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Match Reports

Report | Bristol Rovers 1-0 Dale

5 November 2022

Match Reports

Report | Bristol Rovers 1-0 Dale

5 November 2022

Dale exited the Emirates FA Cup at the first round stage, despite a battling display away to League One side Bristol Rovers.

Scott Sinclair’s close range effort midway through the second-half proved to be the difference, but Jim Bentley’s men will look back on and rue a number of missed chances either side of the goal.

Abraham Odoh came in for Tyrese Sinclair in the only change from last weekend’s game at Walsall.

In the opening exchanges, Cameron John nodded a cross from the Dale left wide of the upright, whilst Richard O’Donnell denied Aaron Collins’ low effort with his legs.

Collins then swept a first-time effort wide after being found by Sinclair, before Abraham Odoh’s pull-back was inches away from Ian Henderson close to goal.

Five minutes before the break, Dale were forced into a substitution when Liam Kelly picked up a knock. Ethan Brierley replaced him.

Odoh almost had a helping hand in breaking the deadlock on the stroke of half-time, when he beat a man and sent a ball into the middle. Bobby Thomas slid in to stop the cross, sending it cannoning off the upright and back into the arms of James Belshaw.

After the break, Dale created a number of clear opportunities.

First, Odoh’s pull-back was left by Rodney, with the ball eventually coming to James Ball who had a first time shot held.

Henderson then did superbly to win the ball off Thomas high up the pitch and break into the area, but he fired a shot narrowly wide of the far post.

A third chance in five minutes fell to Rodney, after Brierley had slid a perfectly weighted through ball to him, but he saw his low effort saved by Belshaw.

James Gibbons hit an effort straight at O’Donnell for the hosts, whilst Collins saw a cross-shot flash across goal and another shot deflected.

Sinclair broke the deadlock in the 65th minute when a corner was taken short, sent into the area and flicked goalwards by Rossiter. The former Celtic man pounced and slid home from close range.

Ball and John were replaced by Connor Malley and Femi Seriki, and the latter had a great chance to equalise moments later.

Another fine through ball by Brierley found the full-back who knocked it past a defender, but skewed his left foot shot wide of the near post.

O’Donnell then denied Sinclair a second after the ball had squirmed through to him, before Jimmy Keohane tested Belshaw at the other end, the goalkeeper beating away his effort.

Belshaw held on to a 20-yard effort from Rodney and Trevor Clarke sent a Collins’ cross wide at the other end, in the final chances of the game.

Rodney and Toumani Diagouraga were replaced by Tyrese Sinclair and 15-year-old Oscar Kelly late on, Kelly becoming Dale’s third youngest ever debutant.

Dale XI | O’Donnell, Keohane, Graham, Ebanks-Landell, John, Diagouraga, Kelly, Ball, Odoh, Henderson, Rodney.

Subs | B Kelly, Seriki, McNulty, Brierley, Nelson, Sinclair, Tulloch, Malley, O Kelly.

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