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Match Reports

Report | Dale 3-2 Middlesbrough

24 July 2018

Ollie Rathbone’s 90th minute winner sealed a 3-2 comeback win over Middlesbrough at the Crown Oil Arena.

Goals from Ashley Fletcher and Harry Chapman either side of half-time had put Boro two goals to the good, before Dale launched a comeback.

Calvin Andrew halved the deficit, before Bradden Inman equalised five minutes from time.

Dale twice came close to a winner, before Ollie Rathbone’s goal in added time sealed a fourth win out of four for Keith Hill’s side.

Dale started the brighter of the two teams, with Ian Henderson’s deflected shot looping into the arms of Boro goalkeeper Dimi Konstantopoulos, but it was the visitors who took the lead 13 minutes in.

Lewis Wing beat a Dale defender on the touchline before crossing for Fletcher, who nodded downwards into the far bottom corner to break the deadlock.

Middlesbrough had a couple of opportunities to double their lead in the moments after, with Harry Chapman firing wide and Britt Assombalonga forcing Josh Lillis into a fingertip save, diverting his effort onto the post.

Dale dominated possession in the opening 45 minutes, with Andy Cannon’s header causing panic in the Boro area, before Joe Thompson’s low ball across was scuffed goalwards by Calvin Andrew.

Julien de Sart fired an effort from range wide of the post after picking up on a loose Dale ball in midfield, whilst Andrew had a header from a Jordan Williams corner cleared off the line by Assombalonga.

Dale finished the half strongly, as Dan Adshead’s first-time pass found Cannon on the right, whose pull-back was fired goalwards by Jordan Williams. His effort was blocked, as was Henderson’s follow-up from the edge of the area.

The Dale skipper then latched on to a Thompson knockdown from a Jordan Williams cross, but saw his effort well blocked and deflected over the crossbar.

The visitors began the second-half brightly, as Assombalonga fired off the legs of Lillis, before they doubled their lead.

Ashley Fletcher’s run and pass found Chapman, who set himself inside the area before firing in off the far post.

Dale responded well, with Thompson forcing Boro’s substitute goalkeeper Connor Ripley into a fine save after Andrew had flicked on James Finnerty’s cross, before Bradden Inman had a shot blocked and Callum Camps sent a volley wide from range.

Andrew then nodded over a Jordan Williams corner, before he did pull a goal back midway through the period.

Bradden Inman worked a way to the byline, standing up a cross to the back post, where Andrew rose highest to nod home.

Kgosi Ntlhe then met a Cannon cross at the back post, but his looping header dropped inches wide of the far post.

Boro substitute Alex Pattison forced Lillis into a comfortable save, shortly before Dale equalised five minutes from time.

Aaron Wilbraham applied pressure to the visiting defence, forcing the ball to ricochet into the feet of Inman, who finished calmly from just inside the area.

From then on it was all Dale, who came agonisingly close to a winner twice with two minutes remaining, before eventually clinching the win in added time.

Andrew brought down Jim McNulty’s free-kick on the edge of the area before seeing a half-volley superbly tipped around the post by Ripley.

The resulting corner was only partially cleared as far as Adshead who nodded back into the area, where Ntlhe’s stunning overhead kick flew inches wide.

Dale forced another corner in added time which was sent into the area by Inman. After bouncing around in the area, Ripley was forced into another fine save, but Rathbone followed up to smash the rebound into the roof of the net and seal victory.

 

Dale XI | Lillis, McGahey (Finnerty 58’), MJ Williams (McNulty 58’), Ntlhe, Cannon, Adshead, Perkins (Camps 45’), Jordan Williams (Rathbone 67’), Henderson (Inman 58’), Thompson (Wilbraham 78’), Andrew.

Subs | Wade, Rafferty, McNulty, Camps, Rathbone, Wilbraham, Inman, Finnerty, Morley, Gillam.


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