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Rochdale 2 - 1 Sheffield Wednesday

Date published: 12 February 2011


Two first half strikes from Matt Done and Gary Jones secured three points for Rochdale against Sheffield Wednesday. Done scored from close range after good work from Scott Wiseman whilst Jones netted from the spot after Done was upended in the area.

Former Dale loanee Gary Madine scored a late goal for the Owls, but it was nothing more than a consolation.

Keith Hill named one change from the side that beat Bristol Rovers on Tuesday. Nicky Adams replaced Liam Dickinson.

In front of 3200 visiting supporters, Gary Megson took charge of his first game as the Sheffield Wednesday manager and, with expectations high, Rochdale needed to make a good start to silence the travelling masses.

Hill’s side forced a plethora of corners inside the opening minutes but couldn’t squeeze the ball home as the Wednesday defence stood strong.

A nasty clash of heads between Barry-Murphy and Giles Coke saw both players leave the field of play to receive treatment for head wounds. After a few minutes Coke returned sporting a full head bandage but Barry-Murphy didn’t’ re-appear and was replaced by Matt Done.

Keith Hill’s tactics were quite obvious from the outset - to dictate the pace of the game and allow Megsons men no time on the ball. It was a tactic that worked a treat and with 15 minutes on the clock, the home side took the lead. Nicky Adams played a delightful reverse ball inside the left full back to where Wiseman had made a run and the Dale full back put a dangerous ball across the goalmouth with Done there to poke home from close range.

The home fans were ecstatic whilst the visitors were shell shocked.

The shock of the fans was mirrored by the players too as Rochdale piled on the pressure as they went in search of more.

Jones saw a left footed free kick whistle just over the bar whilst the corner count racked up. One corner was quickly played short by Adams to Done who turned smartly in the area and drew the foul from Daniel Jones with referee Walton having no hesitation in pointing to the spot.

Dale skipper Gary Jones stepped up to send Nicky Weaver in the Owls goal the wrong way to net his 15th of the campaign but more importantly give Dale a 2-0 lead.

Hill’s men were rampant and looked likely to add to their tally rather than concede at the other end. Done should have put the game beyond Wednesday just after the half hour mark after Adams whipped in a delightful ball from the right but he couldn’t connect from inside the six yard box with the goal at his mercy.

The visitors looked very lacklustre up front with the experienced Morrison bending an effort well wide just before the interval the closest they came.

Chris O’Grady saw his 18 yard effort flash wide on the stroke of half time as Dale ended the half the stronger.

New Wednesday manager Gary Megson must have had the tea cups flying at half time as his side came out for the second period fired up. Neil Mellor was replaced during the break with former Dale loanee Gary Madine, with the new striker causing more of a threat to the Dale back line.

The Owls forced a number of corners in the early stages of the second half with Coke and Madine both having shots blocked by the solid Dale back line, in particular Marcus Holness.

When the visitors did breach the Dale defence, Madine couldn’t control the ball when well placed inside the area.

The travelling support were frustrated at the sight of their team being beaten by little Rochdale and took to sheer vandalism by ripping down the advertising boards at the back of the away stand and passing then around. Reports after the game suggest a number of Wednesday fans were injured as they were un-aware what was occurring behind them.

Rochdale, although pushed back a bit, still had chances.

Matt Done should have done better when played in by Jones but Weaver rushed out to win the one-on-one battle; Jason Kennedy’s follow up shot was blocked.

As the game entered the final 10 minutes, The Owls went even more direct. A high ball into the area was again punched by Fon Williams but only to Osbourne; his shot was tipped over by the Dale stopper.

From the corner, Clinton Morrison saw his header again tipped over.

With clock reaching 90 minutes, Gary Madine gave the Owls hope of rescuing something in a game they didn’t deserve anything from. Jake Buxton picked up a rare Gary Jones stray pass and strode down the right flank, evading the challenges of Jones and Akpa-Akpro. His inch perfect cross was glanced home by the head of Madine, giving Fon Williams no chance.

Keith Hill spoke after the game: “Thoroughly deserved win, nobody can argue with that result, or that performance. We bashed them up in both a football & physical sense.

“I thought we beat them with honesty; we tried to take them on as they have got quality. We can play, we can press and we deserved that.

“I’m surprised the bookies had us down as favourites coming into the game but we are in good form and we continued that. We have a spirit amongst the players.

“There’s an ambition and there’s an energy and we are a force to be reckoned with. Your name, your stature, your history means nothing for that 90 minutes when you go out there.

“Matt Done was excellent but he has to add to what he has got. He’s got the ability but we want him to be better, we are trying to nurture and educate him to play out wide or as a front man or even as defensive midfield player.

“We knew with the tactics they employed, the way they set up that we could get at them in the first half and create two versus one’s and it worked. I’m very proud as a manger at how the game plan worked.

“Flicker (Dave Flitcroft) alluded to it, in the first half the strikers get the credit and in the second half the defenders do but it was huffing & puffing from them.

“We had chances of our own in the second half too.

“The Southampton game will take care of itself, it’s a chance to get more points.

“People wrote us off at the start of the season as relegation fodder but we aren’t, we are competing and we will continue to compete.”

 

Attendance: 6154

Rochdale: Fon Williams, Wiseman, Holness, Dawson, Widdowson, Barry-Murphy (Done 11), Adams, Jones (c), Kennedy, O'Grady, Atkinson (Akpa-Akpro 67)
Subs (not used): Edwards, Josh Thompson, Williams, Dickinson, Gray

Sheff Wednesday: Weaver, Buxton, Reynolds, Morrsion, Beevers, Coke (Sedgewick 84), O’Connor, Potter (Osbourne 64), Jones, Morrison (c), Mellor (Madine 46)
Subs (not used): Jameson, Heffernan, Hinds, Teale,


Referee: Mr P Walton
Assistant Referees: Mr J Collin & Mr R M Pollock
Fourth Official: Mr P N Gibbs

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