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Club News

We've Met Before | Walsall (H)

4 April 2023

Club News

We've Met Before | Walsall (H)

4 April 2023

Rochdale’s game on Good Friday against Walsall will be the 69th time that the two sides have faced off.

Dale hold the better head-to-head record with 27 wins. They’ve also drawn 17 times and The Saddlers have won 24 games.

When the teams met earlier in the season at the Bescot Stadium, Dale fell to a narrow 1-0 defeat.

Despite Dale having a lot of possession, Hayden White was the only player on the scoresheet at full-time. He fired home following Tom Knowles’ long throw which caused chaos and confusion in the Dale box.

Prior to that, their last meeting at the Crown Oil Arena ended in a victory for Dale.

We’ve taken a look at that game and some of the sides’ previous meetings that have happened at the COA…

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Dale 1-0 Walsall – Saturday 9th April 2022

Despite their only being one goal in it, Rochdale secured a comfortable win over Walsall late last season.

Dale, however, failed to get on the score sheet in the first-half, even though they had lots of chances.

The eventual goal scorer Conor Grant had the first chance for Dale. He got a touch on Liam Kelly’s free-kick at the far post but couldn’t squeeze it over the line.

The biggest chance of the half came following Eoghan O’Connell’s free-kick, which was sent into the area where Max Clark clipped the ball to the back post. Luke Charman met it but agonisingly, his header was kept out by the upright. The ball then fell to Grant who had a shot blocked on the line.

Dale were the better side going into half-time, but they didn’t have their much-wanted lead.

The second-half would start the same. Dale won four consecutive corners, and they also had a number of penalty shouts turned down in the first few minutes after the restart. Paul Downing appeared to be shoved to the ground as he attacked the third set-piece, whilst Clark had an effort blocked by a Walsall arm.

It only took 10 minutes after half-time for Dale to get their goal though. Charman sent Grant on his way, as he beat the offside trap, and after switching from one foot to another to take the ball past a defender, the Irishman finished beyond Jack Rose in the Walsall goal.

Chances would keep coming for the home side, however, a second goal eluded them. Abraham Odoh did force the Walsall ‘keeper into action after coming off the bench, with Rose tipping the Dale substitute's shot at the near post wide.

The visitors rarely threatened Jay Lynch, but they did test the shot-stopper late on. Lynch was faced with a swerving shot, although the Dale goalkeeper was well behind it.

Dale 4-0 Walsall – Tuesday 22nd November 2016

Unlike the previous game and despite there being four goals this time, the first-half was a very quiet affair for the opening 20 minutes.

However, once the game opened up, Dale proved to be the dominant side. Ollie Rathbone headed over a Nathaniel Mendez-Laing cross, before Joe Thompson met Scott Tanser’s cross at the back post, with his effort deflecting behind for a corner.

With The Saddlers' best effort of the first-half, Adam Chambers struck his shot wide of Conrad Logan’s right post on the half-hour mark.

Two minutes later and Dale had their opener. Rathbone picked up on a loose ball on the right before exchanging a lovely one-two with Thompson. Rathbone’s touch inside the area was delightful and he set himself up perfectly for his effort which he fired through the goalkeeper’s legs.

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Rathbone nearly grabbed his second before half-time after he headed goalwards following Joe Rafferty’s near post cross, but Neil Etheridge showed quick reactions to palm the ball over the crossbar.

In the 41st minute, Reuben Noble-Lazarus doubled Dale’s lead. Mendez-Laing latched onto the end of Rathbone’s through ball after breaking into the area. He pulled the ball back to the back post via a deflection, finding Noble-Lazarus who struck goalwards with the ball just crossing the line despite Etheridge’s best efforts.

Dale would continue to create chances on either side of half-time. But it was the substitute Steve Davies who scored Dale’s third. He converted from the spot, striking a perfect penalty into the top corner. This was after he sent a brilliant curled pass into the area for Mendez-Laing to race on to, before being brought down by the Walsall ‘keeper.

The fourth and final goal came in added time when Davies picked up on a weak Walsall back pass. He dropped a shoulder to deceive the goalkeeper 30 yards out to create room for the shot, which he whipped into the back of the net, rounding off a dominant Dale display.

Dale 4-0 Walsall – Tuesday 16th September 2014

This time Dale didn’t have to wait long at all for the opener, scoring after just five minutes. Peter Vincenti climbed well to knock down a long ball into the path of Stephen Dawson, but with him surrounded by two defenders, Matty Done took the ball off his toes and burst through the gap left by the Walsall defenders. Done faced an oncoming Richard O’Donnell who looked to pressure the Dale forward. However, he picked his spot and drove the ball into the back of the net.

Ian Henderson later sent a looping shot back across goal following Done’s cross, narrowly dropping the ball wide and out for a goal kick.

Ashley Eastham got Dale’s second on the half-hour mark, heading home his first goal for Dale. Scott Tanser delivered a delicious free-kick, swinging in from the right wing towards the back post. Eastham rose high to help the ball on its way and into the far corner.

Within seven minutes, two became three with Ian Henderson getting on the score sheet. The Dale forward got on the end of a superb diagonal ball from midway into the Walsall half, and with plenty of time and space, he made no mistake, slotting the ball across the goal and into the bottom corner.

Dale continued to have chances of their own with Walsall’s only real effort of the first-half coming one minute before the break. Romaine Sawyers received the ball on the edge of the Dale box and after making a smart turn, was able to release a low drive. His effort was saved well by Conrad Logan, who dived to his right.

Henderson was agonisingly close to his second shortly after the interval. Vincenti’s flick-on fell into the path of Henderson, who swung a left foot at the ball on the half volley which dipped wickedly over the head of the ‘keeper, who could only watch and hope. The ball bounced back off the post to a defender who cleared the danger, denying Henderson of a superb second.

In the 71st minute, Stephen Dawson made it 4-0 to Dale. Another Vincenti flick-on made its way into the box on the left-hand side, finding Dawson who looked to fire a shot across the goalkeeper, and with him already diving, the ball deflected off the outstretched leg of the Walsall defender and dropped into the goal at the near post.

Another Henderson lob dropped just over the bar later in the half. His effort looked to have beaten O’Donnell, however, the ball just didn’t drop quickly enough.

Conrad Logan was called into action before the end of the game, he remained alert to stop a shot destined for the top corner. The shot came from outside the area and as it looked to nestle into the top corner, Logan came from nowhere, leaping high to keep his clean sheet.


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