Saturday 19th April 1969, Rochdale 0-0 Chesterfield
Six games to go.
Rochdale’s promotion winning side had just over a handful of matches left to play when they hosted Chesterfield at Spotland on this day 50 years ago.
A 4-1 home win over Chester on the Monday night ensured that they regained third spot in the table, heading into this weekend’s fixture.
The division was extremely tight, with as many as nine teams all still in the promotion hunt - from Chester in 9th on 43 points to league leaders Doncaster Rovers on 54 points. Donny had played more games than any other side and were five points ahead of second placed Colchester United and six points clear of Len Richley’s side because of that.
From the highs of the big win earlier that week, came a frustrating 0-0 draw against the Spireites.
Geoff Whitworth, The Rochdale Observer’s resident reporter, was less than complimentary in his assessment of the game, although it should be noted that Steve Melledew did have a goal ruled out six minutes from time that, for a reason that remains unclear.
‘Chesterfield goalkeeper Alan Humphreys supplied Rochdale with an excuse for dropping a point at Spotland on Saturday. They would be wise not to parade it,’ wrote Whitworth.
‘If half-a-dozen of Humphrey’s saves were in the brilliant class, far too much of Rochdale’s work was a long way from being so.
‘The team as a whole had a bad afternoon. Faced by a lesser goalkeeper they would have got through – but on a wing and a prayer rather than with the usual skill and confidence.’
Although critical of the performance, he did write that that ‘the second half was better for Rochdale for there was more variety in their approach work.’
Dale XI | Harker, Smith, Parry, Ashworth, Ryder, Leech, Rudd, Whitehead, Buck, Melledew, Butler. Jenkins replaced Whitehead after 80 minutes
Att: 7669 HT: 1-1
Rochdale now need to wait Monday 28th April for their next fixture, as the FA Cup final takes place in a weeks' time. Can you remember who won the famous trophy 50 years ago?