Young Dale rise

Rochdale Observer - - SCHOOL NEWS -

DALE made it two wins from two in the Checkatrade Tro­phy with a 2-0 win at Fleetwood Town.

Jor­dan Wil­liams opened the scor­ing with his first goal for the club in the first-half, be­fore Andy Can­non dou­bled the lead shortly af­ter the break.

The win means Dale are now through to the knock­out stages of the com­pe­ti­tion, with a top two spot guar­an­teed in North­ern Group B.

Keith Hill made nine changes to the side that started at Black­pool in Sky Bet League One on Satur­day, with Har­ri­son McGa­hey and Sam Hart the two sur­vivors.

Dale’s youngest ever debu­tant, 16-year-old Luke Mathe­son, made his first pro­fes­sional start af­ter im­press­ing in the open­ing Checkatrade Tro­phy game against Bury, when he was awarded Man of the Match.

Dale be­gan the game brightly and grabbed a de­served opener in the 16th minute through Wil­liams.

He won a header on the touch­line into the feet of Matty Done, who played a re­turn through ball for Wil­liams to run on to.

He drove into the area and fired beyond Fleetwood goal­keeper Billy Crellin, who couldn’t pre­vent the ef­fort from find­ing the back of the net.

Wil­liams was caus­ing the home de­fence prob­lems and had an op­por­tu­nity to dou­ble the lead four min­utes later af­ter be­ing found by Stephen Doo­ley, but he flashed an ef­fort beyond the far post from a tight an­gle.

The Dale goalscorer again found him­self in a good po­si­tion to grab a sec­ond, when Mathe­son’s ball across to Doo­ley de­flected into his path, but his sweep­ing ef­fort curled over.

Bren­dan Moore made a strong save from a Wes Burns ef­fort from dis­tance, but the home side’s best chance came in added time of the firsthalf.

Moore’s pass was in­ter­cepted by Chris Long, who took a touch be­fore fir­ing goal­wards, but Moore got back to make a fine save over the cross­bar.

Dale were forced into a change just be­fore the in­ter­val when Dan Ad­shead was forced off through an in­jury picked up from Kyle Dempsey’s late chal­lenge min­utes ear­lier. Joe Raf­ferty re­placed him.

Dale’s lead was dou­bled in­side two min­utes of the restart. Great pres­sure on the Fleetwood de­fence who were play­ing the ball in their own area saw Can­non win the ball back and he took the ball for­ward be­fore fir­ing home pow­er­fully.

Zach Clough re­placed Hart with Dale’s sec­ond change and he was al­most found by Wil­liams when he was re­leased down the left, but he was caught in two minds be­tween shoot­ing and look­ing for Clough, with the ef­fort in be­tween the both.

Fleetwood sub­sti­tute and for­mer Dale man Ash­ley Eastham sent a header back across goal at the back post when it looked eas­ier to di­vert home, in a rare chance for the hosts.

Clough sent two free­kicks just wide of the near post from promis­ing po­si­tions, with goal­keeper

‘The chal­lenge was there for the play­ers and they took it on with a bit of brav­ery’

Crellin rooted to the spot on both oc­ca­sions.

Dale stop­per Moore held on to a whipped free­kick late on as Dale pre­served their clean sheet, and held on for an­other three points in the Check-

Si­mon Hall

Andy Can­non was on the score­sheet for Dale in the mid­week game against Fleetwood

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