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Peterborough United 4 v 1 Rochdale
SkyBet League One
Saturday, 12th December 2020 Kick-off 15:00
Match Report: Peterborough United 4-1 Rochdale
Saturday, 12th Dec 2020 17:38 by Chaff

Dale were hit for four this season after being hit for six last season away at promotion hopefuls Peterborough United.

Dale were back on the road this afternoon with Peterborough the next destination for BBM's men. Another game where, if offered a point, you'd have snapped their hands off no question. Peterborough are, like they are every year, well fancied by everyone to go up this season whereas, as we all know, Rochdale, like we are every other year, are well fancied by everyone to go down this season. But, 2020 is a bit mental isn't it and Dale have been decent on the road so far this season, having smashed Plymouth for four in their last away game. Could an upset be on the cards at London Road? No, no it couldn't!

There was an added difference to today's game. An unfair difference. Peterborough would be able to have an allocation of supporters at the game while we, like we have had to do all season, are watching from home. While I'm pleased for all supporters who get to go back to watching their team, there's a large build up of anger and frustration that we can't do the same. There's no doubt that seeing supporters at the game today and not being allowed to go yet was going to hurt. Will we get the opportunity next week when the tier review takes place? Knowing this government, no!

The Dale team news filtered through and the first thing I noticed was there was no Ollie Rathbone or Ryan McLaughlin. BBM mentioned yesterday that Rathbone was having to see a specialist and my Football Manager experience tells me that means a potential lengthy spell out. McLaughlin we're used to seeing in and out of the squad. This meant there was an opportunity for Tolaji Bola to come back into left back. Jake Beesley still missed out due to concussion protocols following his injury against Plymouth. Jimmy Ryan both came back into the starting eleven. The Dale line up with Jay Lynch in net, Jimmy Keohane at right back, Tolaji Bola at left back with Eoghan O'Connell and Haydon Roberts at centre back. Then it was anyone's how we lined up but potentially a narrow midfield with Aaron Morley, Jimmy Ryan, Matt Lund and Stephen Dooley and Alex Newby playing off Stephen Humphrys in attack. Ben Chalton returned to the bench as sub keeper while Paul McShane was back fit again to make the bench along with Jim McNulty, Ethan Brierley, Matty Done, Fabio Tavares and Kwadwo Baah.

We never do well at Peterborough do we? Today wasn't any different. Surely we had to be better than last year when we had 6 put past us? Well, maybe not.

Posh got off to the perfect start in the game and found themselves 1-0 up after just 5 minutes. Tolaji Bola was deemed to have brought down a Posh attacker by pulling him back and as we as it looked, the referee pointed to the spot. Johnson Clarke-Harris sent the keeper the wrong way and just like that, Dale were behind.

Dale actually reacted well to the goal and equalised less than five minutes later. A wonderful chipped ball from Aaron Morley found Humphrys in the box and he finished well for his third goal of the season as Dale were back level at 1-1.

A frantic first half continued at pace and literally a minute later, Posh were back ahead. A wonderful ball in from the left found Clarke-Harris unmarked and he headed home via a very weak palm of Jay Lynch. Lynch will again be disappointed I think. Posh led 2-1.

The home side began to show just how good they were and Dembele was proving to be a cut above anyone on our side. Six Dale players tried to take the ball off him and could before an effort went wide of the post.

There was only one side in it at this point and 2-1 became 3-1 with just 20 minutes gone. Clarke-Harris bagged his hattrick. Dale had three attempts to clear the ball with a weak header from Lund, then a piss poor clearance from Morley and eventually fell to Clarke-Harris who swept the ball past Lynch. Game over. This was becoming hard to watch.

With 23 minutes on the clock, Dale had an opportunity from a freekick. Newby stood over it and then hit a weaker effort than my 7 year old hit this morning for Milnrow Juniors. Trickled through to the keeper and summed up our day. Newby had arguably been our best player as well.

The half was nearing it's conclusion and it was very much damage limitations for Dale but that didn't stop Posh getting another before the break. Another great ball in this time found Nathan Thompson who had got the run on O'Connell and easily beat him to the ball to head past Lynch.

This was awful viewing really. Part of me wondered if tier 2 was even a good idea anymore!

Thankfully the first half came to a close and I was hoping the referee would just say that's enough and not bother with the second half.

The second half didn't see any more goals but more frustrations. More weak defending allowed Kanu to strike an effort but he hit over.

Dale decided that the only way they were going to even look like being in the game was to shoot from distance. Lund had three efforts himself, two flying over the bar and one easily saved. One came from a great run from Haydon Roberts.

Substitute Mo Eisa beat O'Connell easily for pace and he forced Lynch into a good save. His first save of the game which is remarkable given we were 4-1 down.

Another good ball in saw O'Connell make a hash of the clearance and Lynch again made a good save.

Some brilliant football from the home side ended with Clarke-Harris missing a sitter. They just passed the ball around Dale like they weren't even there.

Tolaji Bola made way for Jim McNulty with twenty minutes left and that change saw Haydon Roberts go to left back.

A mistake from Keohane almsot saw Posh hit a fifth but another effort flew over the bar.

It took until the 75th minute before Humphrys got another sniff of goal. A wonderful long ball from McNulty found Humphrys and he had to turn back and shoot but his effort as blocked and Newby lost out on the rebound attempt.

That was pretty much the last action for Newby as he made way for Matt Done with about 10 minutes left.

Dale had been better this half but never really looked equals to Peterborough who had been out of sight after 20 minutes.

In what looked like an international friendly game, BBM made three late changes with Brierley, Baah and Tavares replacing Morley, Dooley and Humphrys. Brierley managed to ping a superb ball over to Tavares crossed for Done but his effort was blocked and looped into the keepers arms.

The game was over and Dale had been handed an absolutely arse kicking. I'm struggling to think of positives really.

On to Tuesday night where we head off to Wigan.


PLAYER RATINGS:

Jay Lynch- 5 (Another mistake and looks very shaky at the moment)

Jimmy Keohane - 5 (Struggled today)

Eoghan O'Connell - 5 (Possibly the worst performance in a Dale shirt for the skipper)

Haydon Roberts - 6 (Watching him run with the ball is still one of my favourite things to do)

Tolaji Bola - 4 (Thought he was really poor, struggled for a while now at this level)

Aaron Morley - 6 (One of our better players again but that's not saying much. Great assist for Humprhys)

MATT LUND - 6 (My Man of the Match for Dale, if one is even deserved. Better from Lund and did at least try to get us back in the game)

Jimmy Ryan - 5 (Better second half but was really poor first half)

Stephen Dooley- 5 (Offered absolutely nothing)

Alex Newby - 6 (Better today and did at least show glimpses of his ability)

Stephen Humphrys - 6 (Scored and worked very hard but pretty isolated after that goal)

Subs:

Jim McNulty - 6 (Could of really good balls forward)
Matt Done - 6 (At least touched the ball this time)
Kwadwo Baah- 5 (No effect)
Fabio Tavares - 6 (See above lol)
Ethan Brierley - 6 (Played one brilliant ball in the short time he was on

Photo: Action Images



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