Dale see two-goal lead slip in City tie


DALE ex­ited the Checkatrade Tro­phy at the third round stage after a 4-2 de­feat against Manch­ester City Un­der-21s at the Crown Oil Arena.

Jim Mc­Nulty’s fourth minute header put the­home side in front be­fore Mag­nus Nor­man saved a Tay­lor Richards penalty, shortly be­fore the lead was dou­bled by Stephen Doo­ley just be­fore the half hour mark.

Luke Bolton and Jay­den Braaf got City back on level terms, be­fore Braaf and Richards scored in the fi­nal ten min­utes to seal the win for City.

Dan Ad­shead cap­tained the side along­side fel­low Academy grad­u­ate Aaron Mor­ley, with un­der-16 Academy player Luke Math­e­son also start­ing.

Dale got off to the per­fect start, break­ing the dead­lock in­side four min­utes from a set-piece.

Mor­ley’s cor­ner went all the way to the far post where Kgosi Ntlhe sent a loop­ing ball back across for Mc­Nulty to head home off the post.

Two min­utes later, Ntlhe found Matty Done with a ball over the top and Done fired a pow­er­ful ef­fort at goal which was well saved by City goal­keeper Daniel Grimshaw.

Rory Holden saw a right foot shot well blocked, whilst at the over end Nor­man pro­duced a good stop to deny Richards.

The Dale stop­per was called into ac­tion in the 24th minute when Jeremie Frim­pong’s run ended with him be­ing brought down in the penalty area.

Richards stepped up, but Nor­man was equal to it and held the penalty kick low to his left.

And Dale made them pay five min­utes later by dou­bling the lead.

Doo­ley re­ceived the ball on the left and played a one-two with Holden, be­fore curl­ing the ball into the far bot­tom cor­ner from 20-yards.

Mor­ley and Rath­bone had ef­forts as the open­ing pe­riod came to a close, but five min­utes after the restart they halved the deficit when Bolton closed down Nor­man’s kick out and fin­ished at the near post.

In re­sponse, a Rath­bone de­flected shot and Mor­ley ef­fort wide from dis­tance sand­wiched an ef­fort from Bolton which dipped nar­rowly over the bar.

The vis­i­tors equalised mid­way through the pe­riod when Braaf turned home from close range, de­spite Nor­man pro­duc­ing three con­sec­u­tive saves to keep out City ef­forts.

Nor­man then held on well to a fizzing ef­fort from Felix Nmecha and Ad­shead saw a shot held low by City goal­keeper Daniel Grimshaw.

Holden had two shots blocked and Jan Carlo Poveda fired over, be­fore City took the lead when Braaf’s su­perb in­di­vid­ual run through the mid­dle ended with a com­pose fin­ish be­yond Nor­man.

And City wrapped up the win when Poveda’s stood a ball up to the back post for Richards to nod home from close range.

Holden fired over and sub­sti­tute Matty Gil­lam had a shot turned round the post as Dale tried to pull the game back, but it turned out to be the end of their Checkatrade Tro­phy run.

●●Stephen Doo­ley re­turned from in­jury and scored Dale’s sec­ond goal against Manch­ester City un­der 21s

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