Rochdale’s Youth Team fell to a 3-1 defeat away at Carlisle United on Saturday at Creighton Rugby Club.
Two early goals from Nic Bollado and Mason Hardy in the opening seven minutes made it tough for Dale. The third from Kai Nugent then came later in the match to crush the side’s hope of getting back into the game.
Paddy Watts scored late on to reduce the deficit, however.
The Cumbrians broke the deadlock on four minutes. After a ball down the left found Bollado, he fired past Ellis Craven from a tight angle.
Hardy then doubled their advantage three minutes later from the penalty spot.
Despite having an early mountain to climb, Dale grew into the game and started trying to test the Carlisle 'keeper. Firstly, Paddy Watts from a corner jumped highest but just couldn’t get his header down in time.
Then Jadel Yaduat made a great run in behind the defence and crossed for Anisio Jesus, but the Rochdale forward just couldn’t get the decisive touch to turn home.
The second half started the same as the first ended with Dale trying to get themselves back into the game. The best chance of the half fell to Yaduat who was found at the back post but couldn’t turn home from close range.
Craven was then called into action again. Sam Hetherington burst through the defence and tried to slip his shot passed the Dale ‘keeper, but he made himself big and stretched out his leg to deny Carlisle a third.
Again, Rochdale came knocking. Paul Kyffin received the ball out wide and hammered a shot towards goal but again the Cumbrian goalkeeper was equal to it.
Substitute Oscar Kelly came close for Dale when he flicked on from Jesus’s cross, however the Carlisle stopper moved quickly to his near post and pushed it away.
Dale were then reduced to ten men in the 78th minute, when Joe Cunningham was sent off.
Soon after, the home side put the game beyond Rochdale - a wonder striker from the right from Nugent beat Craven and sealed the victory for the hosts.
Watts fired home at the back post in stoppage time to reduce the deficit.
Dale XI | Craven, Cunningham, Watts, Nevett (c), Sutton, Dos Santos, Kyffin, Mandey, Greenwell, Yaduat, Jesus. Subs | MacLorg, Dunlop, Kelly, Ehimamiegho, King.