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Friday Flashback: August 31st 1968

31 August 2018

This season marks 50 years since Rochdale secured their first ever promotion. As part of a special Friday Flashback feature, we’re delving into the archives throughout the year to take a look back at how this was achieved…

Rochdale faced a trip to Port Vale on August 31st 1968, looking to continue their unbeaten start to the season. 

They went into the match on the back of a 1-1 draw with Brentford on the Monday, having become the first team to gain a point at Griffin Park that season.

Dale stretched their unbeaten run to five with a share of the spoils at Vale Park, recording the same scoreline.

Rochdale went ahead on 36 minutes, when Steve Melledew netted his fourth of the season. From Derek Ryder’s flighted ball down the middle, Melledew was in on goal and found the top left-hand corner of the net from just inside the area.

But a Roy Chapman second half strike from a narrow angle, 10 minutes after the interval, saw the home side secure a point.

The Rochdale Observer wrote: ‘The result was both satisfactory and disappointing. Satisfaction came from Rochdale making the away points total three from as many games. There was disappointment that they could not improve on the average after holding a 1-0 lead for close on 20 minutes.

‘Against opponents who relied almost exclusively on the attacking talent of one man, Roy Chapman, Rochdale failed to find an answer to the solitary problem and also failed to find an answer to the solitary problem and also failed to raise their own forward game to a consistently high level in that period when they were in a position to make the game safe.’

The Dale Line-Up : Harker, Radcliffe, Parry, Smith, Ryder, Leech, Ashworth, Whitehead, Melledew, Jenkins, Rudd.

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