Cup run ends in

Middleton Guardian - - LEISURE -

EMI­RATES FA CUP SEC­OND ROUND ROCHDALE ....................... 0 PORTSMOUTH ................. 1

HAV­ING en­joyed the magic of the FA Cup in abun­dance last sea­son, Rochdale ex­pe­ri­enced the com­pe­ti­tion’s ca­pac­ity for heart­break on Sun­day when they were beaten in the most painful of cir­cum­stances.

An­dre Green’s 90th minute ef­fort, from a clev­erly-worked free-kick, took a huge de­flec­tion off Ryan De­laney and com­pletely wrong-footed Josh Lil­lis, loop­ing into the net.

It was harsh on Dale, who had been by far the stronger team in the sec­ond half and had looked the side more likely to break the dead­lock.

There were six changes to the team which had started the mid­week de­feat at Ox­ford with Cal­lum Camps, Sam Hart, Aaron Wil­bra­ham and Conor Ran­dall drop­ping out of the match­day squad while Ol­lie Rath­bone and Jim McNulty took places on the bench.

Joe Rafferty, Matt Done, Calvin An­drew, MJ Wil­liams, Stephen Doo­ley and Jor­dan Wil­liams were all re­stored to the start­ing XI .

In mak­ing his 278th start, Lil­lis drew level with Neil Ed­wards as the goal­keeper with most ap­pear­ances for the club.

Nei­ther side cre­ated an op­por­tu­nity of note in an evenly con­tested open­ing ten min­utes, and it was Dale who carved out the af­ter­noon’s first chance when Jor­dan Wil­liams col­lected An­drew’s flick on and wrong-footed his marker on the edge of the area, the for­mer Bar­row man pulling his shot wide of Craig MacGillivray’s post.

Ben Thomp­son skipped past Done on the right of the penalty area and blasted over the cross­bar while a driv­ing run from Gareth Evans also ended with the ball fly­ing into the Sandy Lane sup­port­ers.

Evans later sent a volleyed at­tempt closer to the tar­get but again, too high to trou­ble Lil­lis while Ro­nan Cur­tis was the first to test Lil­lis when he chested the ball down and struck a low ef­fort on tar­get, the Dale keeper com­fort­ably col­lect­ing.

An­drew com­bined to good ef­fect with Jor­dan Wil­liams once again in the 42nd minute for Dale’s best ef­fort of the game up to that point. The big front­man’s flick on teed up Wil­liams for a shot across MacGillivray from the right-hand side of the area, his shot beat­ing the goal­keeper but run­ning nar­rowly wide of the far post.

Pom­pey went even closer with their next at­tack, Cur­tis’ su­perb run for­ward end­ing with a thump­ing 20-yard ef­fort which slammed into the cross­bar.

Dale started the sec­ond half strongly with the vis­i­tors pegged back in­side their own half for a spell, MJ Wil­liams – hav­ing fired a shot wildly over the top min­utes ear­lier – mis­cu­ing the ball when he at­tempted to vol­ley Andy Can­non’s cor­ner goal­ward while the Pom­pey wall did its job in fend­ing off a free-kick from Done.

An­drew got in be­hind the Portsmouth de­fence but saw his an­gled fin­ish saved by MacGillivray, Ad­shead pounc­ing on the re­bound but see­ing his shot blocked by the head of Jack What­mough.

And Dale were a whisker away from break­ing the dead­lock in the 69th minute when Done and Jor­dan Wil­liams com­bined down the left flank, Done car­ry­ing the ball into the area be­fore fir­ing to­wards the roof of MacGillivray’s net only to see his ef­fort slam against the cross­bar.

Oliver Hawkins had a header saved and What- mough nod­ded one wide at the other end but with Dale dom­i­nat­ing in terms of chances cre­ated, Portsmouth boss Kenny Jack­ett brought on striker Brett Pit­man, so of­ten a bo­gey­man for Hill’s side.

Chris Brun­skill

Josh Lil­lis played his 278th game for Rochdale, mov­ing him level with Neil Ed­wards as the goal­keeper with most ap­pear­ances

Matt Done had Dale’s best ef­fort when he struck the cross­bar dur­ing a sec­ond half largely dom­i­nated by the home side

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