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Match Reports

Match Report | Dale 1-2 Hartlepool

26 December 2022

Match Reports

Match Report | Dale 1-2 Hartlepool

26 December 2022

Rochdale fell to a 2-1 defeat at home to Hartlepool United on Boxing Day.

Rollin Menayese put the visitors ahead six minutes before the break, before Ian Henderson levelled terms on the hour. Pools’ Callum Cooke scored what proved to be the match winner ten minutes from time. 

Due to two Dale's last two league fixtures falling foul of the weather, the game was Dale’s first encounter since December 3rd, when Harrogate Town visited the Crown Oil Arena. There were four changes from that match, with Femi Seriki, Ben Nelson, Connor Malley and new short-term signing Danny Lloyd coming in for Jimmy Keohane, Sam Graham, Ethan Brierley and James Ball, respectively. 

Pools had the first shot on goal, when Mohammed Sylla struck over the bar after the ball was sent into the area from a short corner routine. 

There were the shouts for a Rochdale penalty after debutant Lloyd caused problems on the left. He broke into the area and went down under a Menayese challenge, but the referee was quick to wave away the appeals. 

Abraham Odoh and Femi Seriki then linked up well down the right. The former sent a pass down the line to the latter, and after getting into the area, Seriki sent a dangerous low ball across the face of goal, which was turned awkwardly by a Hartlepool player into the hands of Ben Killip. 

Meanwhile, Rochdale defended resolutely in numbers to block a Cooke effort after a ball inside the area had fallen for him. 

Soon after, Ethan Ebanks-Landell sent a ball over the top for Henderson, but the forward, who was stretching and under pressure, saw his shot well-held by Killip at the post. 

Hartlepool then created a couple of opportunities before they broke the deadlock in the 39th minute. 

Richard O’Donnell pulled off a fine save, diving to his right to tip a Josh Umerah strike from the edge of the area over the bar. The resulting corner was cleared as far as Jamie Sterry who let fly from from 35-yards, but his powerful low effort was held by the Dale ‘keeper. 

Ben Nelson then headed behind Reghan Tumilty’s strike from range, and Pools’ opener came sixty seconds later. Menayese met a ball to the back post and headed home, to gave the visitors a 1-0 lead going into the break. 

It was end to end at times during the early exchanges of the second half, with Rochdale much improved. 

Jack Hamilton forced O’Donnell into a save with a shot from the edge of the area, while the Dale goalkeeper had to come hold a flick on from the resulting corner.

Rochdale’s first chance of the half followed, when Odoh found Lloyd with a low ball in from the right. Man of the Match Lloyd struck first time, only to see his effort blocked by Menayese.

Henderson thought he’d put Dale back on level terms in the 54th minute, but he was flagged for offside after finding the far top corner. 

Dale were on the ascendancy and knocking at the door, and the equaliser came on the hour. The side broke forward quickly at pace and a ball in from the right came to Henderson at the back post. With his back to goal, he coolly backheeled home to level proceedings. 

A minute later, Rochdale were in again, but this time Scott Quigley’s dangerous low ball into the area was defended behind for a corner. Ebanks-Landell then volleyed wide of the target from Lloyd’s delivery across the face of goal. 

Dale’s first change of the game followed in the 66th minute, when Rodney replaced Lloyd. 

The half became a much more even affair as it progressed, but the visitors netted what proved to be the winner from an excellent set-piece in the 80th minute. Cooke superbly found the top corner with his 35-yard free-kick. 

Soon after the goal, there was a double substitution, with Cameron John and Henderson making way for Aidy White and Tyrese Sinclair, respectively.

Rochdale had the ball in the box a couple of times during six minutes of stoppage time, but on each occasions Pools dealt with the danger. 

Right at the death, Hartlepool substitute Wes McDonald’s effort, which he’d struck across goal at the near post, was denied by O’Donnell who stuck out a leg. 

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