|Rochdale 0 v 2 Lincoln City|
SkyBet League One
Saturday, 5th December 2020 Kick-off 15:00
Match Report: Rochdale 0-2 Lincoln City
Saturday, 5th Dec 2020 17:53 by Chaff
Dale took on Lincoln City at Spotland and a dismal and frustrating second half display resulted in Dale losing 2-0.
Dale were looking to build on Tuesday's brilliant 4-0 win away at Plymouth with another positive result at home to high-flying Lincoln but it wasn't to be as Dale were soundly beaten by a very solid and organised Imps side.
Team news came through twitter and there was just one change with Jake Beesley making way for Stephen Dooley. Beesley got absolutely clattered last week in what was a lengthy and awful looking injury stoppage and he obviously hasn't shaken it off fully. Bazunu was still out with his broken finger so Lynch kept the gloves but there was again no sign of Ben Chalton on the bench and we went with with a full bench of outfield players. We lined up with Jay Lynch in goal, Ryan McLaughlin at right back and Jimmy Keohane at left back with Eoghan O'Connell and Haydon Roberts at centre back. Aaron Morley and Matt Lund were in the middle while Stephen Dooley and Ollie Rathbone were on the wings with Alex Newby playing off Stephen Humphrys. The bench consisted of Tolaji Bola, Jim McNulty, Ethan Brierley, Jimmy Ryan, Matt Done, Fabio Tavares and Kwadwo Baah.
Dale got us under way at Spotland on a cold Saturday afternoon, not that it was cold from our living rooms I'd imagine. Cheers Boris. I sat there at home with my bovril, wishing I'd been overcharged for it at Dale but instead I had to sit there with my multipack ones from B&M's.
We got off to a quick start to the game but couldn't manage to break through when we looked to get the ball in wide areas in the final third.
As the game went on, Lincoln came more into it but it's fair to say that the game was pretty much a midfield battle with very little in the way of goalmouth action.
Dale did have an appeal for a penalty waved away. A cross came in from the right which struck a Lincoln arm but it was inches outside the box despite the big claims from Rathbone, Lund and others. The referee got it spot on. The freekick was taken by Newby and passed to Morley just outside the box and his shot was well blocked.
As we approached the half hour mark, Morley pinged a tremendous ball up to Humprhys who controlled it well with a great first touch and managed to turn and get his shot away but his shot was well blocked as well.
Just a minute later and Haydon Roberts went just wide with an effort from the edge of the box.
Lincoln had started creating a little bit more and putting our defence under a bit more pressure and one such occasion saw Tom Hopper managed to get away from Roberts and shoot but his shot went just wide of the post via a slight deflection.
The visitors did manage to get that breakthrough on 37 minutes though and it all looked a little bit too bloody easy. A great ball came in from the left and was stepped over by one attacker before finding it's way to Jones who finished past Lynch. The ball travelled quite a way prior to that without being dealt with which was highly annoying but it was 1-0 to Lincoln.
The half time whistle came and Dale trailed. We'd not created much in terms of clear cut chances and there were too many attacks slowed down for my liking but we'd not played disastrously bad. Dooley, Morley and Rathbone were all having better games while Humprhys hadn't got into the game much yet. Maybe he was missing Beesley, or at last a natural striker alongside him. Maybe he was just up against a very good defensive unit.
The second half was no better for Dale, in fact it was worse.
Lincoln really started to take the game to Dale and create more chances with Lynch called into action a few times.
Then we saw Ollie Rathbone go off injured. I thought he was having one of his better games in all honesty as well. Kwadwo Baah came on for him and went straight out wide on the left.
Jones should have done better for Lincoln but his effort flew over the bar at the Sandy Lane end thankfully.
Dale had their best chance of the game as a very good ball through from Newby found Humphrys who smashed it goalwards from a very tight angle which forced the keeper into a very good save.
Could that be a catalyst for Dale getting back into the game?
No, no it couldn't. Just a couple of minutes later and Dale were further behind. Highly rated centre back Lewis Montsma has found the net a few times for Lincoln this season and he did again today but in a very different way than he may be used to. He picked up the ball from distance and hit it at goal and Jay Lynch made an absolute hash of it. It went straight through Lynch and into the back of the net to make it 2-0 and gave over.
With about twenty minutes left, Dale wasted a free kick opportunity, Lincoln broke on the counter attack again and Lynch was again forced into action, this time saving well.
Matty Lund was on a booking after a very late challenge earlier and he was arguably lucky to stay on the pitch after an altercation with a Lincoln player but he was just given another warning.
The game had become all Lincoln with Dale having absolutely no answer to break them down such was the ease with which they were defending against us. Grant also went close but shot over the bar for the visitors.
Dooley, who for me, had been arguably one of our better players along with Morley and Rathbone, went off along with Newby to be replaced by Done and Ryan. Going off various whatsapp groups, it seems I'm in a minority with my performance opinion of the three players mentioned. What was Done going to give us coming off the bench?
Lincoln went close again when they headed goalwards but Lynch spilled it wide.
A dale attack became about as rare as rocking horse shit at this point but Baah did attempt an effort goalwards having cut inside on his left but he scuffed his shot wide.
With stoppage time arriving and the game already being well and truly over, Tavares came on for Humphrys.
Finally the whistle came to put us out of our misery as a pretty dismal second half display, coupled with a very good Lincoln display, saw us soundly beaten at home again.
Onto the next one which I believe is Peterborough where we will actually be in front of supporters. Something I'm not sure I'm ready to see when we aren't allowed to go.
Jay Lynch- 4 (Awful for their second and nearly cost us another)
Ryan McLaughlin - 5 (Nowhere near as effective as we'd want or need him to be)
Eoghan O'Connell - 6 (Fairly solid but not his usual outstanding self which tells you the standard we've come to expect)
Haydon Roberts - 6 (Watching him run with the ball is still one of my favourite things to do)
Jimmy Keohane - 6 (Did ok I thought, nothing more, nothing less)
AARON MORLEY - 7 (Unpopular opinion maybe but my man of the match. Much better performance from Morley, good range of passing and anything we looked like we could create was gonna come through him)
Matty Lund - 6 (Lucky to stay on I thought)
Ollie Rathbone - 7 (Worked really hard as always, and looked something back to what we know he can do)
Stephen Dooley- 7 (One of our better players I thought)
Alex Newby - 5 (Didn't create near enough today, need more from him)
Stephen Humphrys - 6 (Looked frustrated, up against a good defense and had no help)
Kwadwo Baah- 5 (One cut in and shot, literally nothing else)
Photo: Action Images
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