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Match Reports

Report | Rochdale 0-0 Portsmouth

20 September 2020

Rochdale secured their first point of the 2020/21 campaign on Sunday, following an entertaining goalless draw with Portsmouth at the Crown Oil Arena, in Dale’s first home league game of the season.

There were four changes to the side that lined-up midweek against Sheffield Wednesday in the Carabao Cup, as Ryan McLaughlin, Paul McShane, Jimmy Ryan and Stephen Humphrys came in for Yeboah Amankwah, Jim McNulty, Kwadwo Baah and Matty Done.

Dale were on top during the first half and had the better of the chances to open the scoring.

With a quarter of an hour played Ollie Rathbone came within inches of breaking the deadlock, when he struck a volley just past the upright after being picked out by Captain Eoghan O’Connell.

Stephen Humphrys, making his return debut, also came close, striking narrowly over the bar on 27 minutes, having latched brilliantly onto Aaron Morley’s through ball.

Straight up the other end and Tom Naylor tested Gavin Bazunu from distance but the goalkeeper did well to turn the effort round the post. From the resulting corner, John Marquis headed well over.

Soon after the half hour, Rochdale were in again, as Alex Newby drove down the right-hand side before seeing his shot from a tight angle flash across the face of goal.

Dale were forced into their first substitution of the game with 38 minutes on the clock. After being unable to shake off an earlier challenge, Humphrys had to go off and was replaced by Done.

Before the half was out, Newby did superbly to get into the area and found Done. However, he slipped and his poked shot was collected by MacGillivray.


There was very nearly the perfect start to the second period for Brian Barry-Murphy’s side. A long ball forward was misjudged by MacGillivray in the Portsmouth net, but he recovered just in time to catch the loose ball before Done could capitalise.

Four minutes after the re-start, Bazunu held a Marcus Harness looping header, before the Portsmouth winger squared for Marquis who skewed his shot wide of the target.

Shortly after the hour, Lund struck over from 20-yards, and Dale’s second substitution followed in the 70th minute, as Newby made way for Stephen Dooley. 

Jimmy Ryan had a shot from range that was always rising, while Harness nodded wide from a Pompey corner.

The third and final change came in the 80th minute, when Jim McNulty replaced O’Connell, who appeared to have taken a knock.

As the game entered the final stages of the keenly contested fixture, Bazunu pulled off two fine saves to keep the visitors out. He firstly stretched to tip a Marquis header over the bar, before denying Naylor from close range as he pushed the effort round the post.

Rochdale were in on goal four minutes from time after Done intercepted Lee Brown’s pass back to the MacGillivray, but after being pushed wide, he saw his shot cleared off the line.

Moments later, the Pompey ‘keeper beat away a Dooley strike to deny him. The ball was sent back in and Rathbone struck inches wide. 

In stoppage time, Jack Whatmough had a header tipped over the bar by Bazunu.


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