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JPT: Rochdale 0-1 Walsall: Report

7 October 2014

Rochdale exited the Johnstone's Paint Trophy at the second round stage of the competition on Tuesday evening following a narrow defeat to Walsall.

A first half goal from Mathieu Manset separated the two sides.

There were four changes to the team that faced Barnsley at the weekend with Ashley Eastham, Bastien Hery, Andy Cannon and Tom Kennedy coming into the side in place of Olly Lancashire, Stephen Dawson, Matty Lund and Scott Tanser. And there was a welcome sighting of summer signing, Jack Muldoon, was in the squad for the first time since picking up an injury during pre-season, starting on the bench along with first-year scholar, Kisimba Kisimba.

Much of the early running came from Rochdale, working superbly out from defence and pushing forward as a team. This allowed Ian Henderson to win a free kick 30 yards out after he went on a driving run at the Walsall defence, drawing a clumsy trip. Henderson took the resulting free-kick himself, wrapping his foot around the ball superbly to force the keeper to tip the ball onto his crossbar at full stretch.

Another good run from the back, this time by Vincenti created another chance for Rochdale. Walsall were caught out On the attack as the ball broke to Vincenti on the edge of the Rochdale box. His powerful run couldn't be caught by the back tracking red shirts and he was able to release a shot from the edge of the Walsall area, but it was narrowly over the crossbar.  

A quick free kick on the right hand side of the pitch created the next chance for the Dale as Tom Kennedy released Done who elected to cut back into his left foot before delivering a delicious ball swinging in to the far post. His ball was headed back across goal but under pressure, Walsall were eventually able to scramble the ball away from danger.

Against the run of play, Walsall opened the  scoring through Mathieu Manset. Ashley Grimes found himself in space on the edge of the area and looked up to see Manset making a run into the box. The ball was perfect into the run of His teammate who's first time poke towards goal found the smallest of gaps past the on-rushing Logan and into the bottom corner of the goal.

Rochdale came within inches of finding the equaliser almost immediately from a corner ball. The ball from the left corner was whipped in by Jamie Allen towards the head of Peter Vincenti who looked to flick the ball into the far corner. With this effort seemingly heading narrowly wide, Done was on hand to head the ball back across the despairing reach of the goalkeeper and towards goal, but Andy Taylor was awake to volley the ball off the goal line and retain Walsall's lead.

HALF TIME: Rochdale 0-1 Walsall

With ten minutes of the second half played Jack Muldoon came on to make his debut in place of Andy Cannon, as he looked to get his season underway after suffering an injury at the beginning of pre-season.

As Dale looked to find the equaliser they saw themselves in plenty of possession with Walsall sitting off. It was this backing off that opened up a chance for Henderson as the long ball came over the top and sat up in front of the Rochdale captain. With a line of red shirts backing away from him he looked to hit a bouncing ball towards goal. His shot had the power, just not the direction to find the target with the goalkeeper diving to make sure.

A quick move down the right hand side opened up another chance for Rochdale and for Peter Vincenti. A smart ball put Muldoon away on the right wing who's cross found the feet of Vincenti on the edge of the Walsall box. After wriggling himself into space he was able to poke a ball towards goal but, unbalanced, he was unable to get the power needed to challenge the goalkeeper, who collected the ball comfortably.

As the game ticked over into the first of five minutes of added time, a chance presented itself to the feet of Ian Henderson after he got on the end of a Calvin Andrew knockdown. Upon receiving the ball he moved to the edge of the box before curling and effort on target. Richard O'Donnell In the Walsall goal matched it however, with a strong save to parry the ball around the post. From the resulting corner Dale maintained a strong presence around the Walsall box, but they remained strong and Rochdale were unable to find a way through for the equaliser.

FULL TIME: Rochdale 0-1 Walsall

Attendance: 1,156

Man of the Match: Jamie Allen

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