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Match Reports

Report | Dale 3-1 Scunthorpe United

23 March 2019

Rochdale made it seven points from three games under Brian Barry-Murphy with a 3-1 win over Scunthorpe United.

Aaron Wilbraham had put Dale ahead after 14 minutes, but Jordan Hallam equalised three minutes later for the visitors.

Kgosi Ntlhe netted his second in three games to restore the lead after the break, before Wilbraham doubled his tally nine minutes later, as Dale recorded a well-deserved victory.

There were three changes to the side from the draw with Oxford United ten days previously, with Ethan Ebanks-Landell, Matty Done and Aaron Wilbraham all returning to the starting eleven.

The visitors created the first chances of the game, with Funso Ojo turned a right-wing cross wide of the far post, before James Perch volleyed over from three-yards out when he should have scored.

Dale grew into the game and Wilbraham saw a header from a Ryan McLaughlin cross held by Scunthorpe goalkeeper Jak Alnwick, before the Dale striker broke the deadlock in the 14th minute.

Done pressure Rory McArdle into a poor header back to his own goalkeeper and picked up on the loose ball to square for Wilbraham, who took a touch before firing a composed into the bottom corner.

However, the visitors were level within three minutes, when Joe Bunney’s loose pass to Jim McNulty was latched on to by Hallam, who finished clinically from just inside the area.

Perch curled an effort narrowly over from outside the area before Ebanks-Landell produced a fine last-ditch tackle to deny Hallam, who was one-on-one.

The defender had a header well held at the other end after Ollie Rathbone turned a corner back into a dangerous area, whilst he then fired wide from 20-yards.

Ian Henderson and Wilbraham sent headers off target either side of the half-time interval, but inside the opening six minutes of the second period Dale restored their lead.

A corner was cleared as far as Rathbone, who saw a shot from the edge of the area deflected into the path of Ntlhe, who swept home from the edge of the six-yard box.

And on the stroke of the hour, the lead was doubled, when Wilbraham headed home McLaughlin’s cross at the back post from close range for his second of the game.

Andy Lonergan prevented the visitors from halving the deficit almost immediately, parrying Harrison McGahey’s cross before getting up quickly to save Kyle Wooton’s shot with his legs.

Done saw a low effort save after a lung-busting run forward, before sending another effort over from 20-yards.

Henderson had the ball in the back of the net, dispatching home from Rathbone’s through ball, but he was flagged offside.

Man of the Match Wilbraham was replaced late on to a standing ovation, and Dale held on to the two-goal cushion to move to within a point of safety.


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