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Match Reports

Report | Dale 2-0 Stevenage

4 March 2023

Match Reports

Report | Dale 2-0 Stevenage

4 March 2023

Excellent Rochdale secured three valuable points at home Stevenage on Saturday with a comprehensive 2-0 win over the automatic promotion hopefuls.

Devante Rodney and Danny Lloyd scored the goals in the comfortable victory at the Crown Oil Arena. 

There were two changes to the side that lined up against Crewe Alexandra last weekend, as Richard O’Donnell and Scott Quigley came in for Jake Eastwood and Ian Henderson. 

Rochdale started the game on the front foot and tested goalkeeper Toby Savin a couple of minutes into the match. Savin spilled Lloyd’s cross from the left as Quigley lurked but despite Jimmy Keohane stretching to get on the end of the ball to turn it home, the visitors were able to clear the danger. 

The positive start continued during the opening exchanges, as it did throughout the rest of the half, and Dale deservedly broke the deadlock on seven minutes. After a fantastic, fast flowing move forward, Ethan Brierley played in Abraham Odoh who drove at goal before sliding a pass into the area for Rodney to sweep home on the angle. 

An opportunity fell for Stevenage six minutes later, but Luke Norris could only blast a volley over the bar from close range. 

Brierley then, also, struck over. After former Dale player Max Clark hit the ball out of defence and straight to his feet in the middle of the park, Brierley worked his way through on goal before firing over. 

Dale doubled their advantage with another superb goal shortly before the half hour mark, following another great move forward. Having been played in by Quigley, Odoh linked up with Brierley who in turn squared for Lloyd and he hit home beyond Savin. 

Boro made two changes shortly after Rochdale’s second goal and substitute Jake Taylor had a shot blocked from inside the area soon after his introduction. 

But Dale didn’t look content with their 2-0 lead and were in on goal on several occasions in the closing stages of the half. After more great play from Brierley and Odoh, Rodney had two shots blocked by some excellent defending, while Owen Dodgson was also kept out by a strong block. 

As the half entered stopped time, O’Donnell pulled off a fantastic save to keep out Jordan Roberts’ well-struck effort from distance, ensuring Rochdale went into the break two goals to the good. 

Stevenage asked more questions of Dale in the second half but Jim Bentley’s side looked comfortable as they stood firm to rebuff their advances.

Quigley was there to clear a goal bound ball off the line after a Boro corner had squirmed awkwardly around the area. 

Max Taylor then put in a good block to help keep out Jake Taylor’s shot from inside the area. Meanwhile, Dodgson hooked away Roberts’ header from a corner which he had sent down and into the ground. 

Up the other end, Brierley found Quigley who skipped past Clark before seeing his shot blocked. 

Stevenage’s Roberts then headed wide from a ball into the back post. 

With 70 minutes on the clock, Dale came close to adding a third as Lloyd, on the turn, sliced his shot narrowly wide of the far post. 

Rochdale’s first substitution followed soon after, with Toumani Diagouraga replacing Lloyd. Three further changes came five minutes later as Odoh, Quigley and Rodney made way for Rhys Bennett, Henderson and D’Mani Mellor, respectively. 

There was a superb goal saving block by Bennett less than five minutes after he joined the action, as he diverted Josh March’s volley over from right under the cross bar.

Deep into stoppage time, Roberts’ powerful effort came crashing off the base of the post and Jake Taylor fired over the rebound, as Dale comfortably saw the game out to secure three valuable points and keep a clean sheet against the promotion chasers. 


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