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Match Previews

Match preview: Rochdale AFC

24 August 2021

Match Previews

Match preview: Rochdale AFC

24 August 2021

Take a closer look at the latest stats and facts in our match preview ahead of Salop’s Carabao Cup fixture Rochdale AFC.

Following their dramatic penalty shootout win against Lincoln City, Steve Cotterill’s side drew League Two side Rochdale AFC, who received a bye for their first-round fixture against Harrogate Town – a side who beat them 3-2 on the opening day of the season.

Sitting in 15th, with one win from four, Robbie Stockdale’s side haven’t had the brightest start to life in League Two following their relegation last year. However, a revived 3-1 win against Northampton Town on Saturday will have likely given Dale the lift they need going into Tuesday’s tie, as well as going forward in the league. Dale bolstered their squad through the loan signing of defender Jeriel Dorssett from Reading – a club who have shown acumen in recognising young talent.

If the first round result showed anything, it was fight and determination. Fight from a side who have shown it time and time again and will undoubtedly show what they’re capable of on the pitch. Cotterill’s side have just proved unlucky more than anything at times, and dominated spells against the Pilgrim’s on Saturday, but simply need to take chances as they come to get a foot in the game. Tuesday’s game could offer a massive lift for the Town squad and fans and give them much-needed confidence going into Saturday’s game against Gillingham.

Their last meeting came in March of this year, a game in which Salop ran out 2-0 winners thanks to goals from Josh Daniels and Josh Vela. Both teams will be looking to prove a point on Tuesday night, and a win would not only send them through to the next round but give either side the confidence to bounce back from underwhelming starts to their season and truly kick on.

Name: Rochdale AFC

Founded: 1907 (114 years ago)

Chairman/Owner: Simon Gauge

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

Biggest defeat: 1-9 vs. Tranmere Rovers, Division Three (North), 25th December 1931

Highest League finish: 9th, League One, 2010/11


Goalkeeper: Jay Lynch

Goalkeeper Jay Lynch, arrived in Rochdale early on in the 2019/20 season, joining from National League outfit AFC Fylde.

The ‘keeper came through the ranks of Manchester United, spending time at surrounding north-west clubs Accrington Stanley and Bolton Wanderers, however the bulk of his career appearances came through his time at Salford City and AFC Fylde.

Lynch made his debut in the EFL Trophy against Manchester City’s U21, a game they lost 2-0. The Dale shot-stopper then made his league debut against nearby Bolton, standing in for the injured 

Robert Sanchez - now Brighton and Hove Albion’s resident number one. 

Since then, Lynch signed a contract extension this summer, keeping him at the Crown Oil Arena for an extra year. He’s started this season with 4 starts in the league, keeping one clean sheet and recording a save percentage of 62.5%. 

Defender: Eoghan O’Donnell

A centre-half by trade, O’Donnell left Bury to sign a two year contract with the neighbouring Dale in July 2019, following the Shaker’s 2018/19 promotion to League One - a side he started for 35 times. 

Starting his career in Scotland, O’Donnell graduated from Celtic’s academy and made 13 first team appearances for the ‘Bhoys’ in green, one being in the UEFA Champions League. His six years at Parkhead saw the defender go out on loan to Oldham, Walsall and his hometown side Cork City before he arrived in Rochdale from Bury. 

The defender replaced Ian Henderson as captain following the striker’s departure at the beginning of the 2020/21 season, scoring his first goal for the club not long after. Since then, O’Donnell has become a mainstay at the Dale, and despite their relegation last year, he put pen-to-paper on a new 12-month deal. 

Midfielder: Matty Done

A veteran within the EFL, Matty Done returned to Rochdale in August 2017 in what would be his third spell at the Crown Oil Arena.

Born in nearby Oswestry, the midfielder has made 285 appearances for the Dale, breaking into the club’s top ten all-time appearance makers. First joining the Dale in the 2010/11 season, Done was part of the side that achieved their joint-highest league finish in the clubs history - finishing ninth in League One.

Done followed manager Keith Hill to Barnsley, but a period of injuries saw him arrive back in Rochdale just two years later following 44 appearances and a loan spell at Hibernian. He then was an integral part of the side that achieved promotion and back-to-back FA Cup fourth round ties from 2013 onwards. His impressive performances earned him a move to Sheffield United halfway through the Dale’s returning season to League One. He stayed at Brammal Lane throughout their time in League One, eventually leaving following their promotion to the Championship, returning once again to the Crown Oil Arena, where he has stayed since. 

Striker: Abaraham Odoh

A new addition to Robbie Stockdale’s side, Odoh signed following an impressive trial spell for the Dale - scoring in both of his Central League Cup appearances. 

Before being released, Odoh was most recently at Charlton Athletic, but the youngster failed to make his mark at The Valley despite making his professional debut against West Bromwich Albion in January 2020. However, aged just 21, he still has time to show why he earned himself a move to the EFL from Isthmian League side Tooting and Mitcham.


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