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Kick off 17:30 (UK)

05 August 2023 Venue Crown Oil Arena Attendance

Kick off 17:30 (UK)

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Match Previews

Preview | Ebbsfleet United (H)

4 August 2023

Rochdale AFC vs Ebbsfleet United | Vanarama National League, Saturday 5th August, Crown Oil Arena, 5.30pm Kick-Off

The start of a new season has arrived!

Dale welcome Ebbsfleet United to the Crown Oil Arena on Saturday, in our opening Vanarama National League game.

Both sides are newcomers to the division, following our relegation and The Fleet’s promotion from National League South.

The match is being broadcast live on TNT Sports, with a later kick-off time of 5.30pm.

Get ready for the game by checking out all of the pre-match build-up below.


Jimmy McNulty says there is a sense of excitement amongst the squad and supporters ahead of Saturday’s game.

Click HERE to watch the Head Coach’s full pre-match interview, or read his quotes HERE.

Club captain Ethan Ebanks-Landell also previewed the season opener. You can watch his interview HERE.


Dale’s only injury worry is Kyle Ferguson, who suffered a knock in our pre-season win at Tranmere Rovers.

The centre-back has returned to light training this week, but McNulty says he will be “touch and go” for the weekend.


Ebbsfleet romped to the National League South title last season, notching up 103 points and scoring 110 goals as they earned promotion back to the National League level for the first time since 2020.

They have since added eight new faces to the squad, including the likes of Hayden White and David Amoo, who were playing in League Two last season for Walsall and Crewe Alexandra respectively.

Dominic Poleon, who scored 35 goals in 43 games last term, extended his contract with The Fleet, but will miss Saturday’s game as he serves the final game of a three-match suspension.

You can watch Ebbsfleet boss Dennis Kutrieb look ahead to Saturday’s game HERE.



This will be the first ever meeting between the two sides.

Pick up a copy of our official matchday programme, The Voice Of Spotland, tomorrow, to see which other teams we have faced for the first time in our history on the opening day. Click HERE for the TVOS preview.


Garreth Rhodes will be the referee for Saturday’s game. It is his sixth season at National League level.

Oliver Nolan and Jonathan Wyatt are assistant referees, with Shaun Taylor as fourth official.


The match is being broadcast live on TNT Sports, with their programme getting underway at 5pm.

Those fans based in the UK & Ireland can listen to live match commentary, whilst overseas supporters can watch live via the National League TV platform. Click HERE for full details.

There will also be live updates via the club’s official twitter account.


Looking forward to attending Saturday’s game? Make the most of your visit to the Crown Oil Arena by reading our Matchday Guide HERE.

The guide includes everything you need to know about admission details, pre-match activities, turnstiles and much more.


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Match Reports

Report | Dale 0-1 Ebbsfleet United

5 August 2023

A solitary first-half goal consigned Dale to defeat at home to Ebbsfleet United on Saturday.

Luke O’Neill flicked home a corner at the near post eight minutes before the break, which proved to be the winner despite a number of chances created by Jimmy McNulty’s men.

There were Dale debuts for Louie Moulden, Adam Clayton, Kairo Mitchell, Mikey Afuye and Harvey Gilmour, whilst George Nevett made his first professional start.

Tyrese Sinclair caused the Ebbsfleet defence problems early on with his trickery, and he also had two efforts from distance well blocked, whilst Shaquile Coulthirst fired well wide for the visitors.

Dale were denied a penalty after ten minutes when Devante Rodney beat visiting goalkeeper Mark Cousins to the ball, being clattered by the stopper in the process, but referee Garreth Rhodes waved away the claims.

Moulden made a fine fingertip save, turning a flicked near post header from a corner over the bar, whilst Sinclair had a shot deflected narrowly wide.

Rodney saw an effort cleared off the line midway through the half when he turned goalwards from a tight angle after Mitchell had poked beyond the goalkeeper.

Sinclair and Mitchell then fired over from distance, before the visitors broke the deadlock, when O’Neill flicked a near post corner home.

Dale continued to press with Mitchell and Rodney sent shots over, before the former crashed a volley off the crossbar, following a knock down from Rodney.

After the break, Afuye saw a low shot held by Cousins, whilst Mitchell turned wide from Ethan Ebanks-Landell’s clipped ball forward.

Ian Henderson replaced Afuye with 20 minutes remaining with McNulty’s only change of the game, and he had a header well blocked from a corner, whilst Rodney fired off target from Mitchell’s flick on.

Jimmy Keohane and Sinclair both had headers at goal, with the former’s wide of the far post and Sinclair’s straight at the goalkeeper.

Sinclair then sent a dipping volley over the bar and Moulden had to be equal to a fierce effort inside the area at the other end.

The visitors saw the game out well consigning Dale to an opening day defeat, despite the number of chances created.

Dale XI | Moulden, John, Ebanks-Landell ©, Sinclair, Clayton, Mitchell, Rodney, Keohane, Nevett, Afuye, Gilmour.

Subs | Kelly, Taylor, Oduroh, Johnson, Henderson.

Attendance | 2,830 (139 away).


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