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Kick off 19:00 (UK)

09 March 2021 Venue Crown Oil Arena Attendance

Kick off 19:00 (UK)

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English Football League - League One

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Match Previews

In focus: Rochdale AFC match preview

8 March 2021

Take a closer look at the latest stats and facts in our match preview ahead of Town's Sky Bet League One clash with Rochdale AFC.

Rochdale's season hasn't gone to plan as the Dale find themselves marooned at the bottom of the Sky Bet League One table after 33 league games. Bryan Barry-Murphy's side come into the tie with Salop having lost their last three fixtures.

However, Salop will be faced with taking on Matthew Lund and Stephen Humphrys who have scored 11 and seven goals respectively. As well as netting 11 times, Lund has provided five assists for his team as they look to rescue their season. Town will also be looking for a return to winning ways after losing out to Fleetwood Town on the weekend. 

Name: Rochdale Association Football Club

Nickname: The Dale

Founded: 1907; 114 years ago

Stadium: Spotland Stadium

Capacity: 10,249

Chairman/owner: Andrew Kelly

Biggest win: 8-1 v Chesterfield, Division Three (North), 18th December 1926

Biggest loss: 1-9 v Tranmere Rovers, Division Three (North), 25th December 1931

Highest League finish: 2nd, Division Three (North), 1922-23, 1926-27

Read Aaron Wilbraham's thoughts ahead of the tie...

The Manager - Brian Barry-Murphy

Barry-Murphy began his career at his hometown club Cork City. In 1999, he then moved to Preston North End, but began to establish himself in league football during loan spells at Southend United and Hartlepool United. He would go on to play for Sheffield Wednesday and Bury before signing for local rivals Rochdale in 2010.

Barry-Murphy was appointed Rochdale's caretaker manager in March 2019 following the sacking of Keith Hill. In April 2019 he was appointed permanent manager on a two-year contract.

Goalkeeper - Gavin Bazunu

19-year-old Gavin Bazunu joined Rochdale at the start of the season on a season-long loan deal from Premier League giants Manchester City.

The Republic of Ireland under-21 international started his senior career with Shamrock Rovers but quickly caught the eye of City who snapped him up a year later. So far this season, Bazunu has been the main shot-stopper for the Dale as he looks to continue his footballing development in Sky Bet League One.

Defender - Paul McShane

A highly experienced central defender, Paul McShane joined the Dale in 2019 after four years in the Sky Bet Championship with Reading.

The Republic of Ireland international had a strong pedigree coming into his senior career having spent time in the Manchester United youth system. Since leaving the Reds, McShane has represented West Bromwich Albion, Sunderland, Hull City and Crystal Palace amongst others.

During a lengthy career, the Dale number five has won the FA Youth Cup with United and promotion from the Championship with Hull City.

Midfielder - Aaron Morley

21-year-old midfielder Aaron Morley is a graduate of the Rochdale academy having joined the club in 2016 - signing his first professional contract at Scotland aged just 17.

He made his senior debut in the Checkatrade Trophy against Notts County in the 2016/17 season and his league bow against Southend four days later. Despite Dale's league position, Morley has had some success this season on the assists charts - having set up five goals for his team.

Forward - Stephen Humphrys

Stephen Humphrys joined Rochdale On 11 September 2020, signing a two-year deal at Scotland.

The former Salop striker began his career with Fulham but first tasted senior men's football during a loan spell at Montgomery Waters Meadow in 2017. Since then, the Dale number nine has represented Scunthorpe United and Southend United.

So far this season, the striker has netted on seven occasions, as well as providing three assists for his team.

League average stats:


Referee: Martin Coy
Assistants: Chris Isherwood and Richard Wigglesworth
Fourth Official: Ben Toner


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Match Reports

Match report: Rochdale AFC 0 Shrewsbury Town 2

9 March 2021

Shrewsbury Town surpass Rochdale AFC with a 2-0 win at Spotland Stadium.

Two goals, a clean sheet and a commanding performance saw Shrewsbury Town leave Rochdale AFC's Spotland Stadium with all three points. 

Second-half goals from Josh Daniels and Josh Vela were ultimately the difference between the two teams as the win was taken back to Shropshire.

It was the home side who had the first real opportunity to open the scores in the 15th minute. However, after a goalmouth scramble, Town were able to clear the ball away from the box and the teams remained level. The Dale would have been disappointed to have not registered a shot on goal.

With his weak foot, Nathanael Ogbeta managed to let off a shot at goal for Salop in the later moments of the first-half. The wing-back dribbled into the final-third well and cut inside to find a yard of space. Despite this, the shot lacked power and Dale shot-stopper Gavin Bazunu dealt with the effort comfortably.

Salop found the breakthrough with 55 minutes on the clock. Josh Daniels jumped well at the back post to convert Shaun Whalley's well-worked deep cross into the box. The Dale man in the sticks did get a hand to the ball but couldn't deny Town's wing-back the opener.

A dangerous counter-attack from Steve Cotterill's men earned Salop the second goal of the fixture with just over 25 minutes to go. Josh Vela got on the end of a defence-splitting pass and the midfielder made the home side pay with a smart finish into the bottom corner of the net.

A commanding defensive performance from Salop proved to frustrate the home side. Matthew Pennington's contribution as a second-half substitute helped lockout the home side who threw everything at the Town backline as the minutes ticked down. 

The game came to an end with Steve Cotterill's men taking the win back to Shropshire after a positive performance on the road.

The teams:

Dale: Gavin Bazunu, Ryan McLaughlin (Kwado Baah, 65), Gabriel Osho (Alex Newby 79), Paul McShane (Aaron Morley, 65), Eoghan O'Connell, Stephen Humphrys, Jimmy Keohane, Haydon Roberts, Matty Done, Conor Grant, Connor Shaughnessy.

Subs not used: Jay Lynch, Ethan Brierly, Joe Dunne.

Town: Harry Burgoyne, Ro-Shaun Williams, Sean Goss, Shaun Whalley (Curtis Main, 87), Josh Vela, Nathanael Ogbeta, Brad Walker (Matthew Pennington. 74), Josh Daniels, Daniel Udoh (Rekeil Pyke, 87), Ethan Ebanks-Landell, David Davis (Dave Edwards, 74).

Subs not used: Matija Sarkic, Ryan Sears, Harry Chapman.


Referee: Martin Coy
Assistants: Chris Isherwood and Richard Wigglesworth
Fourth Official: Ben Toner


Ro-Shaun Williams was shown the first yellow card of the fixture for a foul on Stephen Humphrys.

Paul McShane was shown a yellow card in the 26th minute for a foul on Dan Udoh in the Dale half.

Kwado Baah was the third man shown a yellow card by referee Ben Toner. The Dale man fouled Town goal-scorer Josh Daniels on the end of the Salop box.


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