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Rochdale 2-2 Crewe Alex: Report

16 February 2016

Rochdale and Crewe Alexandra shared the spoils at Spotland on Tuesday night as the visitors came from behind to deny Rochdale all three points.

Dale raced into an early two goal lead thanks to Rhys Bennett and Joe Bunney, who netted in the opening six minutes of the match.

The Alex responded before the half was out, hitting a quick fire double. Marcus Haber halved the deficit before Ryan Seager levelled the scoring.

There were four changes to the side that lined-up against Millwall on Saturday. Joe Rafferty, Michael Rose, Rhys Bennett and Matty Lund started in place of Andy Cannon, Jamie Allen, Callum Camps and Calvin Andrew.

Rochdale got off to a perfect start, netting twice during the first six minutes of the game.

Rhys Bennett opened the scoring after just 90 seconds, getting on the end of a delightful Mendez-Laing delivery. He sent a looping header beyond Ben Garratt. 

Four minutes later, Joe Bunney doubled Dale’s advantage. Rochdale won the ball back from a Crewe Alex throw in, allowing Ian Henderson to deliver into the area. Bunney stabbed the ball into the back of the net from close range. 

With a quarter of an hour played Josh Lillis pulled off an excellent save to deny Ryan Seager. The forward headed down towards the bottom corner of the net and was kept out by the ‘keeper, who pushed the effort away.

The visitors then went on to net two quick fire goals to level the scoring.

Marcus Haber firstly halved the deficit with 24 minutes on the clock, as he finished from close range. He pounced on a cross from the right hand side, to hit home from three-yards.

Three minutes later and Crewe Alex were on level terms through Seager.

Inman pulled the ball back across the face of goal for Seager to slot home. 

On the half hour mark, the visitors had another opportunity on goal, as Inman delivered into the area. Zoumana Bakayogo could only head wide of the upright.

Soon after, the visitors were forced into their first change of the match as goal-scorer Seager was stretchered off. He was replaced by Callum Saunders. 

During the remaining minutes of the half, Dale came agonisingly close to restoring their lead through Mendez-Laing, but he could only look on as his volley rippled the side netting on its way past the upright.


The second half was just a minute old when Haber sent a header into the top netting, after the ball from an initial free-kick, which was cleared away, was sent back into the area.

Ten minutes later and Garratt was forced to get a hand behind a dangerous Mendez-Laing delivery across the face of goal. With Henderson waiting at the back post, it was important decision by the goalkeeper. 

Two Dale substitutions soon followed as Noble-Lazarus firstly replaced Mendez-Laing and Rhys Bennett then made way for David Syers. 

Crewe’s Oliver Turton had to be sure when he turned a Lund ball behind for a corner. After Rochdale hit the visitors on the break, Lund delivered across the face of goal, and with Syers loitering unmarked, the defender was forced to clear past his goalkeeper’s upright. It was a brave decision as Turton could easily have turned the ball into his own net. 

Soon after, Dale’s third and final substitution of the game followed as Bunney was replaced by Peter Vincenti. 

Rochdale continued to probed but Crewe Alex defended resolutely to limit clear cut opportunities. 

FT: Rochdale 2-2 Crewe Alexandra

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