Conrad Logan was the star man as Rochdale and Aldershot Town played out a goal-less draw in Sunday's’s FA Cup second round tie at the ESS Stadium.
The on loan Leicester City goalkeeper pulled off a string of excellent saves to keep the Shots at bay as they proved a threat for Dale’s depleted squad.
The sides will now meet again in a replay on Tuesday 16th December at Spotland to determine who will progress to the next round of the competition.
Manager Keith Hill’s preparations were hampered in the lead up to the game as the illness, which has been affecting the squad, showed no signs of relenting. With three more players falling ill overnight, Hill could only name five substitutes for the match and was forced to make five changes to the eleven that lined up against Oldham Athletic last weekend.
Rhys Bennett and Matty Lund were missing from the squad altogether, while Reuben Noble-Lazarus and Jack Muldoon were named on the bench. Michael Rose, Bastien Hery and Calvin Andrew were handed a start, as was Peter Vincenti, who made his first appearance since being side-lined with a knee injury in October. Jack O’Connell missed out as he was again ineligible for the tie. He was replaced by Dale Captain and former Shots defender, Olly Lancashire.
The home side started the match positively, but despite their early pressure, were only able to produce one effort goal as Brett Williams sent a shot well over the bar in the ninth minute.
Dale soon grew into the match, though, and after probing a couple of times, they had the first real opportunity on goal with 15 minutes on the clock. Rose’s initial effort was deflected into the path of Calvin Andrew, who was denied by the alert Phil Smith who had come off his line to close down the Dale forward.
The Shots had plenty of defending to do during the half, but they looked comfortable as Dale failed to pose too much of a threat in terms of clear cut chances created.
And with the home side looking to hit Rochdale on the counter attack, Dan Holman had two excellent opportunities in quick succession.
In the 38th minute, he only had Logan to beat, but after being put under pressure, he failed to make a clean connection, and the on loan ‘keeper came to collect. A minute later, he sent a low effort across the face of goal and narrowly wide of the upright.
Andrew had the last opportunity of the half, but he saw his effort smothered at the post by Smith.
HT: ALDERSHOT TOWN 0-0 ROCHDALE
Dale started the second half at pace, and shortly after the re-start they had opportunities in quick succession as they put the Shots under sustained pressure. The chances on goal all came from an initial set-piece on the left hand flank after Scott Tanser was upended.
Ashley Eastham got on the end of the free-kick, earning a corner as his flick on was deflected behind. The short corner routine saw Henderson’s effort from the edge of the area blocked, before Andrew headed just over the bar.
In the 56th minute, Rose left ‘keeper Smith rooted to the spot as he curled a free-kick goal-wards, but he could only watch on as it went narrowly wide of the target. Four minutes later, Vincenti had a volley saved by the legs of the ‘keeper.
Up the other end and Manny Oyeleke sent a curling effort just wide of the upright, before Logan produced an excellent save to deny Williams.
Two substitutions followed for Dale in a three minute period as Tomasz Cywka firstly replaced Hery in the 71st minute and Andrew made way for Muldoon in the 74th.
And eight minutes after his introduction, the on loan Blackpool midfielder saw an effort deflected into the hands of Smith. And the ‘keeper was on hand once again to keep to Dale out as he collected a Vincenti effort, which he has curled goal-wards from the edge of the area.
But it was the home side who finished the game with a flurry, making for a nervy end to the match from a Dale perspective. Creating the best of the opportunities in the closing stages, they could have netted the all-important winner if it hadn’t been for Logan.
In the 84th minute, Williams weaved his way through on goal, only having Logan to beat, but he screwed his shot across the face of goal.
Two minutes later, and a brave Logan firstly denied Williams as he got down low to brilliantly deal with the threat, before quickly getting to his feet to hit clear.
And in stoppage time he unbelievably kept out Wilson, whose effort looked destined for the back of the net, with a one handed save.
FT: ALDERHOT TOWN 0-0 ROCHDALE