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Match Reports

Match Report | Rochdale 2-0 Carlisle United

29 March 2022

The victory put an end to Dale’s seven games without a victory. 

In an excellent battling performance, Liam Kelly put Robbie Stockdale’s side ahead from the penalty spot early in the first half, before Conor Grant made sure of the points ten minutes from time. 

There were four changes to the side that lined up against Crawley Town at the weekend. Jimmy Keohane, Liam Kelly, Conor Grant and Danny Cashman came in for Paul Downing, George Broadbent, Alex Newby and Matty Done. 

Rochdale were excellent throughout the first half and caused problems for the visitors with a dominant display, although Carlisle had a clear cut opportunity to get back on level terms after Dale had opening the scoring. 

Early on, Luke Charman drove at goal before firing a shot over from the edge of the area, and Dale opened the scoring soon after as they continued to attack at pace. 

Danny Cashman had already been scythed down by Dynel Simeu when travelling in on goal, such was the side’s intensity, and moments later Stephen Dooley, after taking the ball beyond Corey Whelan was tripped inside the box. 

Kelly stepped up to take the resulting spot-kick and fired low into the bottom corner, to break the deadlock. 

Momentum continued with Rochdale after the goal and Grant produced a lovely run into the area before releasing Cashman whose shot was blocked behind for a corner. 

The Cumbrians tried a well-worked free-kick with a quarter of an hour played. Brennan Dickenson sent the set-piece to the back post, where Simeu headed across goal for Omari Patrick who sent a powerful header over the bar. 

And they should have equalised soon after. Joe Riley delivered a dangerous ball across the face of goal - after it bypassed the onrushing Dennis, Jack Armer arrived at back post but as the goal gaped, he struck past the post. 

Rochdale rode the scare and shortly before the half hour Dooley fired wide from range, after Dale got a couple of balls into the area from good pressure. 

In stoppage time, Patrick sent a speculative shot at goal from distance but saw his effort well-held by Lynch.

The visitors battled their way back into the game during the second period and put Dale under spells of pressure, which they defended resolutely. 

The Cumbrians had the ball in the back of the net shortly before the hour through Dennis but it was ruled out for a clear foul on Lynch as the forward clattered into the ‘keeper when rising to meet the header. 

Jordan Gibson then fired a powerful effort goal wards which a cool Lynch patted down before collecting.

Rochdale’s first substitution of the game followed, when Cashman made way for Abraham Odoh. 

Carlisle’s Dickenson fired a low ball across the face of goal but substitute Tobi Sho-Silva, who arrived at speed at the back post, couldn’t make a connection and the chance was gone. 

With 12 minutes to go Kelly sent a free-kick to the back post and it dropped for Clark who fired well over, but it was from there that Dale really rallied and there was a sense that they could turn the screw. The second of the evening followed moments later, when Grant struck home to double the advantage. O’Keeffe slid the ball through to the Irish man who drove into the area and lashed his strike in off the underside of the bar. 

A second substitution followed soon after, as Broadbent replaced Kelly, while Captain Eoghan O’Connell was forced off through injury and replaced by Jim McNulty. 

And Dale saw the game out comfortable to keep a clean sheet and secure three points. 


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