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Match Reports

Match Report | Rochdale 1-0 Walsall

9 April 2022

Match Reports

Match Report | Rochdale 1-0 Walsall

9 April 2022

Rochdale secured a deserved three points with a comfortable 1-0 win over Walsall on Saturday.

Conor Grant’s second half goal, 10 minutes after the break, ensured the points for Dale at the Crown Oil Arena. 

It was the third consecutive clean sheet for Robbie Stockdale’s side, and three home games without defeat, with the team taking seven points from their last available nine. 

There was one change to the side that lined up against Swindon Town last weekend, as Paul Downing retuned to the backline to replace Jimmy Keohane. 

Rochdale had several opportunities to take the lead in the first half but couldn’t convert, and the sides went in level at the break. 

Liam Kelly fired a free-kick across the face of goal and Conor Grant got a touch on it at the far post, but he couldn’t squeeze it over the line. 

Luke Charman was then through on goal but after having his initial shot charged down, he stretched to get a toe on the loose ball, turning it wide. 

Dale’s biggest chance of the half came sooner after. Captain Eoghan O’Connell sent a free-kick into the area where it was clipped to the back post by Max Clark. Charman met it but agonisingly his header was kept out by the upright. The ball dropped for Grant who had a shot blocked on the line.

The resulting corner was cleared as far as O’Connell who lashed an effort past the post.

Paul Downing headed wide of the upright from a corner, while Cashman screwed an effort wide from 20-yards.  

On the stroke of half time, the visitor’s Brendan Kiernan had a deflected effort held by Jay Lynch. 

Rochdale started the second half really strongly as they won four consecutive corners, and they had a couple of penalty shouts turned down in the first few minutes after the restart. Downing appeared to have been shoved to the ground as he attacked the third set-piece, while Clark’s shot hit a Walsall arm inside the area. 

Dale finally broke the deadlock through Grant with 55 minutes on the clock. Charman sent the Irishman on his way as he beat the offside trap, and after switching from one foot to another to take the ball past a defender, Grant finished beyond Rose. 

A first substitution of the game followed, with Cashman making way for Alex Newby. 

Rochdale created several more chances as they went in search of a second goal but the efforts were blocked, including Newby’s shot soon after he came on. 

Odoh replaced Grant in the 71st minute and he forced the the ‘keeper into a save a few minutes after his introduction, with Rose tipping Odoh's shot at the near post wide.

The Saddlers rarely threatened but Joss Labadie did test Lynch with a swerving shot late on, although the Dale goalkeeper was well behind it.

Corey O’Keeffe had a free-kick on the edge of the area kept out by Rose, before a third and final substitution followed, as Matty Done replaced Charman with minutes remaining, and Dale were deserved 1-0 winners. 

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