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Rochdale 1-0 Torquay Utd

14 September 2013

Rochdale recorded back to back victories after narrowly edging out Torquay United at Spotland.

Rochdale recorded back to back victories after narrowly edging out Torquay United at Spotland. 

Man of the match Ian Henderson’s second half goal proved enough in a tightly contested affair that either side in fairness could have won.

Rochdale manager Keith Hill made two changes to his starting line up with the inclusion of Javan Vidal for Rhys Bennett and Graham Cummins replacing the suspended Peter Vincenti.  Scot Hogan took a wider berth out on the right with Cummings and Donnelly pairing up top.

The first minute of the game brought a chance for either side with Torquay’s Billy Bodin trying his luck from 19 yards out just seconds into the game, but he managed to drag his shot wide of the mark.

Moments later Hogan did well down the right to swing a great cross into the box.  Fortunately for the Gulls, ‘keeper Martin Rice was wide awake to get a hand on the ball but he could only palm the shot into the feet of Henderson who was unlucky to see his 18 yard effort deflected wide of the target.

Scot Hogan was again proving a nuisance to the Gulls left back Kevin Nicholson just minutes later with another surging run forward.  Sadly for Dale and Hogan his dangerous low cross was blocked by the excellent Aaron Downes who went on to have a solid game for the Gulls.

Rochdale didn’t have everything their own way and Torquay certainly showed no signs of the weaknesses they exposed to Fleetwood seven days ago.  In fact they had the best opportunity of the first half to open the scoring though Karl Hawley but he squandered the chance volleying over from close range after good work from Bodin on the left.

The visitors continued to put Dale on the back foot and with 30 minutes played Torquay began to put the home side under a little pressure but despite some nervous moments inside the Dale area Hill’s side kept them out.

With a few minutes to go before the break Rochdale looked to the referee Mark Haywood with an appeal for a penalty.  Striker Scot Hogan broke down the right hand side before taking on Downes inside the box.  Hogan crashed to the ground under pressure from the recovering Downes and the referee looking to his assistant on the right waved away any appeals.

The second half began with Keith Hill’s side applying the pressure andwith pressure comes opportunity.

However despite Rochdale’s best efforts to find the back of Rice’s net with two excellent chances first from a Cummings shot deflected just wide nine minutes into the second half and then from the resulting corner headed by Lancashire forcing a brilliant save from Rice his goal remained intact.

Dale crafted another opportunity minutes later after another corner from the left was headed back across goal by Lancashire unfortunately for Hill’s charges Donnelly couldn’t steer his header from close range wide of ‘keeper Rice.

With 63 minutes on the clock the visitors began to create a little more in the way of chances for themselves.  Billy Bodin curled a wicked ball into the box that Downes powerfully headed goalwards, but Lillis was in the right place and made a comfortable save.

With 76 minutes played and marginally against the run of play Dale took the lead after a neat little one-two with Scot Hogan on the edge of the area put Henderson in the clear and he lifted the ball over the on rushing Martin Rice.

Rochdale could have doubled their had Rice not been alert to substitute Matt Done’s low near post drive but it stayed at one nil and despite a late and somewhat diluted surge from Torquay towards the end Keith Hill’s side took all three points leaving them ninth in the table.

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