Rochdale fell to their first home league defeat of the season on Saturday afternoon as Burton Albion ran out 1-0 winners at Spotland. A second half goal from the Brewers' Matt Paterson was enough to separate the two sides at Spotland on a lacklustre afternoon.
There were three changes to the starting eleven from last weekend’s League Two outing against Barnet. Skipper Peter Cavanagh returned from injury to replace Brian Barry-Murphy in midfield, while Bobby Grant and Ray Putterill were given the nod ahead of Ashley Grimes and George Donnelly.
It was a slow start to the match at Spotland with both teams failing to test the opposition goal within the first quarter of an hour.
The two sides enjoyed plenty of possession, but couldn’t make the most of the ball in what was an equally matched opening period.
But with 15 minutes on the clock the game sprung into life as Marcus Holness had Burton Albion’s first opportunity of the half. Goalkeeper Josh Lillis into a fine reaction save to block the former Dale defenders shot on the line.
Holness’ effort certainly livened up the half, and just a minute later the ball fell nicely for Calvin Zola who struck a volley towards goal and over the bar.
Rochdale then had their first chance of the afternoon on 18 minutes as Bobby Grant tested goalkeeper Stuart Tomlinson from distance. He struck the ball sweetly but could only look on as it curled past the woodwork.
Two minutes later and Lillis was on hand again, this time to see out Matt Paterson who hit a low drive towards goal.
As the game continued, Rochdale failed to keep possession due a string of stray passes and despite Burton Albion attempting to take advantage of this, they failed to pressurise Lillis in the final third.
Dale then had two opportunities in quick succession. Bobby Grant’s free kick just outside of the area was saved by Tomlinson, before Ray Putterill’s effort, which was headed for goal, was blocked by the Burton defence inside the six yard box.
As the game approached the interval Zola’s powerful header went over the bar, while Putterill was denied by Adebola who got in the way of the pacey midfielder’s shot.
There were no Dale substitutions at the interval as Manager John Coleman opted to continue as was for the start of the second half.
Both teams started lively after the break but it was the visitors who opened the scoring on 52 minutes through Matt Paterson.
He curled the ball into the top right hand corner of the net from the edge of the 18 yard box following a fine lay-off from Zola.
With Burton a goal to the good, Rochdale began to press forward to no to avail as they failed to apply pressure in the final third. Putterill had an effort deflected up and over the bar, before skipper Peter Cavanagh’s low drive from distance curled past the upright.
With Dale finding it increasingly difficult to break down the Burton defence in what was a frustrating afternoon, Coleman opted to bolster his attacking option with the addition of a further two frontman. Ashley Grimes who had replaced Jason Kennedy on 66 minutes was joined on the field of play by George Donnelly and Craig Curran who replaced Putterill and Cavanagh.
But despite throwing everything at the Brewers’ goal in the closing period, Rochdale couldn’t find a way past Tomlinson.
It finished Rochdale 0-1 Burton Albion.