Rochdale v Port Vale
Monday 6th April 2015
Attendance: 2,948 including 405 visiting supporters
Vale’s dismal run of defeats continued as they went down to a single goal deep into stoppage time against play-off chasing Rochdale at Spotland and to add insult to injury, it was a former Vale loanee who got the all-important goal.
Vale had put in a gritty performance, defending well to keep the home side at bay in a game of few clear cut goal scoring opportunities to either side.
But with the referee poised to blow his whistle for full time, Calvin Andrew grabbed all three points for the home side with a downward header to confine Vale to a sixth consecutive defeat.
Rob Page made five changes from the side that lost at home to Colchester United on Good Friday as Vale looked to do something to stop the slide, after five consecutive defeats.
In came Chris Neal, Chris Robertson, Richard Duffy, Tommy O’Sullivan and Tom Pope, while Sam Johnson, Adam Yates, Neill Collins, Michael O’Connor and Ben Williamson all missed out.
The two sides cancelled each other out early on in the game, each having spells in their opponents half, each passing the ball around well, but no shots at goal at either end within the opening ten minutes.
Ale won a corner in the 12th minute, taken by Mark Marshall, but although Tom Pope towerd above everybody, he could only direct his header over the Rochdale crossbar.
Despite there being a lack of goalmouth action, it was a promising start from the Valiants, who looked solid at the back and who looked more than willing to attack in numbers whenever the opportunity arose.
Noble-Lazarus went close with a 25 yard effort for the home side – the ball flew wide of Chris Neal’s left hand upright, but the Vale ‘keeper seemed to have had it covered anyway.
There was a hold up in the game when Joseph Rafferty went down just outside the Vale box, but when play restarted, the free kick came to nothing as the ball was deflected for a corner kick
The home side were by now just about on top, but then Vale went close when Dodds played a quick ball into Chris Birchall and his angled shot flashed across the face of the goal before going out for a goal kick.
In the 45th minute the home sode won a free kick and the ball was whipped in by Michael Rose towards the near post and although Henderson managed to get there, he could only head wide, under pressure.
Noble lazerus sent the ball low across the Vale goal early in the second half, but thankfully there were no blue shirts in a place to take advantage.
The second half continued in a similar fashion to the first forty-five minutes, with neither goalkeeper haven’t an awful lot to do.
Peter Vincenti had an opportunity to test Chris Neil with a free kick from 27 yards, but sent the ball high over the Vale ‘keeper’ crossbar.
Vale made a second substitution in the 76th minute when Colin Daniel came of the bench to replace Chris Birchall.
Marshall swapped flanks once Daniel came on and he was soon in action, cutting in from the right to play a square ball for O’Sullivan, but his shot not only cleared the Rochdale crossbar, but also the stand behind the goal.
GOAL:Vale had to withstand some Rochdale pressure in the closing moments of the game, and in the 95th minute CALVIN ANDREW struck the killer blow with a downward header.
ROCHDALE: Jamie Jones, Joseph Rafferty, Rhys Bennett, Ashley Eastham, Peter Vincenti, Reuben Noble-Lazarus, Bastien Hery, Michael Rose, Andrew Cannon, Tom Kennedy, Ian Henderson. SUBS: Joshuah Lillis, Calvin Andrew, Febien Brandy, Brian Barry-Murphy, Joel Logan, Cammul Camps, James Hooper.
PORT VALE: Chris Neal, Fredi Veseli, Richard Duffy, Chris Robertson, Carl Dickinson, Chris Birchall, Michael Brown, Tommy O’Sullivan, Mark Marshall, Louis Dodds, Tom Pope. SUBS: Sam Johnson, Adam Yates, Ben Williamson, Colin Daniel, Michael O’Connor, Mohamed Coulibaly, Achille Campion
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