Oldham Athletic 1-2 Rochdale

Date published: 03 January 2011

Rochdale took the bragging rights in the local derby after beating near neighbours Oldham 2-1 at Boundary Park.

Dale took the lead when Chris O’Grady was the quickest to react to a Gary Jones penalty that struck the post.

O’Grady netted his second of the game against his former employers after he nicked the ball off Reuben Hazell before firing past Brill.

The final five minutes were frenetic after Scott Wiseman was harshly shown a straight red card for a mistimed tackle and Dean Furman halved the Dale lead with a sweet strike from outside the area.

Dale boss Keith Hill made two changes to the starting eleven from that which beat Tranmere two days ago. Joe Thompson and Bobby Grant came in to replace Jean Louis Akpa-Akpro and Matt Done. New permanent signing Nicky Adams regained his fitness and got a place on the bench.

On a cold afternoon at Boundary Park, the game took a while to spark into life, with the first moment if note coming 18 minutes when Latics centre back Jean-Yves M’Voto landed awkwardly after a challenge with Jason Kennedy. After a lengthy stoppage the big defender was carried from the field on a stretcher.

The first chance of the game came the home sides way when Kris Taylor crossed from the right with the ball looking like it struck the hand of Marcus Holness but the referee waved play on and former Rochdale loanee Dale Stephens dragged his shot wide from the edge of the box.

Dale’s first real chance of the half was on the half hour mark when Jason Kennedy and Joe Thompson linked up well with the latter crossing but Kennedy’s free header went over from eight yards out.

Dale were having a good spell and two goal hero from Saturday Gary Jones had the chance to open the scoring when a Barry-Murphy free kick was headed up into the air but Jones couldn’t make a clean connection from inside the box.

At the other end Furman was clean through but Dawson was brave with the block.

Taylor’s diving header moments later went wide.

Bobby Grant, Dale’s match winner at the weekend, was looking lively and as the half came to a close the striker popped up on the right to cross with the ball finding Kennedy but his shot was deflected up into the air and when Latics keeper Dean Brill came into no mans land to challenge O’Grady; the Dale striker won the header but the ball trickled wide.

Oldham started the second half with real intent and took the game to their opponents.

Filipe Morais saw his thundering 25 yard drive tipped over by Lillis, whilst Evina saw his ambitious 40 yard shot wide.

The home side was putting real pressure on the Dale back line when they forced four corners in succession but Hill’s men stood strong at the back with Dawson and former Latic Marcus Holness immense.

Aiden White fired over the bar after a mazy run into the box had set him up nicely.

After weathering the early second half storm, Rochdale came into the game after a double change from Keith Hill. Brian Barry-Murphy and Joe Thompson were replaced by Matt Done and Nicky Adams and the visitors got their noses in front just after the hour mark.

Latics failure to clear their lines led to Dawson being shoved by Hazell with referee Taylor pointing to the spot.

Gary Jones stepped up to take the spot kick but saw his shot come back off the left hand post. O’Grady was the quickest to react to fire his side in front.

The home side were shell shocked with Dale pressing for more with Done trying to pick out an unmarked Grant but his centre was cut out whilst Dawson saw his header tipped over from an Adams corner.

With a one goal lead, Rochdale looked comfortable and held Paul Dickov’s men at arms length, limiting them to pot shots.

Dale Stephens saw his shot blocked with the home faithful roaring for a penalty but the official waved play on.

The frustrations were showing from the home fans and their frustrations were added to with fourteen minutes left on the clock. Ruben Hazell was robbed of the ball by O’Grady inside the box and the striker duly bent the ball around Brill to double the Dale delight.

The two goal cushion looked enough until referee Taylor stepped into the spotlight.

Scott Wiseman dived in on a challenge with Cedric Evina, which was deemed a straight red card, much to the amazement of everybody in the ground.

The final minutes were frenetic and real back to the wall stuff from Hill’s men and two minutes after the red card the pressure paid off when Trotman nodded down for Furman to drill beyond Lillis to make it 2-1.

A plethora of corners came in the four minutes of stoppage time with keeper Dean Brill sprinting the length of the field into the Dale opposition penalty box for a corner and getting on the end of two corner kicks but couldn’t find the target.

The final whistle went to a chorus of boos from the home fans whilst the travelling support started their derby celebrations.

Keith Hill’s men made it six points in three days and with a trip to Dagenham coming at the weekend, will be confident of adding to that tally. Whether they will have Scott Wiseman available for that game will be decided this week after the referee agreed to have a look at the video of the challenge he deemed at the time to be serious foul play.

Keith Hill after the game: “It was a little bit of a farce at the end but I think everyone in the stadium could see it wasn’t a sending off and I don’t think anybody wanted that situation to develop and hopefully we can get it rescinded.

“Chris O’Grady was on hand to despatch an unbelievable finish and his second was again an accomplished finish.

“It was a bit nervy in the end but I thought we defended very well and although they could have gotten something out of the game, I thought we deserved the three points.

"Craig Dawson is maturing into an unbelievable player as is Marcus Holness. I have to hang my hat on players such as Marcus for the future of this football club as well as my own.

"Joe Widdowson and Scott Wiseman were both excellent, as was Josh Lillis, so from a defensive point of view we were excellent and I cannot remember too many clear cut chances from the opposition.

“You can make stats say what they want but you can’t deny the stat of six points from six in three days.

“We are down to the bare bones with the squad but we need to bring the right kind of players; I think we need four bodies to make the squad stronger.

"The changes made today to the starting eleven were part of the game plan and all the players are fully inclusive of that and they know I make the decisions as the manager.”


Oldham Athletic 1 (Furman 87)

Rochdale 2 (O’Grady 64, 76)

Rochdale: Lillis, Widdowson, Dawson, Holness, Wiseman, Barry-Murphy (Done 61), Joe Thompson (Adams 54), Jones (C), J Kennedy, Grant (Akpa-Akpro 82), O'Grady.

Subs (Not Used): Edwards, T Kennedy, Josh Thompson, Elding

Oldham Athletic: Brill, M’Voto (Trotman 19), Hazell, Furman, Taylor (Millar 82), Lee, Stephens, Morais, Evina, Tounkara, White (Brooke 78)

Subs (not used):Kelly, Feeney, Black, Fleming

Referee: Mr A Taylor
Assistant Referees: Mr D Mohareb and Mr R Pollock
Fourth official: Mr C Pawson

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