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Kick off 15:00 (UK)

23 December 2017 Venue Crown Oil Arena Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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English Football League - League One

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Match Previews

Preview: Dale v Walsall

22 December 2017

Dale v Walsall: Sky Bet League One, Saturday 23rd December, 3pm Kick-Off

Dale are back in action at the Crown Oil Arena on Saturday, as Walsall are the visitors in the final Sky Bet League One match before Christmas.

Last Saturday’s goalless draw against Oxford United means Dale are now unbeaten in seven at home.

Walsall’s defeat at Northampton Town last weekend ended a run of three consecutive victories, which had seen them rise in to the top half of League One.



Keith Hill has told iFollow that he is prepared for a competitive fixture against The Saddlers, and that he is looking forward to the festive period.

Click HERE to read the Gaffer’s pre-match thoughts.



It’s Kids For A Quid at the Crown Oil Arena on Saturday! All tickets for junior Dale fans aged 16 and under are priced at just £1 for this match.

Normal matchday prices apply on all other age groups. Click HERE for matchday admission prices.

Supporters can pay on the day on Saturday, but are reminded that the Main Stand is an ALL TICKET RESERVED SEATING stand. Therefore, there will be no cash turnstiles in operation for the Main Stand. Tickets can be bought from the RAFC Ticket Office before going to the turnstiles.

Supporters can pay cash at the turnstiles in all other areas of the Crown Oil Arena on Saturday.



Referee: Andy Haines

Assistants Referees: Richard Bartlett & Ian Dudley

Fourth Official: Ben Toner



There is a Christmas Family Fun Day at the Crown Oil Arena on Saturday!

It begins before the game with a FREE Santa’s Grotto in the Carlsberg Lounge, where every child will be given a Christmas present. Turnstiles will open at the earlier time of 1.30pm. 

Click HERE for full details.

The Ratcliffe Bars, situated on the Crown Oil Arena car park, open at midday on Saturday, with visiting supporters also welcome.



Don’t miss our Supporters’ Christmas Party in the Ratcliffe Bar after the match! Doors will open on the full-time whistle. 

It is your chance to meet Manager Keith Hill, his staff, and all of the Dale squad who will be in attendance from 5.30pm.

Click HERE for full details.



Coming to the Crown Oil Arena for the first time? View our first-time visitor guide HERE.



Dale were 4-0 winners the last time the two sides met at the Crown Oil Arena, thanks to goals from Ollie Rathbone, Reuben Noble-Lazarus and two from Steven Davies.

Click HERE for a full flashback of the victory.



Jordan Williams is the cover star of Saturday’s The Voice Of Spotland.

He discusses his time at the Club so far and making the step up from non-league football, whilst there is a pull-out poster of him inside!

TVOS will be on sale in the Club Shop around the ground for the price of £3.

Click HERE for the full preview.



Dale are at EVENS to record victory over Walsall with Sky Bet.

Click HERE for full match odds.



Fans in the UK can listen to match audio commentary on iFollow. The programme will start at 2.55pm.

The match is also available to watch live for supporters overseas.

Click HERE to subscribe to iFollow.

To access commentary/ watch live via your desktop, go through our match centre. The match centre will be located on the home page of the main website ( Once you’ve clicked through, a link will appear on the left-hand side of the page for you to access the commentary. This will appear on the site around half an hour before kick-off.

We will be tweeting live updates from the match, and will go behind-the-scenes with our Instagram Story feature. Follow @officiallydale (Twitter and Instagram).

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Match Reports

Report: Dale 1-1 Walsall

23 December 2017

Dale were denied victory by a late Walsall equaliser in a 1-1 draw, as Joe Thompson made his first appearance since beating cancer for a second time.

After a goalless first-half, Calvin Andrew broke the deadlock in the 63rd minute in Dale's 4,000th EFL .

Thompson was brought on eight minutes later to a standing ovation, and had a shot blocked on the line moments later.

However, as Dale looked to be heading for all three points, Maz Kouhyar’s strike stole a point for the visitors.

Keith Hill made one change from last weekend’s draw with Oxford United, as Jordan Williams replaced Steven Davies.

In an even but quiet opening period, it was the visitors who had the majority of the efforts at goal.

Joe Edwards saw a volley from outside the area headed over by Donervon Daniels, before a snap shot from the Walsall midfielder flew wide of the far post after it had broken for him inside the area.

Daniel Agyei also a saw curling effort fly wide of the far post, whilst Callum Camps and Calvin Andrew both had efforts blocked.

Dale came closest in the first half from a Camps cross, which had to be clawed away from under the crossbar by Saddlers goalkeeper Mark Gillespie.

Bradden Inman replaced Matty Done at the break and Dale began the second half strongly, with Andrew, Ollie Rathbone and Camps all seeing efforts fly over.

Josh Lillis had to make a fine stop from Kieron Morris’ header, turning the close range effort over the crossbar.

The resulting corner was sent back into the area, where Morris sent a half volley well over the crossbar.

Dale broke the deadlock in the 63rd minute, through Andrew. He took a touch inside of his marker, before having his first effort blocked. He fired goalwards a second time, bending the ball beyond the goalkeeper into the far corner.

There was a cheer just as loud as the goal celebration eight minutes later, when Thompson was introduced in place of Williams to a standing ovation inside the Crown Oil Arena.

He almost made a fairytale comeback, when he saw a shot from inside the six-yard box blocked on the line after Andrew’s shot from Rathbone’s square ball was also blocked.

Dale looked to be heading for all three points, however the visitor equalised just after the game entered stoppage time.

A ball in from the right was met first time by Kouhyar, who turned the ball home at the near post beyond Lillis to deny Dale victory. 

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