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Match Reports

Report | Dale 2-2 Gillingham

25 January 2020

Match Reports

Report | Dale 2-2 Gillingham

25 January 2020

Dale came from behind to earn a 2-2 draw against Gillingham in a pulsating game at the Crown Oil Arena.

Ian Henderson netted his 123rd Dale goal from the penalty spot just before the half hour mark, but the visitors equalised just minutes later through Jordan Roberts.

He put the Gills in front on the stroke of the hour, but Stephen Dooley’s thunderous effort earned Dale a point.

Brian Barry-Murphy made one change to the starting eleven from last weekend’s game at Wycombe Wanderers, with new loan signing Tyler Smith starting in place of Calvin Andrew.

Dale started well but neither side could create a clear-cut opening, with Gillingham’s new signing John Akinde poking effort into the arms of Jay Lynch at the near post.

The opening goal came when Jimmy Ryan’s ball was latched on to by Rhys Norrington-Davies, who beat Gills goalkeeper Jack Bonham to the ball inside the area, with the stopper bringing down the Dale man.

The referee pointed to the spot and Henderson’s conversion was never in doubt, sending Bonham the wrong way.

However, the lead lasted just four minutes, when Roberts headed in a corner from close range.

Smith saw an effort well blocked at source and Jimmy Keohane sent a low driven effort past the far post.

After the break, the lively Smith fired a couple of efforts off target from distance before Keohane was replaced by the fit-again Ollie Rathbone, but it was the visitors who took the lead.

A long-throw into the area fell kindly for Roberts via Akinde and he rifled home from 12-yards.

Barry-Murphy responded by bringing on Matty Done and Aaron Wilbraham in place of MJ Williams and Smith, with Wilbraham creating Dale’s equaliser with his first touch.

He nodded the ball into the path of Dooley, who fired a rasping drive into the far top corner to drag Dale level.

Wilbraham then saw a dinked cross nodded off the line before he appeared to be shoved as he went to head Henderson’s cross.

Norrington-Davies fired an effort off target and Done saw a low shot well held, before Lynch made a fine save with his body from Mikael Mandron’s strike.

Dale almost claimed all three points in stunning fashion through Done, when he turned his man on the halfway line, saw the goalkeeper off his line, and sent an effort just inches over the crossbar.

Henderson also fired wide of the near post as Dale pushed on in search of the winner, but had to settle for a point in a pulsating game.

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