|Rochdale 0 v 1 Ipswich Town|
SkyBet League One
Tuesday, 5th November 2019 Kick-off 19:45
Rochdale 0-1 Ipswich Town - Match Report
Tuesday, 5th Nov 2019 21:41
Danny Rowe’s first Town goal was enough to see the Blues to a 1-0 win against Rochdale at Spotland and back to the top of League One. The winger reacted quickly to turn a defensive error past home keeper Jay Lynch in the 53rd minute to win the first ever fixture between the sides.
Boss Paul Lambert made two changes for the Blues’ first ever game against Dale with Jon Nolan and Alan Judge back in the starting XI.
Nolan was at the centre of a four-man midfield for Flynn Downes, who was suspended, while Judge was on the left wing.
Gwion Edwards was on the right of the back four with Kane Vincent-Young out for a few weeks having undergone groin surgery in Doha last week.
Town saw most of the ball in the opening minutes, mainly down the left, with Rochdale struggling to get out of their own half.
However, they were unable to create even a half-chance until the 10th minute when Luke Garbutt blazed well over from 20 yards from Kayden Jackson’s stab back from the edge of the area.
A minute later, Nolan scuffed Edwards’s ball in from the right across the face of goal with the Blues dominating possession in the opening spell.
But in the 14th minute, with their first serious attack of the game, Rochdale almost took the lead.
From a long punt forward, Matt Done sent over a low ball from the left which reached Rekeil Pyke at the back post and his low shot was just diverted past the post by a Town heel.
Two minutes later, Callum Camps struck a well-hit effort from distance which flew beyond Will Norris in the Town goal and also his left post.
Rochdale were seeing more of the ball and on 19 Norris failed to hold a Done cross from the left but was able to claim at the second attempt.
But Town were still having more of the possession without being able to carve out a clear-cut opportunity.
Rochdale, however, came close again in the 22nd minute, Camps playing the ball into the path of Done as he broke into the area but fortunately for the Blues the former Sheffield United man’s shot was straight at Norris.
The home side, with 17-year-old Luke Matheson on the right looking a very promising talent, continued to look the more likely scorers, despite more of the game being played in their half, albeit without Lynch in their goal being threatened.
On 33 Edwards claimed he’d been fouled as he collided with Done as a long ball was pumped forward but referee Scott Oldham waved play on allowing Jimmy Keohane to cut back to Camps, whose strike was blocked by Chambers.
Town came close for the first time in the 36th minute from a Judge corner on the right when Luke Woolfenden’s header from six yards out appeared to go through a crowd of players and hit the post.
The ball was eventually sent back in from the right and James Norwood nodded straight at home keeper Jay Lynch.
Rochdale ended the half on top and on 44 Norwood was booked for a frustrated foul. However, seconds before the whistle, the Blues came within a whisker of going in front.
Following a half-cleared short corner on the right, Garbutt cut inside and unleashed a powerful left-foot strike which slammed against the bar.
There was still time for a Lynch long kick to almost catch out Edwards on halfway, Dale skipper Ian Henderson failing to read the Welshman’s error, before referee Oldham ended the half.
The Blues had had long spells in possession - with the half overall having seen more football than most of Town’s recent away matches - but with Rochdale getting men behind the ball and preventing them from creating a serious chance in open play with both Woolfenden and Garbutt’s efforts against the woodwork from corners.
At the other end, Dale had broken quickly and had carved out enough chances to feel they might well have grabbed a goal before the break.
Aaron Morley attempted an audacious halfway line effort at goal after the ball was laid back to him from the second-half kick-off but failed to trouble Norris.
Blues wingers Judge and Danny Rowe had swapped flanks and in the 53rd minute the former Macclesfield man put the Blues in front with his first ever Town goal.
Edwards sent over a deflected cross from the right, Eoghan O’Connell inadvertently headed back towards his own goal and Rowe nipped in to slip home ahead of the keeper.
On 65 Garbutt smashed a low freekick from 30 yards which Lynch failed to hold but for once Jackson wasn’t able to get there first to score on the rebound and the ball was bundled behind for the first of two corners.
And from the second flag-kick the Blues went very close to making it 2-0, Woolfenden rising highest but flicking his header just past the far post.
Moments later, Rochdale swapped Morley for Jimmy Ryan, then on 70 Paul McShane was switched for Fabio Tavares.
The home side had hardly threatened since the break but on 71 a corner was cleared to Matheson 20 yards out from where the youngster struck a powerful shot which took a deflection on its way over the bar.
Three minutes later, Keohane was sent away in space down the left but his cross was ahead of his team-mates breaking into the box. Soon after, Calvin Andrew replaced Pyke for Dale.
As the game moved into its final quarter of an hour, Judge - still looking for his first Town goal - cut in from the left following a corner which had been cleared back to him and hit a powerful shot which Lynch batted away.
The home side might have levelled in the 78th minute when Keohane’s cross from the left fell to Henderson at the far post but the ex-Canary’s effort lacked any conviction and looped harmlessly over.
Judge hit a freekick from wide on the left only just over in the 81st minute, seconds before Will Keane and Anthony Georgiou replaced Norwood and Rowe.
As the game moved into its final 10 minutes Rochdale began to send more balls into the box, but with Woolfenden and Chambers remaining resolute, as they had all evening. With two minutes remaining Andre Dozzell took over from Judge.
The Blues saw out six minutes of injury time in relative comfort and came close to making it 2-0 when Dozzell fed in Jackson but Lynch was off his line quickly to block.
After a first half which the home side will have felt they shaded, certainly in terms of chances, Town were very much on top in the second and might well have added to their lead with Judge twice going close and Woolfenden’s header only just the wrong side of the post. Norris was a spectator for the most part.
The win - the Blues’ seventh on their travels this season - puts Town back to the top on goal difference from Wycombe with a game in hand on the Chairboys, who visit Portman Road later this month.
However, it’s FA Cup first round action for the first time since 1956 on Saturday when Lincoln City are in Suffolk.
Rochdale: Lynch, O’Connell, Williams, Camps, Pyke (Andrew 74), Keohane, McShane (Tavares 70), Done, Morley (Ryan 66), Henderson (c), Matheson. Unused: McLaughlin, Wade, Bradley, Hopper.
Town: Norris, Edwards, Woolfenden, Chambers (c), Garbutt, Rowe (Georgiou 81), Nolan, Skuse, Judge (Dozzell 88), Norwood (Keane 81), Jackson. Unused: Holy, Huws, Kenlock, Wilson. Referee: Scott Oldham (Lancashire). Att: 3,150 (Town: 906).
Photo: Action Images
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