Youth team progress to the second round of the FA Youth Cup
A stoppage time goal from Callum Camps sent Rochdale’s under 18 side into the second round of the FA Youth Cup on Tuesday night with a 2-1 win over Rotherham United.
The stunning free-kick from Camps ensured a deserved victory for the youth team in front of a home crowd at Spotland.
The visitors had taken the lead against the run of player on 22 minutes through Luke Beedham meaning the youngsters had to come from behind to see off the Millers.
Kevin Masirika levelled the scoring on 69 minutes before Camps fired home in the 93rd minute to seal the victory.
Manager Chris Beech was without seven youth team regulars for the clash and had to call upon five school boys.
Names including Jack Horan, George Leigh, Jonny Spittle and Ola Rabiu were missing for the encounter meaning Jonathan Musangu, Nyal Bell, Kisimba Kisimba and Nathan Craddock who are all under 15 made the step up to the under 18 side.
Rochdale started the brighter of the two teams and would have felt hard done by after falling behind on 22 minutes.
The young side had been on top in the early stages of the match but despite applying the pressure in the final third, were unable to convert any of their several opportunities.
On three minutes, Connor Martin who was impressive on the right flank, sent an in-swinging cross deep into the six yard for the awaiting Dimitri Tuanzebe. The frontman however was unable to get a head on it at the back post.
A minute later and Callum Camps had the first of several chances of the half as he sent a driving effort past the upright in what was good spell of early pressure for the homeside.
The football continued at pace and on six minutes Dale goalkeeper Aaron Ashley pulled off a fantastic save to deny Luke Beedham who fired a low shot across the face of goal.
Three minutes later, Rochdale’s Callum Hill was on hand to sweep away en effort from James Cadman off the line after the youngster chipped the ball over Ashley who had come off his line in a bid to close the the Millers’ forward down.
Rochdale really then began to take charge and dominated in the final third with no avail.
On eleven minutes, Camps looked on as yet another long range effort flew past the upright before Jamie Allan fired a shot goalwards following some neat passing from middle to front.
Joel Logan, who was lively throughout the match, had a go at goal with a quarter of an hour played after cutting inside and unleashing a powerful strike. The ball however rebounded off his team mate and away from goal.
Six minutes later and Logan again was in the thick of the action thanks to the skill of Camps who broke free from his marker to feed in Logan. The youngster struck the ball on the turn but it was saved by goalkeeper Tony Thompson.
And despite most of the early pressure coming from the Dale side it was Rotherham who went on to take the lead on 22 minutes against the run of play through Beedham.
He latched onto the end of the through ball from Nicholas Walker to fire the Millers’ ahead in what was sucker punch for the home side.
Despite going a goal behind it was the Rochdale youth team who continued to carry on in the same vein of form as they searched for an equaliser.
Either side of the half hour mark Dale twice came close. Martin sent a fantastic cross into the box which was met by Andy Cannon. Despite managing to get on the end of the ball, he could only turn it past the post.
Camps then sent another long range effort agonisingly wide of the upright.
As the half continued, Dale goalkeeper Aaron Ashley got down low to block an effort from Beedham at the near post, before Ashley’s counterpart pulled off a fantastic save to keep out Camps who sent a powerful left footed strike thundering in on goal.
And on the stroke of half time Logan blasted into the side netting from a tight close range angle.
After the interval it was the Rochdale youth side who continued on top and had chance after chance to level the scoring as they pounded the Rotherham goal.
Two minutes after the re-start the first of many opportunities for Dale fell to Logan who sent it wide of the target.
They youth team continued to dominate but came close to conceding a second on 51 minutes as the Millers broke on the counter attack.
Beedham charged through on goal, took the ball past the Dale defence but was unable to take ball round Ashley who got down low to smother it as the forward looked to get a shot away.
Just minutes later and Rochdale were denied by the woodwork with Logan sending an effort from inside the six yard box off the post.
Dale’s next opportunity feel to Tuanzabe just a minute later but he could only head over the bar.
Rochdale continued to press and finally netted the goal they deserved on 69 minutes after a string off further attempts on goal.
Logan’s quick feet work allowed him to see off two markers on the left hand flank and after cutting inside sent a cross too close to the keeper for Tuanzebe to deal with before forcing goalkeeper Thompson into a fine save with a low drive.
And the goal finally came on 69 minutes after Kevin Masirika headed home from inside a packed six yard box.
The momentum continued in Rochdale’s favour and they could have taken the lead on 80 minutes if not for the woodwork once again. Logan who was fantastic throughout the second half cut inside and unleashed another low drive which smashed off the post and back into play. Substitute Danny Whitehall could only send the re-bound effort off wide of the target.
In the closing stages of the game it was Rotherham who twice came close as Beedham caught the Dale defence off guard with a long range effort which curled over Ashley’s cross bar, before the No9 forced the ‘keeper into a save at his near post.
But it was Rochdale who went on to net a well-deserved winner three minutes into stoppage time when Camps rattled a superb 25 yard free-kick into the back of the net to ensure Dale progressed to the next round of the competition.