Rochdale bowed of the Emirates FA Cup at the second round stage on Sunday afternoon following a narrow 2-1 defeat to Plymouth Argyle.
Dale more than matched their League One opponents as they put in a valiant performance in front on the ITV cameras at the Crown Oil Arena.
In an entertaining encounter, Argyle opened the scoring on 17 minutes through Jordon Garrick. Aaron Morley equalised in stunning fashion ten minutes into the second half, but with four minutes of the match remaining, Luke Jephcott won it for the visitors.
Rochdale started the game brightly and got into the area on a couple of occasions but the visitors stood firm to rebuff the early danger, with Eoghan O’Connell forcing a save on six minutes. He struck goal wards from range and had his volley kept out by Mike Cooper, who got down low to hold.
Argyle opened the scoring with 17 minutes on the clock, with their first opportunity on goal, when Garrick headed home Ryan Broom’s cross in from the left.
Soon after the half hour, Corey O’Keeffe broke forward at pace and had a delivery cleared as far as Abraham Odoh who had a shot blocked.
Up the other end, Odoh then got back to put in a goal saving block on Broom, getting a foot in to prevent him getting a shot away after the Plymouth midfielder latched onto a perfect through ball.
Rochdale finished the half strongly and Beesley headed over from Aaron Morley’s free-kick, before having a shot held at the near post. While Morley had an effort through a packed box deflected into the hands of Cooper.
HT | Rochdale 0-1 Plymouth Argyle
There was a half-time change, as Aidy White replaced Conor Grant.
Dale started the second half as they had finished the first and applied plenty of pressure during the opening exchanges.
Soon after the restart, O’Keeffe put a dangerous ball across the six-yard box but, agonisingly, there was no-one there to turn it home.
A deserved equaliser came ten minutes after the break, through Morley’s stunning strike. Josh Andrews won the ball back before feeding in the midfielder. Morley took a touch and smashed his curling, dipping effort into the top corner from 25-yards.
Argyle gained some impetus after the equaliser and came within inches of going back in front.
Ryan Law firstly had a close range header held by Lynch, before James Wilson was denied by the woodwork. His shot struck the outside of the post and back into play, and Max Taylor and O’Connell combined to put a block on a close range strike.
It was end to end, and Beesley picked up a loose ball and fired narrowly wide of the post from a tight angle.
The visitors then hit the post for a second time. Danny Mayor left Lynch rooted to the spot but saw his curling effort from distance cannon off the outside of the post.
Dale’s second substitution of the match followed, with Andrews making way for Stephen Dooley.
Soon after, Morley came so close to putting Dale in front and netting his second of the afternoon, when he went for the top corner with a brilliant curling effort, but it landed on the roof of the net.
O’Keeffe then got a head on White’s cross, but his effort dropped wide of the far post.
With four minutes remaining, Argyle went back in front.
After a two-handed shove on Beesley’s back wasn’t awarded a free-kick, the visitors went up the other end and won a corner. It was from the corner that Jephcott turned home from close range after the ball dropped for him inside the area.
A doubled change came soon after, as Danny and Cashman and George Broadbent replaced O’Keeffe and Morley.
In stoppage time, substitute Broadbent crossed for Beesley who had a low header denied by Cooper, while White fired wide with the follow up. The Rochdale forward then latched onto a ball inside the area and had a shot blocked, but Dale couldn’t find the goal that would send it to a replay at Home Park.
FT | Rochdale 1-2 Plymouth Argyle