Cheltenham Town 1 - 2 Rochdale

Date published: 19 October 2013

Ian Henderson’s late brace fired Keith Hill’s Rochdale side into second place, level on points with leaders Cheltenham. Cheltenham took an undeserved lead with their one and only shot on goal but Henderson levelled with eight minutes remaining. Then deep into stoppage time, the winger netted his second with a sublime chip from inside the area.

Hill unsurprisingly named an unchanged side from that which comfortably dispatched of Newport last week with just Andrew Tutte the only change on the bench at the expense of injured Matt Done.

The first half, played in a mixture of bright sunshine and rain showers, was a dour affair with neither side really creating anything of note.

During the half time break, an almighty thunderstorm descended on Whaddon Road with torrential rain and wind making the start of the second half very tricky for the players.

Dale had the best chance of the opening exchanges after the re-start with Lund's acrobatic shot flashing across goal but wide with O’Connell trying to get a touch.

Against the run of play, Cheltenham took the lead. A left wing cross was headed back across goal by Cureton with central defender Troy Brown on hand to bundle the ball home from close range.

Dale responded well and laid siege to Scott Brown's goal.

Henderson saw his deft header go just wide whilst moments later he tried a shot from 18 yards but again was off target.

Hill made a bold move by bringing on all three of his substitutions in one go on 70 minutes and it was to pay dividends.

George Donnelly’s pace made him space down the left for him to drive a cross into the area with Brown having to take action to clear the danger.

Henderson was looking the main threat and when he clipped a shot from just inside the area towards the back post, he was again left ruing a missed opportunity.

That frustration was short-lived though as he managed to head a Donnelly cross in at the far post with the ball seemingly going through the legs of keeper Brown.

After getting back on terms, Dale almost got hit by the sucker punch straight from the kick-off. Cheltenham raced forward and when O’Connell’s clearance from a cross fell at the feet of Penn, the home skipper really should have done better from 18 yards out but his shot flew over.

Dale never know when to give up and got their reward in stoppage time when Henderson sealed the win. In a similar position to earlier in the game, he again clipped the ball over Brown but this time it nestled in the back of the net sending the 244 travelling contingent into wild celebration.

It's now seven wins from eight games and a win that sees Dale behind top of the table Chesterfield on goal difference only going into Tuesday’s home game against struggling Northampton Town.

Season ticket holders can bring a friend to the Northampton game for just £5 using the voucher in the back of their season ticket book.

Attendance: 2887 (244 from Rochdale)

Rochdale: Lillis, Rose, Vincenti (Tutte 70), O’Connell, Lancashire (c), Rafferty, Henderson, Dicker, Lund, Cummins (Donnelly 70), Allen (Hery 70)
Subs: (not used) Thomson, Eastham, Bunney, Bennett

Cheltenham: S Brown, Lowe, Taylor, T Brown, Cureton, Harrison, McGlashan, Richards, Penn (c), Jombati, Braham-Barrett
Subs: (not used) Elliott, Deering, Gornell, Roberts, Kotwica, Vincent, Noble

Referee: Mr G Ward
Assistant Referee: MrM Buonassisi & Mr W Porter
Fourth Official: Mr C Sarginson

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