SKY BET LEAGUE ONE SCUNTHORPE .................. 1 ROCHDALE ...................... 1
ROCHDALE will be frustrated not to have come away with a first win at Glanford Park since 1999 after a hard-fought match against Scunthorpe United ended 1-1.
Keith Hill made five changes from Tuesday night’s 2-0 loss to Fleetwood Town, looking to exploit the flanks with an expansive 5-3-2 formation.
Sam Hart, making his full debut, and Joe Rafferty came into a fiveman defence at the expense of Ryan Delaney and Scott Wiseman, while Oliver Rathbone and Bradden Inman replaced the injured Andy Cannon and Stephen Humphrys to join Callum Camps in a midfield three.
The final change saw Calvin Andrew return from injury to lead the line at the expense of Billy Knott, with Ian Henderson in support.
The home side nearly took the lead within three minutes when Josh Morris dragged his low effort wide of Josh Lillis’ net after a Harrison McGahey miskick.
Rochdale, meanwhile, offered little at first but grew into the match once they began to play the ball out from defence to Camps, who began to dictate the tempo of the game from deep-lying midfield.
One of his through balls found Inman in behind the Iron defence on ten minutes, but his first-time lob over the onrushing Matt Gilks was a little too high to break the deadlock.
Rochdale continued to dominate the midfield battle, Inman playing in a more advanced role while Camps and the tenacious Rathbone sat deep and picked up the scraps.
Scunthorpe remained in the game though as Murray Wallace burst down the left, his cross having just too much on it for Ivan Toney to make contact at the back post.
The deadlock was eventually broken on 20 minutes when Camps’ speculative effort on the edge of the box following a corner nestled into the bottom left of an unsighted Gilks’ net.
The goal was just rewards for Dale’s number 10, who was the first half’s standout player.
Perhaps Scunthorpe’s best chance of the opening 45 minutes came when Funso Ojo and Duane Holmes combined to force a smart save from Lillis.
But Rochdale should have doubled their lead before the break when Inman failed to connect with a Calvin Andrew knockdown before Rathbone shinned his followup effort wide from a good position.
Despite Dale’s first half dominance, Scunthorpe improved after the break having changed their shape and were level within five minutes when Toney reacted quickest to head in from a corner.
Despite the Iron’s improvements, Rochdale were far from on the back foot and were just the width of the post away from taking the lead once more before the hour mark.
A free-kick was launched in from the left by Camps and Sam Hart was unfortunate to see his powerful header come back off the woodwork.
At the other end, McGahey had to be on hand to prevent a Holmes cut back from finding Toney before, from the resulting corner, Scunthorpe centre back Cameron Burgess missed from close range.
With an end-to-end game beginning to drop in quality, Rochdale’s midfield three became stretched and their influence waned. Keith Hill consequently brought off Rathbone, who had injured his groin, for Wiseman, dropping
Callum Camps’ passing dictated the tempo of the game