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Match Reports

Report | Dale 3-0 Wealdstone

28 February 2024

Match Reports

Report | Dale 3-0 Wealdstone

28 February 2024

Cian Hayes’ brace and Ethan Ebanks-Landell’s third of the campaign saw Dale complete a positive evening’s work on home soil over Wealdstone on Tuesday.

Rochdale had a brilliant first-half, Ebanks-Landell giving McNulty’s men the lead before a quickfire double from Hayes on the stroke of half-time in what was a dominant performance that earned Dale all three points.

McNulty made three changes to Saturday’s team that fought back in the spirited draw at Chesterfield. Jimmy Keohane, Cameron John and Ryan East all returned in place of Finlay Armstrong, Adam Clayton and Devante Rodney.

It was an even start to proceedings, as Wealdstone enjoyed an early spell of possession but struggled to enter the final third.

Dale grew into the game and had the first attempt six minutes in when D’Mani Mellor picked the ball up after a poor clearance and played in Kairo Mitchell, whose low drive was met equally by Dewhurst in the visiting goal.

Mitchell then had a flurry of chances to get on the scoresheet. His deflected effort was sent wide for a corner. The resulting set-piece was headed into the side-netting by the number nine.

Seven minutes later, and Mellor’s left-footed attempt was spilt by the Wealdstone keeper, and Jimmy Keohane couldn’t bundle it home, with Mitchell adjudged to have given away a foul in the area in the aftermath.

Dale were in the ascendancy and deservedly took the lead 26 minutes in when Ryan East put in a teasing delivery, which was flicked on by a Wealdstone head into the path of Ethan Ebanks-Landell, who tapped home for his third of the season.

Dale thought they had a second, and so did the captain. East’s free-kick was fired low to Gilmour, who struck towards goal, forcing Dewhurst into making a great save only for Ebanks-Landell to score, but he was in an offside position.

Kairo Mitchell then got onto the end of Cameron John’s cross, but his header flew over the bar.

Wealdstone had a couple of chances against the run of play. Brooks was equal to a cross before Nathan Ferguson dragged wide.

Just before added time, Dale got their elusive second. East won the ball in midfield and raced forward. He played a wonderful ball into the middle towards Mitchell, whose header hit the post and was clawed out by the keeper into the path of Cian Hayes, who slammed home from close range.

And as both teams were about to head for the changing rooms, Dale grabbed a third two minutes into added time through that man Hayes again for a first brace in a Dale shirt. Mellor did well to send the Fleetwood loanee through, and his cross-shot from the right looped over Dewhurst into the far corner to make it 3-0.

Wealdstone created their best chance with 53 minutes elapsed as Allarakhia struck from a tight angle. His attempt crashed off the outside of the post. The ball then fell to Ferguson on the edge of the box, whose powerful effort was blocked well by Kyron Gordon.

Just after the hour mark, and Dale could’ve had four. Gordon’s ball through found Mellor, who went for goal. His shot was parried as far as Keohane, who struck over with his right.

Two minutes later, East’s corner found Ebanks-Landell, whose header clipped the top of the crossbar and over.

Mellor had a try for goal, which was diverted away from the target, and despite the attempts from Ferguson and Young for the away side late on, it would be Dale to pick up the three points and a clean sheet to complete a perfect evening.

Dale XI | Brooks, Gordon (88’ Sassi), John, East, Ebanks-Landell, Mitchell (88’ Sinclair), Keohane, Mellor, Nevett, Hayes (73’ Henderson), Gilmour.

Unused subs | Clayton, Rodney.

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