Rochdale were 1-0 winners over Oldham Athletic in a competitive behind-closed-doors friendly on Tuesday afternoon.
Alex Newby scored the goal in the victory at the Latics’ training ground, making it three pre-season wins from three for Brian Barry-Murphy’s men.
With both Rochdale and Oldham still at risk of a local lockdown, the Clubs were prevented from announcing the game beforehand, under the guidance of Greater Manchester Police, in order to reduce the likelihood of supporters attending the match.
New signing Gavin Bazunu was in net for Dale, and he produced the first save of the game, holding an effort from a Latics forward with 17 minutes on the clock.
Paul McShane headed wide from a corner, before Kwadwo Baah, in one-on-one, was snuffed out by the ‘keeper.
Danny Rowe’s 35-yard strike was held by Bazunu on the half hour, while Lund headed over from a Done corner in stoppage time.
HT | OLDHAM ATHLETIC 0-0
There was one Dale change at the break, as Jimmy Ryan replaced Matty Lund.
Rowe struck a powerful effort over from 20-yards three minutes into the second half, but it was Dale who came agonisingly close to breaking the deadlock soon after. Eventual goal scorer Newby saw his strike, aimed for the top corner, drop just inches wide.
Rowe forced Bazunu into a save with a long-range effort on 51 minutes, but the Manchester City loanee did well to push it away.
Despite the Latics’ early efforts in the second half, Dale dominated the majority of the period.
Baah and Aaron Morley both struck over, while Ryan had a shot blocked a short time later.
Rochdale’s break-through came in the 63rd minute, when Newby left the goalkeeper stranded, after lifting his free-kick from 25-yards up and over the wall.
After the goal, there were four substitutions. Ryan McLaughlin, McShane, Stephen Dooley and Newby were replaced by Jim McNulty, Jimmy Keohane, Harrison Hopper and Fabio Tavares. A short time later, Keaton Mulvery came on for Eoghan O'Connell.
Matty Done had a shot parried away, while Bazunu held a header from David Wheater before the game was out.
FT | OLDHAM ATHLETIC 0-1 ROCHDALE
With no supporters in attendance, the Ernie Cooksey Trophy was not competed for during today’s game, so it’ll stay at the Crown Oil Arena for another season.
At the request of Oldham Athletic, there will be no highlights made available from the match.
Dale starting XI | Bazunu, McLaughlin, McShane, O’Connell, Mialkowski, Lund, Morley, Dooley, Newby, Done, Baah.
Photo credit | Eddie Garvery