On the back of a win against the league leaders and four league games unbeaten, we welcome Rochdale to Vale Park.
In the Dugout
Having had a few spells as a caretaker manager, Robbie Stockdale was appointed first team manager of Rochdale in July of this year after Brian Barry-Murphy resigned in June.
Man with the Armband
Defender Eoghan O’Connell captains the Dale who signed for the club in 2019. He joined Celtic’s Academy in 2011 where he made seven appearances as well as going on loan to Oldham Athletic, Cork City and Walsall between 2015 and 2017. He signed a deal at Bury in 2017 and played for two years before they were expelled from the EFL.
O’Connell has started the majority of games this season, playing a huge role in a defence that has kept two clean sheets, one against Scunthorpe United in the league and the other against Shrewsbury Town in the second round of the Carabao Cup.
Jimmy Keohane scored the equaliser in Rochdale’s last league game which has surely cemented his place in the side after not playing in the first three competitive games of the season.
He began his career in the League of Ireland First Division in 2009 before moving to Bristol City a year later for €100,000. He moved the Exeter in 2011 and played for Woking, Sligo Rovers and Cork City before signing for Rochdale in 2019.
There are three men who are tied for top scorer in all competitions at Rochdale with Josh Andrews, Corey O’Keefe and Alex Newby all scoring two goals so far this season.
Last time out and recent form
In their last five games, Dale have played three league games and two cup ties. An average set of results in the league with a draw, a win and a loss against Colchester United, Northampton Town and Forest Green Rovers respectively.
They received a first round bye in the Carabao Cup as their opponents Harrogate Town had a Covid-19 outbreak and therefore they travelled to Shrewsbury in the second round and were victorious setting up a third-round tie against Burnley. Rochdale are in the same Papa John’s group as the Valiants and they won their opening game against Liverpool U21’s 4-0.
Liam Kelley scored his first goal for the club on the 33rd minute in that game and in the second half it was clear that Liverpool’s youngsters could not keep the tempo up. O’Keefe made it two from the penalty spot five minutes after the restart before securing his brace on 72 minutes.
Andrews completed a comfortable win for the hosts on 78 minutes as Rochdale joined Bolton Wanderers on three points at the top of the table.