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Match Report | Rochdale 0-1 AFC Wimbledon

21 November 2020

Rochdale fell to a late defeat at home to AFC Wimbledon on Saturday.

Ethan Chislett struck deep in stoppage time to win it for the Dons, in a game that Dale deserved at least a point from. 

Brian Barry-Murphy’s side dominated for long-spells and created the better of the opportunities, particularly in the second half, but it was the visitors who left the Crown Oil Arena with maximum points, as Dale were left to rue missed chances. 

There were two changes to the side that lined up against Stockport County in the Emirates FA Cup a fortnight ago. Jay Lynch replaced the injured Gavin Bazunu in net, while Haydon Roberts came in for Jim McNulty. 

Rochdale enjoyed the better of the chances, having controlled much of the half, without truly testing the goalkeeper, and the sides went in level at at the break.

Aaron Morley’s whipped ball into the area looked like it might be turned in to the net by a visiting player, but it went narrowly wide.

Matt Lund sent a volley over, before Lynch comfortably held a Ryan Longman effort.

Jimmy Ryan sent a speculative shot at goal from distance soon after but it dropped wide of the target.

Lund rose highest to meet a Tolaji Bola cross in from the left and his header was held by the Dons’ ‘keeper, and before the half was out, Jake Beesley also sent a header at goal. His effort took a deflection, taking it over the bar. 

HT | Rochdale 0-0 AFC Wimbledon

Rochdale came agonisingly close to breaking the deadlock five minutes after the interval, when Ollie Rathbone burst through on goal. He lifted the ball beyond the advancing Connal Trueman but it bounced inches wide of the far post. 

In quick succession, the AFC Wimbledon ‘keeper twice, in as many minutes, had to tip behind a Dale ball into the area.

Firstly, Morley’s ball into the box drifted goalwards and has to be turned behind for a corner, while Bola's cross from the left took a deflection and, again, was sent behind.

On the hour, there were huge shouts for a Rochdale penalty as Beesley was upended after winning a flick on inside the area, but the appeals were waved away before the whistle was blown to allow the Dale forward to be treated for a head injury. 

A minute later, Humphrys made his highly anticipated return from injury, replacing Ryan. 

In a rare opportunity for the visitors, Pigott drilled a shot wide of the near post from just outside the area.

A short while later, he tested again, this time Pigott's deflected effort bounced high into the area and Lynch had to spring up and pat the ball down before Roberts cleared the danger.

A second Dale substitution followed, with Beesley making way for Matty Done, before Kwadwo Baah and Stephen Dooley replaced Alex Newby and Rathbone, respectively, in stoppage time.

The visitors netted soon after to win it right at the death. Substitute Chislett turned in the area and fired low into the far corner.

FT | Rochdale 0-1 AFC Wimbledon

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