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Match Reports

Report | Eastleigh 1-4 Dale

16 March 2024

Match Reports

Report | Eastleigh 1-4 Dale

16 March 2024

A superb Dale performance earned all three points with a thumping 4-1 win at Eastleigh on Saturday.

Kairo Mitchell’s goal just before the half an hour mark was cancelled out minutes later by National League leading goal scorer Paul McCallum, but Jimmy Keohane restored Dale’s lead on the stroke of half-time.

Devante Rodney scored his third goal in five games to double the lead in the 72nd minute before Mitchell added his second to seal the rout.

Jimmy McNulty made two changes from the side that started Tuesday night’s win over Woking. Cameron John replaced Finlay Armstrong, who dropped to the bench, whilst Jimmy Keohane came in for Sam Mather, who missed out entirely.

Devante Rodney and Keohane both had shots blocked inside the area as Dale dominated the opening stages of the game.

Cian Hayes and Harvey Gilmour both saw dangerous crosses well defended before Rodney hit a powerful effort from 20-yards off target.

At the other end, McCallum had a header saved and Scott Quigley sent another well off target.

Dale took a deserved lead 28 minutes in with Mitchell’s 13th of the campaign. Rodney won the ball high up the pitch and drove towards the area before finding Mitchell to his right, who slotted home coolly into the bottom corner.

However, the lead was short-lived, as McCallum headed home a Quigley cross just three minutes later.

McNulty’s side continued to dominate possession despite being pegged back, as Eastleigh goalkeeper Joe McDonnell produced saves from Ryan East and Rodney.

However, he couldn’t prevent Dale from restoring the lead in the 45th minute. George Nevett’s diagonal found Hayes, who played a through ball to the underlapping Kyron Gordon. His square ball was close to being met by Mitchell, but it found its way to the back post where Keohane swept home from ten yards.

Five minutes after the break, Quigley almost equalised for the hosts, but he failed to turn home a flicked-on throw-in from a couple of yards out, with Tiernan Brooks holding the effort.

Rodney saw a powerful effort from the edge of the area spilled by McDonnell, before McCallum headed an Eastleigh free-kick wide.

The Dale number ten did get on the scoresheet in the 72nd minute though, rounding off a silky Dale move. Ethan Ebanks-Landell clipped a ball down the line for Hayes, who brought it inside past a couple of defenders and played it to Mitchell. His deft flick went straight into the path of Rodney who showed great composure to jink past two defenders and fire one home off the underside of the crossbar.

A fourth followed 11 minutes from time, with Mitchell doubling his tally. After laying the ball off to Hayes inside the Dale half, he set off on a run forward and latched on to a through ball from the on-loan winger. He hit a powerful effort which McDonnell got a hand to but couldn’t prevent it from looping in off the far post.

Ebanks-Landell saw a header from an East free-kick in what would be the last meaningful action of a game that Dale well and truly dominated.

Dale XI | Brooks, Gordon, John (90+2’ Uchegbulam), East, Ebanks-Landell ©, Mitchell, Rodney (77’ Armstrong), Keohane, Nevett (87’ Sassi), Hayes, Gilmour.

Unused subs | Taylor, Clayton.


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