Dale out af­ter

Rochdale Observer - - SPORT - MATTHEW GRE­GORY

ROCHDALE suf­fered a dis­ap­point­ing exit from the Check­a­trade Tro­phy to League Two Lin­coln City as Ol­lie Palmer’s late goal gave the vis­i­tors a de­served vic­tory at the Crown Oil Arena.

It was Lin­coln that made the brighter start on a dif­fi­cult sur­face but Rochdale who carved out the first clear-cut chance of the match when Andy Can­non curled a 20-yard ef­fort nar­rowly wide of the far post.

Dale strug­gled to main­tain pos­ses­sion and much of the early play took place in the home side’s fi­nal third, but with Lin­coln find­ing it dif­fi­cult to break down the defence it was Rochdale who went close again, Mark Kitch­ing ri­fling a low cross-shot across goal and just past the back post.

Lin­coln were try­ing to make the most of their tar­get man Matt Rhead’s phys­i­cal pres­ence and he should have opened the scor­ing af­ter 26 min­utes when he lost his marker and got a free header in from a deep cross from the right, but he only suc­ceeded in di­vert­ing the ball straight at Josh Lil­lis in the Rochdale goal.

Rochdale then had a penalty shout waved away by ref­eree Ben Toner when winger Joe Raf­ferty went down in the box un­der a clumsy chal­lenge be­fore Joe Bun­ney stretched Lin­coln keeper Paul Far­man with a swerv­ing free kick that was tipped over the bar.

Lin­coln pro­vided Rhead with another good chance be­fore the end of the half when the striker found space for a header at the back post, but again his ef­fort was sim­ple for Lil­lis to deal with.

The game slowed down in the sec­ond half as Rochdale started find­ing it eas­ier to make use of the ball but again it was the away side pre­sent­ing the greater goal threat, and Rochdale were grate­ful to Raf­ferty for a cru­cial block on Harry Anderson’s goal­bound drive, while Lil­lis was kept on his toes by a pow­er­ful strike from just out­side the area by Alex Wood­ward.

Rochdale’s best chance of the sec­ond pe­riod came through Calvin An­drews, the for­ward do­ing well to beat his marker from a cor­ner but miss­ing out on a fifth goal of the sea­son when he headed just past the post.

It wasn’t un­til the 88th minute when Lin­coln, fin­ish­ing the stronger of the two sides, fi­nally took a well-earned lead when sub­sti­tute Nathan Arnold col­lected a loose clear­ance from Lil­lis, skipped past his marker on the left wing and slid a low cross into the six-yard box which found Ol­lie Palmer, brought on just af­ter the hour mark for Rhead, and left the Red Imps striker with the sim­plest of tap­ins.

Lin­coln al­most found a sec­ond just two min­utes later when the ball ric­o­cheted into the path of Anderson – but the mid­fielder’s at­tempt to chip Lil­lis was frac­tion­ally over-hit and drifted harm­lessly on to the roof of the net.

Rochdale did their best to force a late equaliser and take the game to penal­ties but the vis­i­tors’ defence held firm to send Lin­coln into the quar­ter fi­nals.

Speak­ing to the club’s of­fi­cial web­site, Rochdale man­ager Keith Hill pro­fessed him­self dis­ap­pointed by the late goal: “The man­ner in which we con­ceded was a car crash.

“Josh Lil­lis hurts his knee on the pitch, picks the ball up and kicks it to no­body, and they end up scor­ing from it.

“My right back dives in for no rea­son – only he knows why, and then no­body marks in the box. It’s un­ac­cept­able and it’s a chain of er­rors. We shouldn’t be con­ced­ing in that man­ner at that late stage of the game.”

Si­mon Hall

●●Brad­den In­man in ac­tion dur­ing Dale’s 1-0 de­feat against Lin­coln City

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.