|Charlton Athletic 4 v 4 Rochdale|
SkyBet League One
Tuesday, 12th January 2021 Kick-off 19:00
Match Report: Charlton Athletic 4-4 Rochdale
Tuesday, 12th Jan 2021 22:09 by Chaff
Another enthralling game saw Dale draw 4-4 with Charlton Athetic at The Valley having led 4-2 and 3-1. Who said Dale were boring?!
Anyone got over Saturday yet because I’m not sure I have. Dale came from 3-0 down at home to Crewe Alexandra to draw 3-3 in what was the perfect example of a game of two halves. I wanted to throw the TV through the window after the first half performance which saw Dale concede three ridiculously easy goals in ridiculously predictable fashion on the counter. The second half saw a completely different Dale turn up and thanks to goals from Humphrys, who has now claimed the goal ahead of Morley, and Lund (2), Dale fans were left wondering why the hell they must endure performances like the first half when we’re very capable of playing like we did in the second.
Charlton Athletic were next up for Dale with games coming thick and fast again after the covid postponements with Dale needing to build on that second half performance and look to their away performances this season which have pretty much kept us from being rock bottom in the division.
There was no commentary for the game tonight meaning the RochdaleAFC.com podcast lot, including yours truly were doing a live watch along. I was very much treating this as an audition for Gogglebox!
There were a couple of changes to the line-up from Saturday as well. Eoghan O’Connell had been forced off having pulled up chasing one of the goals and was replaced by Paul McShane but it was Jim McNulty who came in for the skipper instead of the Irish international. Matt Done also made way, thankfully, as he was replaced by Ryan McLaughlin who went to right back with Jimmy Keohane switching to left back. Kwadwo Baah also came in to the starting eleven for Alex Newby while the rest of the side remained the same. That saw us line-up with Gavin Bazunu in net, Ryan McLaughlin and Jimmy Keohane at full back with Jim McNulty partnering Haydon Roberts in the middle. In midfield were Aaron Morley, Matty Lund and Ollie Rathbone while Kwadwo Baah joined the attack of Stephen Humphrys and Jake Beesley. On the bench were Jay Lynch, Paul McShane, Joe Dunne, Ethan Brierley, Stephen Dooley, Matt Done and Alex Newby.
A slow opening ten minutes saw little in the way of goalmouth action but then up-stepped Rochdale’s Bruno Fernandes in the form of Matty Lund to make it 1-0 to Rochdale. A fabulous run down the left from Kwadwo Baah saw him brought down but the ball fell to Jimmy Keohane who put in a great low ball to Lund who brilliantly side footed the ball into the far corner from outside the box which went in off the post. As always, all you need is Lund. His 9th goal of the season already.
Charlton also looked dangerous when they broke and Aneke went close with a shot that deflected out for a corner.
With just over 20 minutes gone and it was 2-0! Humphrys did brilliant to drive forward and he laid it off to Baah who produced an absolutely sensational finish! He somehow side footed the ball in off the crossbar but did it with more power than I could hit the ball with my laces. A stunning finish from the youngster.
The 2-0 lead did not last long though, less than a minute I think even as Dale failed to clear their lines and Roberts was caught out by Aneke who got into the box and drove it past Bazunu to make it 2-1.
Just as I was worried about us conceding an equaliser, Kwadwo Baah stepped up again with another absolutely phenomenal effort. He bombed down the left again and managed to fantastically shove Gunter out of the way and wonderfully finished it past Ben Amos to make it 3-1 to Dale.
Again, the two-goal lead was shortlived as Dale again lost concentration. Lund was guilty of a poor clearance that fell to Forster-Caskey who shot, and it took a massive deflection off McNulty which diverted it past Bazunu to make it 3-2.
Just a few minutes later and that two-goal lead was restored! Lund was clattered outside the box and up stepped Stephen Humphrys who absolutely walloped it past Amos and into the top corner. A goal from the very top drawer to make it 4-2 to Dale.
Four goals for Dale and four stunning ones at that, wonderful to watch but I never quite felt at ease with the two-goal cushion and Dale are very capable of completely changing how well they’re playing very quickly.
Dale were under the cosh as half time approached and narrowly escaped conceding another when Aneke headed just over the bar and Jonny Williams blazed a great chance over at the back post.
Thankfully, Dale got to half time leading 4-2.
Charlton started the second half the quicker and Liam Millar blasted high and wide early doors.
Ollie Rathbone had an effort go narrowly wide after some good build up but from then on, the tide completely changed, and Charlton began to take the game to Dale with Dale not having an answer to stop them.
Millar went close but Bazunu was on hand to save his shot and a brilliant block from Keohane managed to keep Charlton at bay, but it wasn’t long before the banks burst.
A wonderful ball in from Gunter found the very impressive Aneke who made it 4-3 with ease.
Kwadwo Baah had been clattered a few minutes earlier and god only knows how Trevor Kettle didn’t produce a yellow card, but he was unable to run it off and he was brought off for Stephen Dooley.
The change was a cursed one as Stephen Dooley had loads of time to find a pass before stupidly giving the ball away in a dangerous position which allowed Schwarz to break and blast the ball past Bazunu and the Charlton comeback was complete. So bloody frustrating and as someone who does not rate Dooley anyway, it’s gonna be a while before I get over this mistake.
Dale were seemingly falling to pieces. Aneke headed over again before getting another opportunity when Beesley gave the ball away but his effort was easy for Bazunu.
Dale did manage to weather the storm almost went ahead again through Rathbone. His curling effort was well saved by Amos who tipped wide.
Matt Lund also went close when his header was tipped over the bar by Amos.
Gunter managed to get away from Rathbone who evidently tried to foul him on the halfway line and he was away. He took is past McLaughlin as well before shooting but Bazunu pulled off a wonderful save to prevent him.
Then there was hope for Dale as Jason Pearce was given a second yellow card for going in feet first on Bazunu. That meant Dale would have much more possession for the remaining three minutes of normal time.
It wasn’t to be for Dale though despite efforts from Morley and Dooley who hit shots that were simple for Amos to get down to save while the last kick of the game saw Rathbone audaciously try an effort from the half way line which went over the bar.
The full-time whistle went to end what had been a brilliant game of football for the neutral but a frustrating one for both sets of fans I reckon. We should be chuffed with a point at Charlton, but we had the win in our hands and it feels like two points dropped now. Not quite the same level of frustration as Crewe fans will have felt but not far off.
Next up is Wigan at home and god only knows what we will get from that game!
Ryan McLaughlin- 7 (Thought McLaughlin was impressive, easily our best option at right back when fit but not fit often enough)
Jim McNulty - 6 (Not sure there was much he could do with the deflection but always makes me panic when he’s on the ball)
Haydon Roberts - 5 (Thought he struggled a bit tonight against Aneke, at fault for the first and had a really tough time all night)
Jimmy Keohane- 6 (Bit better from Jimmy, got forward more)
KWADWO BAAH- 8 (MOTM – Two stunning strikes and bullied Gunter until he went off)
Aaron Morley – 6 (Some decent balls in again and his range of passing was good but needs to do a lot more off the ball in the role he plays)
Matt Lund - 7 (Another great goal to add to his tally)
Ollie Rathbone - 7 (Worked hard and got forward well, looks so much better in the middle than stuck out wide)
Jake Beesley - 7 (Hard working performance from Beesley and looked better in a wide target man role)
Stephen Humphrys - 7 (Tired towards the end but another goal and stunner at that)
Stephen Dooley – 4 (Jesus wept)
Photo: Action Images
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