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Match Reports

Report: Dale 1-1 Walsall

23 December 2017

Dale were denied victory by a late Walsall equaliser in a 1-1 draw, as Joe Thompson made his first appearance since beating cancer for a second time.

After a goalless first-half, Calvin Andrew broke the deadlock in the 63rd minute in Dale's 4,000th EFL .

Thompson was brought on eight minutes later to a standing ovation, and had a shot blocked on the line moments later.

However, as Dale looked to be heading for all three points, Maz Kouhyar’s strike stole a point for the visitors.

Keith Hill made one change from last weekend’s draw with Oxford United, as Jordan Williams replaced Steven Davies.

In an even but quiet opening period, it was the visitors who had the majority of the efforts at goal.

Joe Edwards saw a volley from outside the area headed over by Donervon Daniels, before a snap shot from the Walsall midfielder flew wide of the far post after it had broken for him inside the area.

Daniel Agyei also a saw curling effort fly wide of the far post, whilst Callum Camps and Calvin Andrew both had efforts blocked.

Dale came closest in the first half from a Camps cross, which had to be clawed away from under the crossbar by Saddlers goalkeeper Mark Gillespie.

Bradden Inman replaced Matty Done at the break and Dale began the second half strongly, with Andrew, Ollie Rathbone and Camps all seeing efforts fly over.

Josh Lillis had to make a fine stop from Kieron Morris’ header, turning the close range effort over the crossbar.

The resulting corner was sent back into the area, where Morris sent a half volley well over the crossbar.

Dale broke the deadlock in the 63rd minute, through Andrew. He took a touch inside of his marker, before having his first effort blocked. He fired goalwards a second time, bending the ball beyond the goalkeeper into the far corner.

There was a cheer just as loud as the goal celebration eight minutes later, when Thompson was introduced in place of Williams to a standing ovation inside the Crown Oil Arena.

He almost made a fairytale comeback, when he saw a shot from inside the six-yard box blocked on the line after Andrew’s shot from Rathbone’s square ball was also blocked.

Dale looked to be heading for all three points, however the visitor equalised just after the game entered stoppage time.

A ball in from the right was met first time by Kouhyar, who turned the ball home at the near post beyond Lillis to deny Dale victory. 


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