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Youth Team

Dale’s Under-15’s Crowned EFL Floodlit Cup Champions!

9 May 2022

Youth Team

Dale’s Under-15’s Crowned EFL Floodlit Cup Champions!

9 May 2022

Rochdale’s under-15s were crowned EFL Floodlit Cup Champions on Sunday evening after a 4-2 win over Colchester United at Lincoln City’s LNER Stadium.

Joel Street scored a brace, whilst Kevin Dos Santos and Oscar Kelly were also on the scoresheet in the victory. 

The game kicked-off in bright sunshine and Dale’s performance during the opening exchanges mirrored the weather as they started brightly and on the front foot. 

Dale hit the cross bar early on from a corner before creating another good opportunity, and they went on to break the deadlock after just six minutes through Dos Santos. He rose highest to meet a corner from the left and nodded down and into the bottom corner.  

Kelly doubled Dale’s advantage from the penalty spot 10 minutes later, as he sent the goalkeeper the wrong way. 

The U’s grew into the game as the half progressed, with it becoming a much more even affair, but Dale maintained their 2-0 lead, taking it into the break. 

Rochdale went 3-0 up soon after half-time. They stole the ball in the middle of the pitch from a U’s throw-in and after Street was played in with an excellent through ball, he finished across goal and into the far corner from just inside the area.

A fourth came a quarter of an hour later. Dale won the ball back on the half-way line and after being played through on goal with another superb pass, Street broke into the area and fired beyond the ‘keeper. 

Colchester United pulled back two goals to halve the deficit. The first was a cushioned volley from a ball in from the right, which went in off the post. 

Their second was a close-range bullet header, again from a cross from the right. 

Despite the U’s pulling two goals back, Dale held out for a deserved win and lifted the trophy in front of family and friends who had made the journey to the LNER Stadium to cheer them onto victory. 

The Under-15s EFL Floodlit Cup provides a unique experience of playing evening matches under floodlights, providing young academy players with similar tests to those they will encounter at Under-18, Under-23 and senior levels.

Dale's youngsters topped their initial group, beating the likes of Barnsley, Sheffield Wednesday and Bradford City, reaching the quarter-finals where they ran out 4-0 winners over Grimsby Town. They were 3-1 winners over Bolton Wanderers in the semi-final, setting up Sunday night’s final. 

A huge congratulations to all the players and staff involved with the under-15s for this fantastic achievement. We’re all very proud of you! 

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