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Doncaster Rovers 0-2 Rochdale: Report

21 November 2015

Dale were 2-0 winners at the Keepmoat Stadium thanks to a late brace from Ian Henderson.

A goalless first half was followed by a superb second half performance from Dale. Henderson curled one to the far corner after a fast counter attack with six minutes of normal time remaining, before making sure of the points with a goal deep into stoppage time.
Keith Hill made five changes from the defeat at home to Wigan Athletic last weekend. Joel Castro Pereira, after signing on loan for a second time this week, came in for Josh Lillis. Oliver Lancashire, Donal McDermott, Tom Kennedy and Henderson all returned to the starting eleven, as Ashley Eastham, Scott Tanser, Nathaniel Mendez-Laing and Michael Rose dropped to the bench.
It was a bitterly cold afternoon at the Keepmoat Stadium, but Dale were the brighter side in the opening exchanges. Andy Cannon’s left foot shot from distance went wide before Joe Bunney’s flick on from a McDermott cross looped over the crossbar.
The home side worked their way into the game though, and came close to taking the lead twice in succession. Conor Grant worked his way into a position to strike a half volley at goal which was held well by Castro Pereira. Cedric Evina’s cross was then sliced wide by Andy Williams when he found a good position in the area.
The remainder of the half was a quiet affair, with Dale carving out the best chance just three minutes before the break. Bunney’s ball over the top was latched onto by McDermott, and with home goalkeeper Thorsten Stuckmann off his line, the Irishman tried a lob which just dropped the wrong side of the post.
Castro Pereira had to be alert as the first half entered two minutes of stoppage time, when he got down low to his right to tip an effort from Williams around the post to keep the game scoreless heading into the break.
As in the first half, it was Dale who started the brighter of the two sides as they forced a succession of corners which caused problems for the Doncaster defence. McDermott had an effort from range which fell harmlessly wide, whilst Bunney had a curling effort deflected but not awarded as a corner.
Castro Pereira was called into action for the first time in the second period when he plucked a Williams header out of the air before setting up a Dale counter attack. He found Callum Camps with a long kick who played in Bunney, but the striker’s shot was well blocked out for a corner.
Again Dale pressed with a couple of corner kicks, before McDermott had an effort from the edge of the area saved by Stuckmann.
There was a long stoppage when Doncaster substitute Keshi Anderson had to be taken off on a stretcher after what looked like a nasty injury.
Dale had the first chance as the match got going again, Henderson’s shot on the turn flying over after a McDermott cross from the left.
Calvin Andrew and Mendez-Laing were introduced for Peter Vincenti and Bunney as Keith Hill tried to find a winner for his side.
And with six minutes remaining it looked like they had through Henderson. A great counter attack saw McDermott find Camps, who played a first time ball out to Henderson on the left. Last season’s top scorer had plenty of time to set himself and curl an effort to the far top corner.
Rose came on for Camps immediately afterwards as Dale looked to see out their lead, which they would need to do through five minutes of added time. 
There were a few chances for the home side to get the ball into the Dale area but the defence held solid, and Henderson made it two for himself and his side right at the death when McDermott played the ball across the face of goal.
It made sure of all three points and secured Dale’s second away win of the season. 
We travel to Gillingham on Tuesday, with full live commentary on Dale Player.

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