Dale: Andy Lonergan, Ryan McLaughlin, Kgosi Ntlhe, Jimmy McNulty, Ethan Ebanks-Landell, M J Williams, Callum Camps, Oliver Rathbone (Stephen Dooley, 74), Bradden Inman (Calvin Andrew, 82), Joseph Bunney, Ian Henderson (Zach Clough, 89).
Subs: Stephan Dooley, Calvin Andrew, Jordan Williams, Mathew Done, Daniel Adshead, Zach Clough, Brad Wade.
Town: Steve Arnold, Ro-Shaun Williams, Ryan Haynes, David Edwards (Josh Laurent, 69), Omar Beckles, Shaun Whalley, Greg Docherty, Tyrese Campbell (Stefan Payne, 71), Fejiri Okenabirhie (Aaron Amadi-Holloway, 59), Luke Waterfall, Ollie Norburn.
Subs: Mat Sadler, Aaron Amadi-Holloway, Scott Golbourne, Ryan Sears, Josh Laurent, Reice Charles-Cook, Stefan Payne.
Referee: J Brooks
Assistants: R Hyde and M Coy
Fourth official: S Hudson.
Attendance: 3217 (525)
Despite Town securing a late goal, Rochdale managed to take all three points with a 2-1 win.
Greg Docherty got on the score sheet for Town but his late effort wouldn’t be enough to secure any points on the road.
Team News: Sam Ricketts made four changes to his starting line-up to face the Dale. Scott Golbourne, Josh Laurent and Aaron Amadi-Holloway returned to the bench and James Bolton was unavailable due to injury. Into the team came Ryan Haynes, Omar Beckles, Greg Docherty and Fejiri Okenabirhie.
The first 10 minutes passed with both teams still working the opposition out. Both sides were playing encouraging passes in their opposite half but no clear-cut chances came as a result.
Steve Arnold was called into action with 14 minutes on the clock. A ball was struck towards goal and looked to be heading into the top corner. Arnold covered back well and managed to tip the ball over the bar.
The home side managed to take the lead through the following corner. Kgosi Ntlhe managed to get on the end of the ball side footed the ball on the half-volley to give the home side the opening goal.
Fejiri Okenabirhie came inches away from pulling Town back on level terms just six minutes after the opening goal. The forward managed to get on the end of Tyrese Campbell’s driven cross but couldn’t find the target due to pressure from the Dale defender.
Town went close again with just under 10 minutes to go in the half. Okenabirhie this time played a good cross into the box but Campbell was unable to find the target inside the box.
Luke Waterfall was shown a yellow card in the 39th minute as the referee had deemed the defender to have pulled back Ian Henderson.
The resulting free-kick saw Arnold being called into action once again. Town’s keeper got two strong hands to parry the ball and Henderson couldn’t convert the rebound from six yards out.
Callum Camps was shown a yellow card for fouling Okenabirhie on the edge of the box.
Town had succession of corners towards the back end of the half. Town were getting closer and closer but Andy Lonergan did well to claim the ball on his fourth attempt.
The half came to an end with the home side going into the break with the one goal advantage. Town were pushing relentlessly as the clock ticked on but the Dale did well to dig in and deny Town a leveller.
Rochdale managed to double their lead after just two minutes. Dale crossed into the box and after the ball bounced around Jimmy McNulty managed to prod home from close range.
Ro-Shaun Williams was given a yellow card in the 51st minute for a foul down the left-hand side.
Joseph Bunney was also given a yellow card for fouling Docherty on the right wing.
Town looked to be in after the 55th minute mark. Omar Beckles jumped well to get a solid header on the ball but Lonergan managed to get down well and parry the ball away.
Despite going two goals down, the Shrews were battling hard and always looking to push forward and create chances. Aaron Amadi-Holloway did well to hold the ball up for Town but the Dale defence were proving to be difficult to break down.
Frustration was starting to grow for Town as Sam Ricketts’ men couldn’t get a hold of the ball for long enough to trouble the home side. However, the lack of chances weren’t from lack of effort.
Town did manage to put the ball in the back of the net through Waterfall, but the linesman deemed the defender to be offside.
Town managed to pull a late, late goal back through Greg Docherty. The midfielder got on the end of Holloway’s pass and slotted the ball past the Dale keeper.
A disappointing afternoon came to an end as Town lost out to the hosts 2-1.