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Rochdale 1-0 Blackburn Rovers

25 July 2012

A second half goal from Joe Thompson gave Rochdale a 1-0 win over Championship side Blackburn Rovers at Spotland on Wednesday evening.

Rovers were always going to provide a tough test for Dale with Steve Kean opting to bring a full strength squad to Spotland for the first home friendly of the pre-season programme, but a fine defensive display kept Blackburn at bay as they ramped up the pressure in the second half.

Supporters were able to catch a glimpse of Dale's new look squad with John Coleman giving all 19 players a run out. The four trialists - Ian Craney, Danny Johnson, Matty Pearson and Ray Putterill, who all travelled to Austria with the group for the pre-season camp, also featured as they were given an opportunity to impress Coleman and Jimmy Bell.

Rovers' Fabio Nunes had the first real opportunity of the match on 11 minutes as his shot went narrowly wide of Josh Lillis' upright, but despite the bright start, chances were few and far between in what was a relatively quiet first half.

After a lull in play, Phil Edwards had Rochdale's first half chance on 24 minutes as he headed just wide of the target from a Brian Barry-Murphy corner.

But it was striker George Donnelly who came closest for Dale during the half as he rattled a powerful low drive inches wide of the post.

At the interval, Coleman made wholesale changes as the starting ten outfield players made way for the ten who were on the bench.

Blackburn came out after the break the livelier of the two teams and Dale were lucky not go a goal down shortly before the hour mark. Goalkeeper Lillis raced 20 yards outside of his area as he attempted to get the ball from the on running David Goodwille.

Goodwillie however beat him to it, took the ball inside and sent it goal ward. Sam Minihan was the man to thank for keeping the score level as young defender blocked the effort in front of an open goal before making the clearance.

Moments later and it was Luke Watson's turn to impress. Watson, who like Minihan signed a his first pro contract this summer, cleared an effort from Fabio Nunes off the line.

Up the other end Dale began to find their way back in to the match as Danny Johnson forced substitute keeper Jake Kean into a save, his effort parried wide of the target and out for a corner.

Three minutes later fellow trialist Ray Putterill hit a powerful curling strike goalward, the shot went wide of the target.

And after a bright spell from Rochdale, the deadlock was finally broken on 75 minutes when Joe Thompson latched onto the end of an over the top ball from Reece Gray. He lifted it over Kean and into the back of the net to give Dale a 1-0 lead.


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