A very young Rochdale side gave an impressive account of themselves against an experienced Preston North End team on Tuesday, in the Lancashire Senior Cup.
The Dale side, mostly made up of youth team scholars, more than held their own for the majority of the game at Euxton Training ground, in a match where the Lilywhites emerged as 2-0 victors.
Scott Sinclair broke the deadlock shortly before the half hour, before netting a second half penalty to secure the win for the home side.
Brad Wade in the Rochdale goal pulled off several key saves early on.
He firstly tipped a Joe Rafferty chip from the edge of the area over the bar, before denying Josh Murphy at the near post with his legs.
Soon after, Tom Barkhuizen sent a dangerous low ball across the face of goal and Max Sutton defended superbly well to turn it behind for corner.
Paul Huntington then rose highest to meet a corner, heading down and into a ground, but Wade was equal to it, diverting it round the upright.
The Dale ‘keeper then clawed an effort off the line.
Rochdale’s first chance of the game came in the 23rd minute when Ethan Brierley was denied by the woodwork. After being played in by Anisio Jesus, he saw his shot cannon off the underside of the bar.
Jamie Thomas dinked over from close range a short time later, before the hosts finally broke the deadlock.
After Liam Lindsay’s header was initially parried away by Wade, Sinclair slotted home on the rebound.
Dale responded superbly to going behind and Ben Kershaw had a shot saved by the legs of Mathew Hudson. He then, from Brierley’s ball over the top, had an effort on the stretch well-held.
After the break Murphy struck an acrobatic effort into the ground and over, before seeing a shot deflected wide by Jesus.
Rochdale’s Ben Kershaw then hit over the bar, while Jesus had a shot blocked.
Preston were awarded a soft penalty, as the Dale players appealed for offside, and Sinclair struck beyond Wade to net his second of the afternoon.
Jesper Laurence hit a speculative shot from distance over the bar soon afternoon, and as the game came to its conclusion, the home side’s Thomas put an effort over the bar.
Dale XI | Wade, Jesus, Sutton, Mialkowski, Laurence, Dunne, Kershaw, Brierley, McNair, Scanlon, Ehimamiegho. Subs: Kelly, Cunningham, Kibonda, Watts, Santos.
Preston XI | Hudson, Rafferty, Coulton, O'Reilly, Huntington, Lindsay, Sinclair, Thomas, Barkhuizen, Potts, Murphy. Subs: Lombard, Nevin, Rodwell-Grant, O'Neill, Leigh.