Dale lighting up


ROCHDALE kick­started a run of four suc­ces­sive home games with a nar­row vic­tory against Charl­ton.

Ian Henderson’s early strike, his 99th goal for the club in all com­pe­ti­tions, proved the dif­fer­ence be­tween the teams and while the visi­tors might ar­gue they had a penalty saved, a sec­ond half strike ruled out and a num­ber of ef­forts bril­liantly saved by Bran­don Moore or cleared by the re­silient Dale de­fence, in truth the home side were de­serv­ing of the points.

Dale reg­u­larly cre­ated op­por­tu­ni­ties of their own and could eas­ily have run out more com­fort­able win­ners – Charl­ton boss Lee Bowyer cer­tainly had no com­plaints, brand­ing his side’s ef­forts ‘not good enough.’

Keith Hill’s men re­sponded to his call for im­prove­ment fol­low­ing the mid­week loss at Wy­combe.

The Dale boss made three changes to the team which had started the 3-0 de­feat at Adams Park four days ear­lier. Brad In­man, Sam Hart and Oliver Rath­bone re­turned in place of Matt Done, MJ Wil­liams and Kgosi Ntlhe, who missed out on the match­day squad al­to­gether.

Joe Raf­ferty was the first to test the ef­fects of the bright au­tum­nal sun­light shin­ing in Jed Steer’s eyes as he fired on tar­get from 25 yards, the goal­keeper div­ing to his left to smother the ball as Jor­dan Wil­liams raced in for any scraps.

The de­ci­sive goal ar­rived in the fourth minute. Raf­ferty was forced wide on the right and fed the ball up the line to Stephen Doo­ley. The tricky mid­fielder feigned a cross but worked his way into the penalty area be­fore slip­ping a square pass to­wards Henderson, the Dale skip­per slam­ming home a low drive from 10 yards.

Noses blood­ied, the Ad­dicks came into the game with Lyle Tay­lor cap­i­tal­is­ing on a way­ward pass, col­lect­ing the ball in the cen­tre cir­cle and ad­vanc­ing to­wards goals with only Hart be­tween him and the tar­get, the striker’s shot from 18 yards skim­ming the top of Moore’s cross­bar.

A driv­ing run for­wards from Cal­lum Camps ended with an in­tel­li­gent pass to pick out In­man, in space on the left of the Charl­ton penalty area. He took a touch in­side be­fore pulling a shot wide of the near post.

The Ad­dicks were handed a life­line in the 18th minute when Moore came off his line to punch clear a de­liv­ery from the right – he did so, but ref­eree Andy Haines deemed his chal­lenge on Dar­ren Prat­ley an il­le­gal one and pointed to the penalty spot.

The goal­keeper quickly made amends, div­ing to his right to palm clear Tay­lor’s spot kick and pre­serve Dale’s slen­der lead.

Dale closed out the half in search of a sec­ond goal and Jor­dan Wil­liams was de­nied when his turn and shot at point blank range was closed down by Steer while In­man saw a firm drive cleared off the line by Chris Solly fol­low­ing great ap­proach play from Raf­ferty and Wil­liams.

Af­ter the break, Charl­ton cap­tain Ja­son Pearce headed a free-kick waste­fully

‘The lads coped well with the pressure of hav­ing only won once be­fore at home’

wide when he rose un­chal­lenged in the Dale penalty area.

Josh Cullen’s 25-yard drive looked des­tined for the roof of the net un­til Moore got across his goalline and flew to his right,

Sean Hans­ford

●●Ian Henderson net­ted his tenth goal of the sea­son against Charl­ton

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