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Match Reports

Report | Dale 1-1 Northampton

11 February 2023

Match Reports

Report | Dale 1-1 Northampton

11 February 2023

Rochdale were denied three points at home to Northampton Town on Saturday as the Cobblers scored a late equaliser.

After the sides went in level at half-time, Rochdale were excellent during the opening exchanges after the break and deservedly broke the deadlock through Ian Henderson in the 52nd minute, but they were dealt a sucker punch in the 89th minute, when Ben Fox rifled home to ensure a share of the points. 

There were four changes to the side that lined-up against Salford City last weekend. Richard O’Donnell returned in between the sticks, replacing Jake Eastwood, whilst Abraham Odoh, Toumani Diagouraga and Danny Lloyd came in for Femi Seriki, Liam Kelly and D’Mani Mellor. 

The visitors had the ball in the back of the net inside the opening 20 seconds after Rhys Bennett was caught in possession and dispossessed by Sam Hoskins who sent Louis Appere through on one-on-one with O’Donnell. He finished beyond the ‘keeper but it was ruled out for offside. 

Despite the early scare, Dale were competitive and had a couple of opportunities, as did the Cobblers. 

Bennett headed behind from a Danny Lloyd cross before Lloyd turned provider again, sending a ball in towards the back post. Henderson tried in vain to meet the dangerous cross as he thew himself at it with a diving header, but unfortunately he was inches away from getting on the end of it. 

O’Donnell then held Fox’s dipping effort, before Hoskins saw his snap shot from the edge of the area beaten down and held by the Dale goalkeeper. 

After a great solo run forward, Toby Malarkey was eventually upended and was awarded a free-kick. Dale won a corner from the set-piece and as it came out to Owen Dodgson just inside the area, he went for goal, but saw his low, powerful effort blocked. 

In stoppage time, Lloyd hit a speculative shot from range over the bar. 

Rochdale started the second half on top and it was all Dale during the opening exchanges. 

Less than sixty second after the restart, from Odoh’s ball in from the right, Quigley headed narrowly behind. 

Tom King then pulled off two excellent saves to keep Dale out. The ‘keeper superbly dived to his left to push away Lloyd’s whipped free-kick which looked certain to nestle into the back of the net at the near post, before turning a Quigley effort wide of the upright, as Rochdale came forward again. 

Henderson then got a flick on an Odoh cross in towards the near post but King was equal to it. From the resulting corner, Mullarkey glanced a header past the post. 

A deserved opener came in the 52nd minute. Henderson picked up a short back pass, but despite being forced wide by the ‘keeper, he took a touch and clipped the ball up and over King and a Cobblers defender, and watched on as the ball went in off the near post. 

Three minutes after the goal, up the other end, Hoskins bent a free-kick narrowly wide of the post, before heading wide of the upright from a Shaun McWilliams delivery. 

On the hour, O’Donnell was called into action to keep out a Mitch Pinnock effort at the near upright. The Northampton Town midfielder then lashed over the bar on the follow up. 

Soon after, Lloyd clipped a superb ball down the line fro Quigley, who after holding off former Dale loanee Tyler Magloire to get inside the area, he fired wide of the far post from a tight angle. 

Moments later, Hoskins saw a low effort deflected narrowly past the post. 

There were shouts for a Rochdale penalty when Henderson went to ground after latching onto a Mullarkey ball over the top and getting inside, but the referee was quick to wave away the appeals. 

Dale’s first change of the game came in the 78th minute, as D’Mani Mellor replaced Henderson. 

Rochdale had been resolute throughout the game but they conceded in the 89th minute as the Cobblers scored the goal that saw the points shared, when Fox, from the edge of the area, rifled a powerful shot into the corner to equalise. 

A doubled substitution followed a minute later as the game entered stoppage time, with Lloyd and Quigley making way for James Ball and Tahvon Campbell. 

The visitors piled on the pressure during the five minutes of added on time, but Dale stood firm. Deep into stoppage time, O’Donnell pulled off a big save, bravely came out to deny D’Margio Wright-Phillips who was through one-on-one with him. 

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