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Match Reports

Match Report | Newport County 0-1 Rochdale

8 October 2022

Match Reports

Match Report | Newport County 0-1 Rochdale

8 October 2022

A resilient Rochdale withstood and defended superbly against an onslaught of pressure during the second half at Rodney Parade on Saturday to claim three points, as James Ball’s header inside the opening five minutes proved to be the only goal of the game.

The hard-fought, well-deserved victory over Newport County was Dale’s second of league win of the campaign. 

There were two changes to the side that lined-up against Doncaster Rovers last weekend. Captain Ethan Ebanks-Landell made his first start since returning from injury, coming in for Jim McNulty, whilst Abraham Odoh replaced Tyrese Sinclair.

Newport County created the first opening of the game early on, when a left-wing cross fell for Aaron Wildig at the back post, but as the chance came, he was unable to make a clean connection and the ball went wide of the target having bounced off his knee. 

Moments later, on five minutes, Dale broke the deadlock. From Jimmy Keohane’s throw, Devante Rodney worked the ball to Liam Kelly, who swung it into the area for Ball to run onto and flick a header beyond Joe Day. 

The game was end to end with both teams creating changes during the high tempo affair. 

Omar Bogle curled an effort narrowly wide of the upright from the edge of the area, before Dale forced Day into a couple of saves. 

The goalkeeper firstly got down to get his fingertips to Ball’s low 25-yard strike to divert it behind, before keeping out Toumani Diagouraga’s effort from the resulting corner. Day could only push the ball out as far as Ebanks-Landell who agonisingly struck wide from close range on the follow up. 

Bogle then sent a looping header narrowly wide from a set-piece, before being superbly kept out by Richard O’Donnell in a one-on-one situation. After a mistake at the back allowed the Exiles forward to bear down on goal, O’Donnell came off his line to deny Bogle with his legs, as it looked certain he’d net the equaliser. 

Rochdale had an opportunity in stoppage time to extend their lead. Rodney sent Odoh away up the right at pace. He delivered a dangerous ball to the back post for Quigley who had also made the run, but as Day came rushing out, the Dale striker turned his effort wide.

The hosts started the second half strongly, a sign of things to come, and they had a couple of chances inside opening five minutes. 

Bogle saw a snapshot from the edge of the area deflected narrowly wide, before a partially cleared corner was sent back into the area and James Clarke had an effort blocked by Ebanks-Landell. 

Dale continued under the cosh until for nearly the entirety of the half as Newport came forward time and time again, but the hosts couldn’t find a way through as Rochdale stood firm defensively, despite being hemmed into their own half for long spells, and chances for the dominant Exiles were limited. 

Notably, Wildig skewed a shot wide from 20-yards from a cleared corner, before Clarke then headed over from a corner at the near post.

Manager Jim Bentley made his first change of the game on 56 minutes, with Femi Seriki making way for Aidy White. 

Cameron Norman lashed a powerful low drive narrowly wide of the upright, before a second substitution followed soon after, in the 70th minute, as Sinclair replaced Kelly.

Still Newport piled on the pressure, but O’Donnell got his hand to Thierry Nevers’ looping header to turn it over the bar. 

With three minutes of the match remaining, Jim McNulty and Ian Henderson came on to replace Odoh and Scot Quigley.

Rochdale held on during a nervy six minutes of added time to secure their second league victory of the season. 

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