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Report | Dale 3-3 Portsmouth

7 April 2018

Rochdale were cruelly denied all three points in a pulsating 3-3 draw with Portsmouth at the Crown Oil Arena.

Dale took the lead three times in the game, but were held to a draw after an injury time own goal.

Bradden Inman put Dale ahead early on, before Brett Pitman sent the sides in level at the break.

Stephen Humphrys regained the lead for a second time, and after Pitman equalised again, Ian Henderson turned home from close range and looked to have secured Dale the victory.

However, two minutes into four added on, Done was unfortunate to divert the ball into his own net rushing back to defend away.

Stephen Humphrys came in for Ryan Delaney, as Keith Hill made one change to the side that ran out 2-0 winners over Bury in midweek.

It was the striker who had the first effort of the game, when his strike on the turn was deflected over the Portsmouth crossbar.

Pompey dangerman Pitman nodded over a back-post Gareth Evans cross as the opening period got off to a fast start, but it was Dale who broke the deadlock in the 14th minute.

Callum Camps turned the ball around the corner for Henderson, who in turn found Inman. With Matty Done on an overlapping run, Inman cut inside and rifled an effort into the bottom corner from the edge of the area.

Dale thought they had doubled their lead nine minutes later, when Joe Rafferty flicked on Inman’s corner at the near post. The flick looked goal bound, but as Henderson tapped over the line to make sure, he was judged to be offside.

The visitors took advantage of their let-off, and equalised three minutes later. Pitman held the ball up well and found Jamal Lowe on the counter, who drove into the area before squaring the ball the back-post, where Pitman turned home from close range.

Pompey were inches away from taking the lead moments later when Evans rattled the crossbar with a powerfully struck half-volley.

Dale regained their momentum after the half hour mark though, as Rafferty’s wicked cross forced Luke McGee to turn over his own crossbar, with Jim McNulty nodding over the resulting corner.

Ollie Rathbone saw an effort deflected wide, whilst Humphrys couldn’t quite make the most of another Calvin Andrew knock-down, as McGee punched clear before he could poke home.

Camps sent a free-kick over the crossbar from 35-yards, whilst the final chance of the half fell to Pitman, who turned a right-wing cross over Josh Lillis’ crossbar under pressure from McNulty.

It was a slow start to the second-half after the pulsating first period, but it soon came back to life when Dale regained the lead 12 minutes in.

Humphrys found space in the area and had the ball laid back to him. He took a touch out of his feet before curling an inch perfect effort into the far corner.

However, the lead only last five minutes, as Pitman struck again. Humphrys misjudged a headed clearance which was nodded back into the danger area, allowing Pitman to steal in at the near post and turn home beyond Lillis.

Dale responded well though, as Inman saw an effort deflected off the top of the crossbar, before Hill’s men took the lead for a third time.

Inman’s cross to the back post was nodded down by Andrew back across goal, where Henderson arrived to turn home from close range.

Hill introduced Joe Thompson and Ryan Delaney for Humphrys and Inman to try and see out the game, and Dale were minutes away from doing so, when the win was cruelly snatched away from them.

A high ball was flicked on into the area, where Pitman headed back across goal, and as Done was rushing back to defend away, he inadvertently turned the ball into the back of his own net.

It was incredibly harsh on Dale who deserved three points, but it is another point on the board and keeps Dale within a point of safety.

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