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Match Reports

Report: Rochdale 3-0 Port Vale

4 April 2017

Three first half goals secured a comfortable 3-0 victory over Port Vale at the Crown Oil Arena.

The visitors were reduced to ten men inside 20 minutes, when Danny Pugh brought down Matthew Lund as last man.

Dale took just 13 minutes to break down the ten men when Lund poked home at the back post, before a curling effort from Donal McDermott and an Ian Henderson penalty rounded off the scoring before half-time.

McDermott and Ollie Rathbone came in for Steven Davies and Jamie Allen, who both dropped to the bench.

The game almost started with a bang when Henderson nearly pounced on a weak back pass to the goalkeeper, and that seemed to set the tone for a first half which was dominated by the home side.

Some great football almost led to the opener 15 minutes in, when McDermott found Joe Rafferty in a promising position on the right, who drove the ball into the area. Mendez-Laing made contact with it, but scuffed his shot well wide.

Port Vale’s only chance of the first half fell to Rigino Cicillia. A corner was flicked into his path and he tried an overhead kick which drifted just over the crossbar. It was from the resulting goal kick though in which events really turned in favour of Dale.

Conrad Logan’s quick thinking and superb long pass forward was brought down impeccably by Henderson, who turned and played an inch perfect through ball to Lund. As the midfielder charged towards goal, he was brought down by last man Pugh just outside the area, with the Vale man seeing straight red.

The visitors tried to sit in and hold on to what they had, but they could only do so for 13 minutes. From inside the area, Rafferty pulled the ball back to Rathbone, whose shot fell to the feet of Lund at the back post. He took a touch before finishing from close range to put Dale into the lead.

There was a long stoppage following the goal after an injury to Vale’s Kjell Knops, which led to seven minutes stoppage time at the end of the half. With two minutes of the original 45 remaining, Dale doubled their lead through McDermott.

Rafferty was involved again as he laid the ball back to McDermott, who set himself on the edge of the area before curling a sublime effort to the back post and over the outstretched arm of Deniz Mehmet.

And Dale took full advantage of the lengthy stoppage time when they scored a third before the break. Mendez-Laing was brought down inside the area by Ryan Taylor, and Henderson stepped up to take penalty, sending Mehmet the wrong way as he powered his spot kick into the bottom right corner.

The Dale skipper almost added another three minutes after the break, when he latched onto a deflected through ball from McDermott, lifting the ball onto the roof of the net via a slight touch from Mehmet.

Logan was forced into his first save the night shortly afterwards, beating away a powerful free-kick from Taylor.

McDermott and Henderson cleared the roof of the Sandy Lane stand with consecutive efforts as Dale pushed on looking for a fourth.

Rathbone and McDermott, the two changes from Saturday’s starting line-up, were replaced by Allen and Reuben Noble-Lazarus respectively, before Steven Davies replaced Henderson in the final minute of the 90.

Davies had the game’s final chance of the game when he met Rafferty’s right wing cross, but directed the header wide of the target.

It was the first half which goals which did the damage though, as Dale ran out a comfortable 3-0 winners.

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