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Match Reports

Report: Dale 2-0 Middlesbrough

22 July 2017

Dale ran out 2-0 winners against Championship side Middlesbrough at the Crown Oil Arena, in the first of two home pre-season matches.

After a goalless first half, Dale took the lead through an own goal, when Daniel Ayala diverted a Jamie Allen free-kick into his own net.

Both sides had chances to grab the next goal, and Dale's second fell to Ollie Rathbone when he finished off a great move with three minutes remaining.

Josh Lillis started in goal, with a back four of Reece Brown, Harrison McGahey, Jimmy McNulty and Mark Kitching. Callum Camps and Jamie Allen played as a midfield two, with Ollie Rathbone on the left and Andy Cannon on the right. Jordan Williams played behind Ian Henderson up front.

Summer signing Williams had the first effort of the match, with a left footed shot from outside the area which flew over the crossbar.

Camps’ fizzed a free-kick wide from almost 40 yards, before Boro’s Adam Clayton swung in a free-kick on the angle which Lillis did well to hold.

A nice move down the right side led to Brown crossing for Williams, whose shot was blocked at source by a Boro defender. The ricochet fell to Cannon, who turned brilliantly before his effort was held by Connor Ripley.

Cannon then fired over from 25 yards, before efforts from Martin Braithwaite and Adama Traore were held by Lillis.

The final effort of the half fell to Kitching, who fired wide from outside the area after coming into a central position from left back.

The deadlock was broken six minutes into the second half, when Daniel Ayala put through his own net. Allen’s whipped free-kick was misjudged by Ayala, who diverted past his own goalkeeper.

Kitching was replaced by A Trialist, shortly before Boro’s record signing Britt Assombalonga headed a Clayton free-kick wide.

He then headed over a Clayton corner after stealing a march at the near post.

Williams and Camps were replaced by Brad Inman and Calvin Andrew, shortly before Henderson needed to be replaced when he picked up a head injury. He was replaced by Steven Davies, who almost instantly fired a free-kick into the wall before having the follow up well blocked.

Braithwaite did well to break into the area on the left side, before his low ball across was blocked by the legs of Lillis and cleared.

Dale’s second came three minutes from time via a very well crafted move. Substitute Andrew won a flick on to fellow sub Inman, who laid a perfectly weighted ball to Rathbone. He took a touch before finishing calmly with his left foot past Ripley.

There was almost a third for Dale before the finish, when Davies fired an excellent ball across the face of goal. Rathbone and Andrew were close to getting a touch, and the ball eventually fell to Inman who forced Ripley into tipping over the bar.

 


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