A heroic performance against Premier League side Newcastle United has earned Dale a replay at St.James’ Park, in the Emirates FA Cup third round.
Despite going behind to an early Miguel Almiron goal, Brian Barry-Murphy’s men showed great character and levelled with ten minutes to play, through Aaron Wilbraham.
A tremendous second half display saw Dale grab a late equaliser which their play deserved, meaning they will go head-to-head with Newcastle once more.
The first chance of the game fell to Ian Henderson, who controlled a shot well on the edge of the area, before skewing his shot well wide of Martin Dúbravka’s goal.
The visitors went close when Christian Atsu did well down the left, before Joelinton fired over from close range.
Atsu caused problems once more, this time finding Matty Longstaff whose shot hit his own player before deflecting behind for a goal-kick.
Steve Bruce’s men took the lead when Atsu pulled the ball back for Almiron, who took one touch before firing past Robert Sánchez.
Joelinton almost doubled Newcastle’s lead when he broke forward beating two Dale men with some neat play, placing a shot just wide of the post.
Dale went close when Oliie Rathbone’s long-range effort deflected off the head of Callum Camps before looping on to the roof of the net.
Joelinton threatened again, beating Sánchez to the ball in the air, but his header was glanced just over.
DeAndre Yedlin showcased his blistering pace down the right flank, cutting back to Yoshinori Muto who was denied expertly by Sánchez.
In the second half, Dale began to pose more of a threat, and went close when Rathbone’s low drive was saved by Dúbravka.
Rathbone was then denied by Dúbravka once more, this time the Newcastle stopper spilled the ball to Henderson, who hit the post from a tight angle.
The Magpies were denied by the woodwork minutes later, Joelinton’s header deflected on to the foot of the post and behind for a corner.
First-half substitute Luke Matheson broke down the right before crossing the ball to Rathbone, but once again Dúbravka kept him out.
Dale had the goal they deserved when Matheson went on a storming run down the right-hand side, this time crossing to Wilbraham who took one touch before smashing the ball under Dúbravka to level the tie.
Rathbone had the chance to win it for Dale in injury time, when Eoghan O’Connell won the ball on the edge of the area, before squaring to Rathbone who side-footed just wide.
Dale showed outstanding spirit to earn a replay and on another day could’ve won it.
Details on when the replay will take place will be announced in due course, along with ticket and travel news.