Rochdale’s preparations for the 2021/22 campaign continued on Saturday, as Dale hosted League One Fleetwood Town, in the third game of the side’s pre-season friendly schedule.
The match was the first opportunity for home supporters to return to the Crown Oil Arena for the first time in 16 months, and spectators were treated to an entertaining fixture in difficult conditions, with temperatures reaching nearly 30 degrees during the game.
There was an early opportunity for Ollie Rathbone, inside sixty seconds, as went for goal from distance, but his effort dropped narrowly over the bar.
Stephen Dooley then stung the pals of Alex Cairns, before netting the opener on eight minutes. He latched onto a ball over the top and fired home.
Midway through the half, there was a superb counter when Alex Newby sent Rochdale on their way. He raced forward before playing in Abraham Odoh who in turn found Trialist A, whose cross was well defend behind.
Up the other end, Jordan Rossiter met Dan Batty’s ball into box but he couldn’t keep his header on target, sending it wide without troubling.
Shortly before the interval, in what was the Cod Army’s best chance of the half, Jay Lynch pulled off an excellent save to deny Shayden Morris. He got a strong hand behind the shot to turn it away from goal before getting quickly back to his feet to collect the recycled ball, and Dale took a 1-0 lead into the break.
HT | ROCHDALE 1-0 FLEETWOOD TOWN
There was one Rochdale change for the start of the second half, as Jim McNulty made way for Joe Dunne.
The hosts equalised five minutes after the restart through Danny Andrew who curled a sublime free-kick into the top corner.
On the hour, Dale were back in front.
After a brilliant move forward, Newby clipped the ball into the box for Beesley, who headed beyond an outstretching Cairns. It was a superb finish to cap off a superb move.
There were number of substitutions three minutes later. Trialist B, Conor Grant, Ethan Brierley and Matty Done came on for Eoghan O’Connell, Aaron Morley, Rathone and Beesley.
And a third Rochdale goal followed in the 66th minute.
Fleetwood’s Harrison Holgate, under pressure from Done, inadvertently put the ball in the back of his own net after attempting a back pass to his goalkeeper.
There were two more substitutions, in the 71st minute, when Brad Wade and Jordan Scanlon replaced Lynch and Newby, respectively.
Five minutes later, Scanlon came agonisingly close to netting a fourth for Dale, but he was denied by the woodwork, with his strike coming back off the post.
With 10 minutes left to play there were a further three changes - Trialist A, Odoh and Dooley being replaced by Ben Kershaw, Anisio Jesus & Kacper Mialkowski.
Two Edmondson goals in three minutes saw Fleetwood come from behind to level late on.
He grabbed a goal back in the 83rd minute, striking into the far corner, before hitting home on the volley, lifting the ball up and over Wade soon after.
In stoppage time, Wade got a touch on a powerful free-kick, to turn it round the post.
FT | ROCHDALE 3-3 FLEETWOOD TOWN
Next up is Rotherham United at the Crown Oil Arena on Tuesday night, 7pm kick-off. Get your tickets > https://www.rafcshop.co.uk/tickets/match-day-tickets