Dale out of EFL Trophy despite win at Bradford
ROCHDALE closed their EFL Trophy campaign by coming from behind to beat Bradford City 2-1 at Valley Parade.
Brian Barry-Murphy’s men needed a four-goal margin of victory to progress in the competition and their hopes suffered a setback when the home side took the lead in the 15th minute, Tyler French applying a close-range finish at the near post to a free-kick from the left.
And Dale were on the ropes soon after when Aaron Wilbraham fouled Kelvin Mellor after slipping in the area. Aramide Oteh stepped up from the penalty spot but Jay Lynch dived to his right to keep Dale in the game.
Jake Reeves’ shot smashed against the crossbar as Bradford pushed for a second, but Dale hit back strongly and had turned the game on its head by half time.
Rekeil Pyke levelled on 29 minutes with a goal out of nothing, the striker seizing on a loose pass 25 yards out before sending a thunderous strike into the top corner of George Sykes-Kenworthy’s net.
And six minutes later Fabio Tavares edged the visitors ahead, jabbing Jimmy Ryan’s delivery wide of Sykes-Kenworthy.
The Bantams started the second half brightly, Lynch pulling off a fine save to keep out Zeli Ismail’s leftfooted drive and then pushing Callum Cooke’s dipping 25-yard effort over the crossbar. But Dale saw the game out comfortably, ensuring the consolation of exiting the competition in winning style.