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On This Day | Dale Play In FA Cup Fifth Round For First Time

17 February 2020

On this day 30 years ago, Dale played in the fifth round of the FA Cup for the first time in their history.

The reward was a trip to First Division side Crystal Palace.

Dale had seen off Marine, Lincoln City, Whitley Bay and Northampton Town in the opening four rounds.

Terry Dolan’s men were backed by an official 3,885 Dale supporters, although there were many claims that over 5,000 had made the trip to Selhurst Park.

Dale spent most of the game on the back foot against their top-flight opponents, but had goalkeeper Keith Welch to thank for an inspired display.

He couldn’t prevent the Eagles from breaking the deadlock in the 62nd minute, when Mark Bright flicked on an Andy Gray throw, allowing Phil Barber to sweep home at the back post for the only goal of the game.

Dale’s Peter Ward had a chance to bring Palace back to Spotland for a replay in the closing stages, but saw his close-range effort well saved by Nigel Martyn.

Footage from the game is available to watch on YouTube below.

Crystal Palace: Nigel Martyn, John Pemberton, Richard Shaw, Andy Gray (Alex Dyer), Jeff Hopkins, Andy Thorn, Phil Barber, Geoff Thomas, Mark Bright, John Salako, Alan Pardew.

Rochdale: Keith Welch, Wayne Goodison, Willie Burns, Tony Brown, David Cole, Peter Ward, Micky Holmes, Lee Duxbury, Jason Dawson (Steve Johnson), Steve O’Shaughnessy (Jonathan Hill), Andy Milner.

Att: 17,044.

Referee: RA Hart (Darlington).

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