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Rochdale 0-1 Hull City

29 July 2012

A first half goal from Robert Koren was enough to separate the two sides as Rochdale welcomed Hull City to Spotland on Saturday afternoon.

The match was the second pre-season friendly in the space of three days for Dale following Wednesday night's 1-0 win over Blackburn Rovers.

Manager John Coleman again opted to give all first team players and trialists a run out with 21 players taking to the pitch during the match.

The visitors had the first opportunity of the game early in the half following a well worked corner. Nick Proschwitz struck an effort goal ward which was comfortably saved by Josh Lillis at his near post on four minutes.

The Dale forward pairing of George Donnelly and Ashley Grimes linked up well together to cause problems for the Hull defence. Grimes sent a neat ball through into the path of the on running Donnelly who smashed the ball towards the target. City keeper Ben Amos was however there to collect.

Moments later and Grimes had a golden opportunity to open the scoring from close range, he instead blasted the ball over the bar

Lillis was then called into action on 19 minutes as Adam McLean struck the ball across the face of goal, leaving the goalkeeper flat-footed. The ball creeped past the upright.

With City sending a warning, the only goal of the game came just minutes later. Koren's long range effort found the back of the net.

Despite a bright start by both teams, the game became some what flat for a period and lacked action in the final third.

But it was Grimes, who's work rate was second to none during the first half, brought the game back to life as he tested the keeper with a curling effort past the post just minutes from the interval.

As seen in the Blackburn Rovers encounter on Wednesday night, Coleman again made wholesale changes at the break as he looked to give all players at least 45 minutes each. Off went the starting outfield 10 who were replaced by those who were on the bench in the first half.

City were first of the mark in the second half just a minute after the restart with goalkeeper Lillis doing well to save a volley from Proschwitz.

And Hull could have made it 2-0 shortly after the hour mark if not for Neill Byrne. The young centre half cleared the danger with a great defensive header following a cross deep into the 18 yard box by Aaron McLean. His well timed clearance prevented the striker getting to the ball in a dangerous position.

Up the other end and Byrne was again in the thick of the action as he headed past the upright. He did well to get onto the end of great delivery into the box by trialist Ian Craney.

Reece Gray who set up Joe Thompson's goal in Wednesday night's win over Blackburn Rovers came close to doing the same again as Dale chased the equaliser.

On 70 minutes, in what was a fantastic piece of team play, Gray thread a superb through ball to the on running Thompson who attempted to side foot past Amos. The keeper however did well to get down and pull off a save to keep the effort out.

Six minutes later Gray went it alone as he attempted to lift the ball over Amos and into the back of net.

In the dying stages of the match, City's Sone Aluko almost capitalised on a way-ward back pass from Sam Minihan but, Lillis who was quick to react, cleared the danger to keep the score at 0-1.

Rochdale - first half XI
Lillis, Pearson, R Edwards, P Edwards, McIntyre, Tutte, Kennedy, Cavanagh, BBM, Grimes, Donnelly.

Second half XI
Lillis, Miniahn, Byrne, Bennett, Rafferty, Craney, Watson, Thompson, Putterill, Johnson, Gray.

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