Dale heroics in Cup praised by Barry-Murphy
CUP FAIRY TALE
ROCHDALE’S cup conquests this season have taken them to the footballing palaces of Old Trafford and St James’ Park – but Brian Barry-Murphy insists he got as big a kick out of a breezy night in Boston.
Dale’s FA Cup run came to an end when Steve Bruce’s Newcastle demonstrated their superiority with a 4-1 victory in Tuesday’s Third Round replay, the Magpies having been held to a 1-1 draw at the Crown Oil Arena ten days earlier.
It brought to an end a memorable campaign for glamour ties at Dale which also took in a Carabao Cup draw against Manchester United in the autumn on a night when the Reds progressed via a penalty shoot-out, but the plaudits belonged to the League One underdogs.
Reflecting on his side’s success in knockout competitions, BBM looked back with great fondness on the occasions his players stood toe-to-toe with the nation’s best. But he was equally as enthusiastic for the stops at Wrexham and Boston along the way.
“I’m totally indebted to the players for what they have achieved in the cup this season,” he said. “I said to them at half-time they have given us the ride of a lifetime and we’ve been to grounds we never thought we’d see Old Trafford, St James’ Park... and Boston away. That was equally as rewarding for me! Wrexham was another. Finding ways to get results at those grounds was down to the players and we owe them everything.
“It was a difficult first half in terms of the scoreline – in our previous cup exploits this season we have managed to keep teams out when we’d been put under pressure, but we couldn’t do that and were 3-0 down at the interval.
“But we gave a good account of ourselves in the second half and managed to score a great goal in front of our fans which was hugely important for us, to be able to give them something to celebrate. “The players were desperate to give the fans something to shout about at Newcastle. In the second half we were urged forward by the supporters and our attacks were sporadic early on but we managed to provide some great attacking intent late in the game and I was just bursting with pride to see Ian Henderson and Fabio Tavares running through, the old Rochdale legend and the new kid on the scene. It was something to be proud of. “We had great support throughout December when results were difficult, amazing backing from our supporters. It’s been reciprocated by the players who have given the supporters everything. That has been really evident and something to be really proud of in the last few weeks when results have started to go our way.”
Dale’s Rhys Norrington-Davies is challenged by Matthew Longstaff of Newcastle during the FA Cup Third Round replay