Weaver but the Dale youngster lifted his ball over the keeper and wide of the post.

The Dale management team made a double change with Adams and Jones making way for Done and Akpa-Akpro as the visitors looked to add a little more energy to the side.

Straight away the duo combined to force a scare in the home defence. Akpa-Akpro jinked his way into the box but the ball was cleared into Done’s face and the ball almost trickled over the line but the danger was cleared.

Dale made their final change with 10 minutes left with Elding replacing O’Grady but it was the home side who doubled their advantage rather than Rochdale drawing level.

Miller’s deft chip into the area was met by Morrison whose glancing header went in off the far post.

Dale need to be more clinical in front of goal if they are to maintain their League One status with the difference between the two sides today being Rochdale seemingly wanting to create the perfect goal rather than a shoot on sight policy.

The Dale boss spoke to the media after the game: “I’m disappointed with the result but proud of the lads, I’m proud of what we tried to achieve but it’s obvious that there’s a gulf between their squad and our squad.

"Although we are more financially solvent than the opposition so for me it’s wrong that Sheffield Wednesday can afford the type of player that they have got whilst we keep a good housekeeping.

"We are trying to do it the right way.

"I feel a little un-rewarded for the players efforts and I don’t think it’s a true reflection of what my players have given me today.

"Fair play to Sheffield Wednesday, they are an excellent side but for large periods of that game I thought we were more than capable of matching them.

"Players decisions change games and they have got the calibre of player that can make match winning decisions whilst our players are learning to do that but that were we are in the food chain. We have got to develop the players that we have got and we will have to learn from our mistakes. I feel they made better clinical decisions.

“I’m not being judgmental here but they are quite direct. For the players that they have got they do play a direct style but they have won a football match as a result of it. They probably deserved to win in the end but I won’t change my style.

“When you look at the players they have got in their 27 man squad, the majority of them have got Premier League or Championship experience.

"It’s a crying shame that a club like this should be in such financial difficulties but its mismanagement from previous regimes.

“Joe Thompson is equally accountable for the near miss. If that had fallen to any of their strikers then it would have been a goal but there’s the difference.

"They have showed today the spirit today that I want.

"We changed it around today pushing Gary Jones further up field to stop Mellor and Morrison having any room and the plan worked up until half time.


Sheffield Wednesday (Coke 62, Morrison 83) 2 - 0 Rochdale 

Attendance: 16,520

Rochdale: Lillis, Wiseman, Holness, Dawson, Tom Kennedy, Joe Thompson, Barry-Murphy, Jason Kennedy, Jones(c)(Done 70), Adams (Akpa-Akpro 70), O'Grady (Elding 80) 
Subs (not used): Oldfield, Widdowson, Redshaw, Josh Thompson,

Sheffield Wednesday: Weaver, Spurr, Buxton, Purse(c), Miller, Coke, Beevers, O'Connor, Teale (Sedgwick 84), Morrison (Tudgay 85), Mellor 
Subs (not used): Jameson, Hinds, Heffernan, Jones, Potter

Referee: Steve Rushton
Assitant Referees: Ian Dudley & Geoff Law
Fourth Official: Mark Sutton

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