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Rochdale 2-1 MK Dons: Report

1 August 2015


A Donal McDermott stunner gave Dale a 2-1 win over MK Dons at Spotland in their final pre-season friendly.
Dean Bowditch put MK Dons ahead seven minutes before the break, before Henderson was denied by the inside of both posts with an effort four minutes later.
Reuben Noble-Lazarus equalised just after the hour mark, before McDermott scored the winner seven minutes from time with a stunning effort.
Josh Lillis started in goal, with a back four of Andy Cannon, Oliver Lancashire, Jimmy McNulty and Tom Kennedy. Jamie Allen and Callum Camps were sitting as a two in the centre of midfield, with Lewis Alessandra, Calvin Andrew and Peter Vincenti supporting Ian Henderson up top.
It was Henderson that had the first chance of the game just after a minute in. Lillis punted a long ball forward over the top of the MK Dons defence, but Henderson could only lift the ball over Martin and just wide.
The game started very brightly in the pouring rain over Spotland with both sides playing the ball about on a slick pitch.
Sam Gallagher had two good chances for the visitors, first with a header from a corner that he sent just over the crossbar, before a turn and shot from close range flew just wide of Lillis’ left post.
Henderson had another effort that was agonisingly close in the ninth minute. The ball ricocheted into his path on the left of the penalty area, and he sent a curling, looping effort towards the back post, which landed on the roof of the net.
As the half wore on the visitors gained more control and were testing Dale with their slick passing and movement, although without carving out a clear chance until seven minutes before half time when they took the lead.
After a good move the ball ricocheted into the path of Bowditch, who slotted home neatly first time into the bottom corner.
1-0 was a fair reflection on the first half, although Henderson came agonisingly close again to getting on the scoresheet. Vincenti found Andrew on the right with a lovely through ball, which the Dale number nine squared to Henderson. He sent the ball goalwards but hit the inside of both posts before the ball was cleared via Martin’s head and out for a corner.
Alessandra also came close to equalising before the break, when his left foot effort was tipped over by Martin as it looked to be creeping under the crossbar.
Keith Hill made two subs at half time, with Andrew and Alessandra off for Joe Bunney and Reuben Noble-Lazarus.
The rain came down in droves again in time for the start of the second half, but the chances didn’t come for either side.
Henderson had a goal disallowed for offside, after Kennedy had sent in an inch perfect cross for him to head home.
Cannon went off injured a few minutes later, with Scott Tanser coming on to replace him.
Bowditch and Samir Carruthers both had efforts that flew well over from distance, before the visitors made five subs just after the hour mark.
They were on the field for less than a minute when Noble-Lazarus struck an equaliser for Dale. Camps played it into Henderson who laid the ball off to the Dale number eleven. He struck an excellent effort which swerved wickedly past Martin.
Nyal Bell and Michael Rose were introduced shortly after for Henderson and Allen.
Bell had three great chances to put Dale ahead after coming on. The first came about after Noble-Lazarus found Vincenti on the left who played the ball across for Bell. His first effort was saved by the legs of the goalkeeper, before he sliced the rebound well wide. The third came moments later when he intercepted a slack pass, but his weak effort was easily saved.
Rose had a strike from around 40 yards which Martin saved comfortably down to his left, before McDermott had an effort from distance which did find the back of the net.
Bell’s knock down found its way to McDermott in the centre of the pitch 25 yards out. He took a touch an unleashed a swerving, dipping shot which had Martin rooted and nestled in the left side of the goal.
Bell was looking lively up top and curled an effort just wide of the far post as Dale looked for a third.
Noble-Lazarus struck a great effort in the final action of the game, and Dale’s pre-season. All focus is on the opening game of the league season at home to Peterborough next Saturday.

Dale: Lillis, Cannon, Lancashire, McNulty, Kennedy, Allen, Camps, Vincenti, Alessandra, Henderson, Andrew.
Subs: Diba, Eastham, Noble-Lazarus, McDermott, Tanser, Barry-Murphy, Rose, Bunney, Bell.

MK Dons: Martin, Lewington, Spence, Kay, Walsh, Potter, Carruthers, Hall, Bowditch, Reeves, Gallagher.
Subs: Cropper, Baker, Church, Powell, Rasulo, Jennings, Tilney.

Report by Greg Jones

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