FA Cup action rolled into Spotland twice during January, producing a win over Nottingham Forest and an excellent display against Stoke City.
There were also league wins over Bradford City and Crawley Town, and a draw at the Ricoh Arena.
The month started with a third round FA Cup tie against Forest on January 3rd, with Manager Keith Hill naming a youthful squad for the match. Six Academy graduates were named in the squad to face the Championship side, with four starting the match – Jamie Allen, Callum Camps, Joel Logan and Scott Tanser, two of which were making their first starts of the season.
The side, which had an average age of just 22, progressed to the fourth round of the competition with a well-deserved 1-0 win over Forest. Peter Vincenti’s first half penalty saw Dale reach this stage of competition in consecutive seasons for the first time in the club’s history.
Rochdale made the trip to Coral Windows Stadium a week later and a stoppage time winner from Calvin Andrew sealed all three points for Dale against Bradford City. Vincenti converted an Ian Henderson spot kick that came back off the crossbar, after home goalkeeper Jordan Pickford had been sent off for bringing down Matt Done in the area. Jon Stead equalised just after the half hour mark before half-time. The game looked like it would end in stalemate, but Andrew rose highest deep into stoppage time to secure a dramatic win.
Click HERE to watch the goals.
Rochdale then made it three wins from three in 2015 as they ran out deserved 4-1 winners over Crawley Town at Spotland – a match which went ahead thanks to the sterling efforts of around 40 supporters, who worked tirelessly alongside Dale’s ground staff for over three hours removing snow from the pitch covers.
Keith Hill’s side took a 2-0 lead into the interval after dominating the first half – Scott Tanser and Ian Henderson with the goals. The visitors proved more of a threat after the break and halved the deficit through Marin Elliot, but a comfortable Dale went on to net two late goals. Henderson netted his second of the afternoon, while Andrew got his name on the score-sheet for a consecutive week.
You can view the goals HERE.
Over a week later and Rochdale’s FA Cup exploits came to an end, despite a spirited and battling effort against Premier League side Stoke City at Spotland. Dale were excellent in the fourth round tie, but were undone by clinical finishing as the visitors recorded a 4-1 win – a score line which didn’t tell the whole tale.
A wonderful first half volley from Bojan gave Stoke the lead, before Stephen Ireland doubled their advantage early in the second half. Victor Moses showed power and composure to fire home from an acute angle to open up a three goal advantage. Rhys Bennett netted a more than deserved Dale goal late in the game, but any hopes of a dramatic come-back faded as the clock ticked on, and it was the Potters who went on to add to their tally as Jonathan Walters rounded off the scoring in the dying seconds of the match.
Dale went unbeaten in the league during January as they finished the month with a 2-2 draw at Coventry City’s Ricoh Arena. Dominic Samuel had given the home side the lead midway through the first half, before Callum Camps scored a cool curling effort to equalise three minutes after the half hour mark. Sanmi Odelusi gave Coventry the lead just four minutes later, but Andrew, who was in fine goal scoring form, headed home midway through the second half to earn Dale a point.
You can watch all four goals on our YouTube channel HERE.