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Match Report | Rochdale 1-1 Northampton Town

24 November 2020

Rochdale secured a well-deserved point at home to Northampton Town on Tuesday evening thanks to a late Stephen Humphrys goal.

The Dale forward fired Rochdale level from a free-kick with five minutes left to play after the Cobblers had opened the scoring on 20 minutes. 

Despite a bright start, Brian Barry-Murphy’s side went behind when Harry Smith headed home from a corner, but they responded superbly to going a goal down and got the equaliser they deserved shortly before the end when Humphrys found the top corner. 

There was one change to the side that lined up against AFC Wimbledon at the weekend, as Humphrys came in for Jimmy Ryan. 

Rochdale started brightly and put good, early pressure on the opposition during the opening exchanges.

Alex Newby had a shot blocked before Aaron Morley flashed a dangerous ball into the area narrowly wide of the far post. 

Ollie Rathbone struck a half-volley well over, while Jake Beesley’s low powerful strike from the edge of the box was held by goalkeeper Jonathan Mitchell.

The visitors grew into the game and it was clear they could punish Dale when they came forward. 

There was some brilliant defending from Jimmy Keohane, as he stole in ahead of Smith to nod behind a deep cross to the back post.

But moments later the Cobblers forward opened the scoring as he rose highest to meet a Mark Marshall corner and power a bullet header beyond Jay Lynch from close range with 20 minutes on the clock. 

Dale continued to enjoy plenty of the ball and Keohane struck over the cross bar, while Newby tested the goalkeeper with a 30-yard free-kick which was well-held, soon after. 

Humphrys sent Mitchell scrambling across his goal mouth as he sent a fierce dipping effort inches wide of the upright from range from a Morley free-kick that was played short to him.

Morley then went for goal himself, bending a shot from 25-yards round the far post. 

Before the half was out, Alan Sheehan hit over from just outside the area and, with the last kick of the half, Humphrys had a low drive held by the Northampton Town ‘keeper. 

HT | ROCHDALE 0-1 NORTHAMPTON TOWN

Ryan McLaughlin replaced Tolaji Bola for the start of the second half, in Rochdale’s first change of the game.

The right-back was involved immediately when he was fouled and awarded a free-kick. Morley whipped the dangerous set-piece into the area and across the face of goal but agonisingly for Dale it evaded everyone. 

There were then shouts for a Rochdale penalty as Rathbone was brought to ground right on the edge of the area but the referee wasn’t interested. 

Shortly after the hour Humphrys created a yard of space before seeing a shot deflected behind, while, from the resulting low corner, Lund hit over the bar. 

And still Dale continued to come forward but, frustratingly, the visitors stood firm.

Rathbone had a shot from distance deflected behind, before Beesley sent a diving header wide at the near post.

The second substitution came in the 71st minute, when Kwadwo Baah replaced Morley.

Humphrys struck high over the bar as Dale continued in search of an equaliser, and that well deserved goal did eventually come in the 85th minute, when the Dale forward struck home from a free-kick.

Baah, who had proved to be a handful for the Cobblers since his earlier introduction, won the set-piece after being brought down just outside the area and Humphrys rifled the free-kick into the top corner to draw Dale level. 

Moments after the goal, Mitchell produced a fine save to deny Keohane, as he dived to his left to palm away the shot, as Rochdale went in search of a winner, while Baah had a shot deflected wide in the dying moments.

FT | Rochdale 1-1 Northampton Town 


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