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Match Reports

Match Report | Colchester United 0-1 Rochdale

24 September 2022

Match Reports

Match Report | Colchester United 0-1 Rochdale

24 September 2022

Rochdale secured their first league win of the 2022-23 campaign on Saturday, with 1-0 win over Colchester United.

Devante Rodney’s first half penalty proved to be the only goal of the game, in a match where Richard O’Donnell saved Freddie Sears’ spot-kick right at the death. 

There were five changes from Tuesday night’s Papa John’s trophy game against Liverpool under-21s. Jim McNulty, Toumani Diagouraga, James Ball, Devante Rodney and Scott Quigley came in for Aidy White, Ethan Brierley, Connor Malley, Rayhaan Tulloch and Ian Henderson. 

Sinclair forced the first save of the game after five minutes, when his shot from the edge of the area took a wicked deflection and looked headed for the far corner. Kieran O’Hara got down to get a hand to the effort, to turn it away from goal. 

A couple of minutes later, Dale capitalised on a loose pass at the back but the ‘keeper got down to hold Ball’s shot from the edge of the box.

There were another couple of moments for Rochdale as the game approached the quarter of an hour mark. From a quick throw-in, Femi Seriki’s dangerous cross was defended away, whilst Rodney was flagged offside after latching onto McNulty’s through ball and lifting it up and over O’Hara and the bar. 

Rochdale spent a lot of time in the opposition’s half, allowing the U’s very few opportunities to venture out and when they did, Dale stood firm at the back to absorb any threat.

With Jim Bentley’s side in control, they carved out another chance. This time, Ball stung the palms of O’Hara from the edge of the box. 

Rochdale deservedly broke the deadlock soon after, in the 23rd minute after being awarded a penalty. From an initial cross, O’Hara had spilled the ball, and after Sinclair was the first to it, he was wrestled to the ground by the ‘keeper. Rodney stepped up to take the spot-kick and coolly sent O’Hara the wrong way to open the scoring. 

A golden opportunity went begging shortly after the half hour mark, when Quigley, unmarked, headed narrowly over the bar from Liam Kelly’s free-kick. 

In stoppage time at the end of the first half, Colchester’s Noah Chilvers saw his effort from a partially cleared corner sail over the bar. 

There was a fairly scrappy start to the second half, but the home side grew into it and enjoyed their best spell of the game. 

Dan Chesters burst forward up the right and sent dangerous cross into the mix, but Sam Graham, who had been a rock at the back all afternoon, excellently defended away. 

Diagouraga then closed down Beryls Lubala’s fierce shot on the edge of the area. 

A string of U’s corners followed as they piled the pressure on, but each time Dale defended resolutely. 

Rochdale’s first change of the game followed in the 64th minute, with Rodney making way for Odoh. 

Still Colchester threatened, but Lubala’s powerful strike, this time from inside the area, was superbly blocked by Graham.

The Dale defender, at the other end, then had a header held by O’Hara from a corner, as Dale started to come back into it. 

A great through pass from Ball sent Quigley in on goal. The forward was sent wide, but he still managed to get his shot away, forcing the ‘keeper to turn the effort round the upright at the near post. 

A double Rochdale switch came in the 82nd, as Malley and Henderson replaced Ball and Sinclair, respectively. 

The U’s were in on goal again soon after, as Sears broke through the Dale defence. Despite getting through one-on-one with O’Donnell, Graham and Seriki raced back and Sears could only fire over the bar while under pressure. 

It looked like there might be heartbreak for Dale right at the end when the home side were awarded a penalty in the 89th minute after Luke Hannant was adjudged to have been brought down inside the area, but Sears was denied from the spot by O’Donnell, who superbly kept him out, to ensure Rochdale held on for a deserved victory. 

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