Rochdale v Port Vale
Saturday 28th November 2015
Attendance: 2,510 including 486 visiting supporters
Vale’s six-game unbeaten run came to an end at Spotland with a 2-1 defeat, and to make things worse, skipper Carl Dickinson must now serve a suspension after being red-carded in the dying seconds of the game.
Chris Birchall put Vale ahead in the 13th minute of the game and Vale looked to be in command, before the home side were awarded a penalty five minutes before the interval and Henderson levelled from the spot.
Rochdale looked to have picked things up in the second half and substitute Mendez-Liang put his side ahead from the edge of the box and Vale couldn’t find a way back.
As expected, Rob Page made one change to the Vale starting eleven with Chris Birchall coming in to take the place of Byron Moore, who missed out due to a hamstring injury.
Although the opening few minutes were a little scrappy, Vale were more or less camped inside the Rochdale half of the pitch, yet Alnwick was the first pf the two goalkeepers to make save, pushing over his crossbar for a corner kick.
There was a worrying sight when Ajay Leitch-Smith came out of a 10th minute tackle limping slightly, but he soon shrugged it off and continued playing on what was a rain-sodden Spotland pitch.
Rochdale loanee John O’Sullivan was rather fortunate to not get more than a telling off from the referee for a tackle in the centre of the park which left the Vale defender rolling in agony,
GOAL:Two minutes later, with 13 minutes on the clock Vale took the lead when a pass from Louis Dodds was deflected into the patch of CHRIS BIRCHALL, and the Vale midfielder rolled the ball into the net with his left foot from 15 yards.
Two minutes later O’Sullivan was punished for a challenge of Anthony Grant, and this time he didn’t escape a yellow card.
The game continued to be played in a similar manner with Vale well in control of things, the Vale midfield bossing things and the defence standing firm on the rare occasions they were called into action.
The home side gradually begam to pose more of a threat, but a determined Vale continued to press high up the pitch, giving Rochdale plenty to think about.
Calvin Andrew, the former Vale loanee who scored the decisive goal late on in the corresponding game last season went close to levelling for the Dale.
Powering his way into the vale box, shrugging off a couple of challenges, it took a brave save from Jak Alnwick to prevent him hitting the target again.
GOAL:The home side levelled the scores from the spot in the 40th minute when Dickinson was rather harshly adjudged to have brought down Hooper unfairly and Dale skipper Ian Henderson made no mistake from 12 yards.
Rochdale started the brighter of the two sides after the half time interval as Vale looked to have lost their way a little.
Rob Page’s side didn’t take too long to lift themselves, however and before too long they were posing a threat once again.
It was not the same Vale performance as the first half however and Vale had Ryan McGivern to thanks for keeping the scores level when the defender cleared off the line.
The hoem side had another effort blocked on the line, before Vale made their first change in the 66th minute with Sam Kelly coming off the bench to replace Chris Birchall.
With seconds, Sam Foley, who had by now switched wings, layed the ball inside the Leith-Smith, who was denied his sixth goal in five matches by an good save to his left by Joel Castro Pereira.
There was a let off for the Vale when the ball came off the foot of Richard Duffy and slammed against Jak Alnwick’s left upright before Vale were able to clear.
In the 73rd minute Vale made a second substitution with Uche Ikpeazu coming on to replace Ajay Leitch-Smith, with Rob Page hoping Ikpeazu’s physical presence would make a difference.
Ikpeazu was soon in the thick of things, firing over the bar via a deflection after forcing his way through, though it looked as though he had fouled a defender on his way through.
From the resulting corner kick Carl Dickinson burst into the box to send in a powerful header, which grazed the top of the crossbar.
Five minutes into stoppage time Vale skipper Carl Dickinson received a red card for an incident on the edge of the Rochdale box as Vale were lining up a free kick.
GOAL: Then in the 78th minute the home side took the lead. Richard Duffy managed to clear off the line, but the ball went straight to the feet of substitute Nathaniel Mendez-Laing, who smashed the ball back into the net from the edge of the box.
Vale made a third change in the 83rd minute. JJ Hooper left the bench to take the place of Louis Dodds.
ROCHDALE:Joel Catsro Pereira, Rhys Bennett, Jimmy McNulty, Oliver Lancashire, Calvin Andrew, John O’Sullivan, Scott Tanser, Callum Camps, James Hooper, Joe Bunney, Ian Henderson. SUBS: Josh Lillis, Joe Rafferty, Ashley Eastham, Peter Vincenti, Donal McDermott, Nathaniel Mendez-Laing, Michael Rose.
PORT VALE:Jak Alnwick, Adam Yates, Ryan McGivern, Richard Duffy, Carl Dickinson, Anthony Grant, Michael O’Connor, Sam Foley, Louis Dodds, Ajay Leicth-Smith. SUBS: Chris Neal, Ben Purkiss, Remie Streete, Uche Ikpeazu, Colin Daniel, JJ Hooper, Sam Kelly