Dale defence douse Red Dragons’ fire to secure FA Cup replay
INJURY-HIT Rochdale lived to fight another day in the Emirates FA Cup after earning a first-round replay at National League outfit Wrexham.
Dale boss Brian BarryMurphy was missing experienced defenders Jim McNulty and Paul McShane for the clash against the Red Dragons but his young backline kept the home side at bay to secure a replay at the Crown Oil Arena.
Wrexham had the better of the tie with Ben Tollitt missing a chance from close range and then seeing his effort strike the crossbar in the first half.
Bryan Hughes’ men came out of the blocks rampant in the second half, but couldn’t find a way past the Dale defence and goalkeeper Robert Sanchez, who returned from injury to play a key role in preserving their clean sheet.
Akil Wright almost won the game late on, but his shot struck the woodwork once more.
Both sides also had penalty shouts waved away as Dale held on to secure a result that will make them favourites to advance in the replay.
“I’m delighted that we are still in the draw,” said BBM.
“They gave us plenty of problems, but they were problems we managed to find solutions to, be it goalkeeping saves, defenders playing really well – it’s a part of our game that we’ve been keen to see for quite a long time and to see it in evidence in quite an important fixture is testament to the players and their development, how much they are growing as a unit and it’s very pleasing for me.”