Revenge is served up cold by Clarke
JOHN Sheridan paid tribute to his dependable captain Peter Clarke, after his equaliser confirmed Oldham’s status in League One for another season.
Clarke was on the receiving end of an offthe-ball elbow in the corresponding fixture at Spotland, which landed Calvin Andrew a nine-match ban.
And he got revenge by nodding home a Jamie Stott cross to level an early effort from Callum Camps.
Sheridan claimed that Rochdale players were in Clarke’s ear during the game, before the 35-year-old produced the perfect on-field retort.
“One or two players were trying to wind Clarkey up and I saw Ian Henderson trying to do that,” said Sheridan, who has lifted the club from bottom of the table after coming in back in January.
“I’m chuffed to bits he scored the goal and you could see he was chuffed as well. He has had a great season and has played every game.
“It’s a great effort from him and he knows how to look after himself.
“It’s great to secure our status and to get over the line with a game spare.
“A lot of respect should go to the players. We were in a very difficult position, but they have responded well in the way they have gone about things. The first half was probably the worst we have played since I have come back, but we responded in the second half.”
Rochdale could have been out of sight by half-time.
The excellent Nathaniel MendezLaing twisted his way past teenage defender Stott before cutting the ball back into the path of Camps, who lifted the ball into the roof of the net from eight yards.
Ian Henderson went close with a lovely chipped effort that drifted narrowly wide, after Ousmane Fane had botched a shooting chance at the other end.
Oldham upped their game in the second half and Stott shaped in a free-kick to the danger area that Clarke met with his head from close-range.
“I’m really pleased we are still in with an opportunity of finishing in the top six – who would have thought it?” said Rochdale manager Keith Hill, whose side are two points adrift of a play-off spot.
“We go into the last game against Bradford full of confidence and commitment and to see if we can get the job done.
“We’ll go all out to create something special which hasn’t been achieved before at this club. This is an exciting position to be in.”