Replay at Spotland after goalless draw at Sixfields…
Rochdale’s FA Cup first round tie v Northampton Town at Sixfields finished goalless on Saturday, meaning a replay at Spotland will be required to determine who will progress to the second round of the competition.
Dale played the majority of the match with ten men after Ian Henderson was shown a straight red card after just 15 minutes. Despite having a man less, Rochdale had opportunities to win the match, but were denied by the woodwork twice.
There was one change to the eleven that started in Dale’s 3-0 win over Preston North End last Saturday after Jack O’Connell wasn’t given permission by his parent club to feature in the tie. Captain Olly Lancashire returned to the back four to take his place.
Rochdale had the first opportunity of the game on six minutes after Matty Done, who has just returned to the action after taking a knock to the nose, was immediately involved in a Dale attack. He sent a cross in towards the near post for the in-running Ian Henderson, who fired wide of the target at speed.
Seven minutes later and Michael Rose forced Matt Duke into a save as he powered a free-kick from distance down the ‘keeper’s throat. Duke parried away the thunderbolt away.
And soon after, Rochdale were reduced to ten men as Henderson received a straight red card for kicking out at Ben Tozer in the 15th minute.
Despite being a man to the advantage, the Cobblers resorted to keeping two banks of four behind the ball, which in turn made it difficult for Dale to carve an opening in a stuffy midfield. Dale enjoyed plenty of possession and were rarely tested at the back, but were limited in their clear cut opportunities.
However, in the ten minutes before the interval Rochdale began to get the better of the home side and had chances to open the scoring.
In the 39th minute Dale had their best chance of the half, following an excellent interchange between Michael Rose and Done, with the latter sending an excellent ball across the face of goal. Matty Lund arrived at pace, but was unable to get a decisive touch on it to send the ball beyond Duke.
In stoppage time, Stephen Dawson spotted Duke off his line and rattled an effort goal wards from just inside the Cobblers’ half. He beat the ‘keeper was denied by the underside of the bar.
HT: NORTHAMPTON TOWN 0-0 ROCHDALE
A minute after the re-start and the home side had their best opportunity of the match so far after Emile Sinclair was played in on goal. The brave and out-rushing Logan got down low to smother the ball before the frontman could take his final shot on goal.
In the 51st minute Duke pulled off an excellent save to keep out an unmarked Lancashire, who had powered an effort goalwards from a Rose corner. The stopper tipped the Dale skipper’s header over the bar.
The home side proved to be much more of a threat in the second half and pressured the Dale defence for spells during the half, however, they were limited in their final opportunities as the Dale defence stood strong. Most notably, Ivan Toney glanced a header wide of the target, before sending a headed effort straight into the hands of Logan.
Substitutions for Rochdale soon followed as Joe Rafferty firstly replaced Bastien Hery and Rose made way for Joe Bunney.
In the 77th minute, the Cobblers had an excellent opportunity to take the lead after an unmarked Toney got on the end of a Kaid Mohamed cross into the area. Toney could only head over the bar from six yards.
Four minutes later and Bunney delivered a dangerous ball across the face of goal for the waiting Rafferty. Unfortunately for Dale the ball was cut out before Rafferty could get on the end of it.
With 85 minutes clock Logan clawed an effort, which was destined for the bottom corner away, but it was Dale who came closest to finding the goal which would take them to the second round of the competition.
With just a minute of the normal 90 minute remaining, Eastham, who got on the end of a Scott Tanser free-kick, was denied by the post.
FT: Northampton Town 0-0 Rochdale