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Rochdale 2-3 Manchester United: Lancashire Senior Cup

9 September 2015

Rochdale bow out of the Lancashire Senior Cup at the first round stage following a 3-2 defeat to Manchester United.

In an entertaining game at Ewen Fields, United opened up a two goal lead through Ashley Fletcher, before Lewis Alessandra halved the deficit with a brilliant strike on the stoke of half time.
Fletcher netted from the spot a minute after the break to claim his hattrick, before Rose scored a Dale penalty shortly after the hour. 
A strong Rochdale side lined-up against United’s under-21s, with the Dale squad made up of first team players.
There was a welcome return for Matty Lund, who featured for the first time since sustaining a knee injury in pre-season, while Nathaniel Mendez-Laing, who joined Dale on a one-year-deal a fortnight ago, was also in action. 
United stated the match brightly, leaving Rochdale on the back foot during the opening exchanges and the visitors capitalised on their early dominance in the 10th minute when they opened the scoring.
A pass was intercepted, allowing United into a dangerous position inside the area and Ashley Fletcher finished low into the bottom corner.
Rochdale made their first substitution in the moments after as Brian Barry-Murphy replaced Rhys Bennett. 
Dale had their first couple of sights on goal shortly after United took the lead. 
Michael Rose delivered towards the back post for the in-coming Camps, who was unable to make a connection, and could only watch on as the ball went behind.
Four minutes later and Mendez-Laing had an effort kept out at the near post after latching onto the end of a pass from Noble-Lazarus and beating his marker on the edge of the area. 
But despite Dale making their way into the game, United doubled their advantage in the 18th minutes as Fletcher netted his second of the evening. 
After Johny Diba was left stranded on the edge of the area, the young forward struck into the unguarded net. 
Dale enjoyed plenty of the ball during the remainder of the half but were forced to be patient as the resolute United defence ensured their goalkeeper, Dean Henderson, had little to do. 
In the 34th minute Dale were able to work an opening, but Camps dragged his shot wide of the upright.
And five minutes from the interval Rochdale probably had their best opportunity of the half so far after Mendez-Laing found Lewis Alessandra on the edge of the area. His effort was beaten away by the ‘keeper.
Dale’s patience paid off, however, as Alessandra halved the deficit with a stunning strike on the stroke of half-time. The powerful effort from the edge of the area left Henderson with no chance and gave Dale a life line heading into the break.
HT: Rochdale 1-2 Manchester United 
Dale were back in the game but they were dealt a blow just sixty seconds after the restart when United were awarded a penalty for a foul on Cameron Borthwick-Jackson. The ball appeared to have been won, but the referee was quick to point to the spot.
Fletcher, who was on his hattrick, stepped up to take the resultant penalty and made no mistake from 12-yards to re-instate their two goal advantage.  
In the 50th minute, Alessandra came close to adding his second of the night. After Henderson came well off his line, Alessandra scooped the ball towards the unguarded target from outside the area, but could only find the side netting. 
Shortly after the hour mark Dale were awarded a spot-kick of their own. Mendez-Laing showed incredible pace as he charged forward into the 18-yard box before being felled.
Rose netted from the spot, striking low into the corner. 
Rochdale were on top, but again, United were defending strongly. Dale kept probing, though, and started to see the benefits of their hard-work as they had plenty of opportunities to find the goal that would take the match to penalties. 
In the 75th minute, Bunney was kept out by the post, before Dale had a goal chalked off.
After a sweeping move forward, Billy Hasler-Cregg, who had just been introduced from the bench, found the back of the net from a Bunney cross, only to have it ruled out for offside. 
Camps saw a driving effort deflected narrowly wide of the upright, before having an effort from the edge of the area, which looked destined for the back of the net, diverted away by a United header.  
With a minute of the game remaining, Camps was again kept out, this time by Henderson, who got down low to beat away his effort. 
In stoppage time, Alessandra had an effort tipped over the bar. 
It finished Rochdale 2, Manchester United 3. 

Dale XI: Diba, Eastham, Lund, Tanser, Rose, Bennett, Camps, Alessandra, Bunney, Mendez-Laing (NML), Noble-Lazarus (RNL). Subs v United: Collis, Bell, Hooper, Hasler-Cregg, Murphy.

Manchester United XI: Henderson, Varela, Tuanzebe, Love, Jackson, Goss, Redmond, Riley, Harrop, Weir, Fletcher. Subs: El Fitouri, Rashford, Rathbone, McTominay

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