An open game with chances for both sides but in the end a point a piece
A goalless first half for Town, however we saw new signing Sean Goss make the starting 11 whilst Louis Thompson makes the bench.
Town and Rochdale have had many chances throughout the first-half, however no-one has managed to find a breakthrough goal yet.
Dale’s first chance come within the first five minutes after Oliver Rathbone sweetly struck a long-range effort but found it flying over Max O’Leary’s net.
Town’s luck changed after Shaun Whalley began chasing down and putting pressure on Robert Sanchez as he fires the ball at Whalley but unfortunately found it flying out for a goal kick.
Shortly after, Town look to play some lovely football after switching play from Whalley to Luke McCormick and then over to Ryan Giles. Giles puts a low cross in from the left-wing that looks like its heading towards Steve Morison, but Dale’s defence manages to clear it but only for a corner. Giles whips the corner in backpost to Omar Beckles who sets up Ethan Ebanks-Landell with a great head, but Sanchez manages to push it over the bar for another Town corner.
Giles is having so much time and fun down the left-hand side. He breaks down the left and sets Whalley up who plays a low cross in the box and looks as if it’s heading towards Steve Morison, but the Dale defence manages to pinch and win it.
Aaron Pierre looks strong and wants to attack this game. He was heading through the middle of the park as Callum Camps brought him down mid-way between the centre circle and 18-yard box. Luke McCormick steps up and takes the free-kick but it is cleared by Rathbone who sprints towards the opposite end, taking it past McCormick but the shot isn’t great and is denied by O’Leary.
Giles hits a strike, but it is deflected, and it lands at McCormicks’ feet just inside the 18-yard box who smashes a volley, however it is blocked again. Town are having chances but are struggling to find the goal.
The last ten minutes of the first-half Town looked to end strong and pile on the pressure looking for that goal. With some great play, long balls and switches of play.
Whalley is looking sharp and eager upfront. He performs a great run by the by-line but is stopped in his tracks and manages to win a corner. Whalley takes a short, quick corner to McCormick on the edge of the box, but his shot is deflected. Morison has a chance in the scramble, but Sanchez saves which falls for Whalley on the half-volley but is again, deflected out for a corner.
A long ball out to Giles and he does well to keep the ball in with his touch. He produces another good delivery to the back post as Morison is there to have a chance, but Sanchez is there to keep it out.
Half-time is approaching and Town continues to apply pressure with Love making a great run down the right-wing and manages to cross the ball along the floor however it is bounced back out by Dale’s defence which causes a misplaced pass and goes out for a Town corner.
Giles steps up to take the corner but turns it into a short, quick pass to Whalley who drives into the box. There is also some great link-up play between Whalley and Love down the right-wing and as Edwards tries to join in, he is bought down. Sean Goss steps up to whip the free-kick in, which goes back post to Morison who sets up Pierre with a spectacular bicycle kick, however it just falls wide of Sanchez’s goal.
Half-time Town 0 – 0 Dale
Town come out in the second half looking strong and applying pressure just like they did before the break.
Captain fantastic, Edwards attempts to make a cross down the ring-wing but is blocked and out for a corner. Donald Love steps up, whips it in but is headed out by Ian Henderson as it looked to be going front post.
There were some great battling going on throughout the second half but once again neither team could find the net.
There were many chances from both teams and both teams eager to get the first goal. With impacts from new signings, Goss and Louis Thompson. Town’s midfield look strong and play the ball well through the middle, out from the back and with switches of play.
Fejiri Okenabirhie comes on and instantly makes an impact. He is quickly bought down by Rathbone and he receives a yellow for it. Goss steps up to take the free-kick and its hit deep towards Sanchez’s back post, but it is just shy of the goal and goes out for a free kick.
Omar Beckles mistimed his touch and allowed Rathbone to pinch the ball and break leaving him just outside the 18-yard-box. Love steps in and brings him down on the edge of the box. Camps steps up to take the free-kick but he smashes it straight at O’Leary’s hand but the ball then lands at Rathbone’s feet as he attempts to hit it on the volley but it flies over O’Leary’s goal.
With five minutes to go, Dale had a huge chance as Camps looks to head to ball over the bar from less than 6-yards out however the linesman flags for offside. This gives Dale hope that they can go from this and find a goal.
With three minutes to go, Town find themselves a goal down as Dale have found the back of the net. But the referee isn’t happy as he speaks to the linesman and offside is given. More hope for Town as the score stays equal. Henderson was on the line and looked like he touched the ball which is why it was given offside.
Town look to go again and put in a solid performance Tuesday night away at Accrington Stanley and come away with three points.