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Match Report


Posted Tue 01 Feb 11 at 21:39 PM

Report: Tranmere 1 Rochdale 1

A late goal from Rochdale's Gary Jones saw Rovers pick up just one point from their home game against Rochdale in League 1. An early strike from Lateef Elford-Alliyu put Rovers 1-0 up, but the Dale captain equalised with seconds remaining.  Rovers had a number of chances to double their lead but couldn't take them, leaving the visitors in contention right until the final whistle. There was one change to the team that started against Swindon with Ian Goodison returning from injury to take the place of Nick Wood at centre back, while Andy Robinson was named among the substitutes. Rovers took the lead four minutes into the game after Rochdale conceded a cheap corner. A misplaced header back to his own keeper from Craig Dawson gave Tranmere a set piece on the left, and though it looked like Dale Jennings and Aaron Cresswell had wasted possession, the ball was eventually crossed back in by John Welsh. It fell to Goodison past the far post and the veteran laid it off to Lateef Elford-Alliyu who drilled the ball into the net with an angled shot from 20 yards. Three minutes later Ash Taylor volleyed over at the far post from a Cresswell free kick and Showunmi sent a first time effort past the post after good play from Jennings and Elford-Alliyu. Taylor was next to try his luck, but his 25 yard effort sliced away from the target, while two audacious passes from Jennings almost set up Labadie for a shooting opportunity but the Rochdale defence cleared. It was all Rovers in the early stages. On 17 minutes a cross from Jennings was headed perfectly into the path of Labadie but the midfielder missed his shot when one on one with Owain Fon Williams. Elford-Alliyu stuck a low effort just past the far post on 18 minutes and three minutes later Labadie ran on to a fantastic pass from Taylor but overhit his cross beyond the run of Enoch Showunmi. Some strong defensive play from Welsh set up another move on 23 minutes, with the captain twice dispossessing the visitors. After Elford-Alliyu's cross was cleared, the ball fell to Taylor whose 25 yard effort went high and wide of the target. Rochdale's first chance came on 25 minutes as an unmarked Josh Thompson headed over the bar from a corner, a reminder that the game was far from over. There was another scare for the home side on 34 minutes when Scott Wiseman skipped past the challenge of Cresswell and saw his curling cross headed just over the bar from close range by Chris O'Grady. Rochdale continued to come back into the game, with O'Grady turning Goodison on 38 minutes only to send a low shot straight at Tony Warner. A Jennings pass put Showunmi in an attacking position on 41 minutes and despite a pull on his shirt, the forward ran past two challenges before his low shot deflected wide of goal, the final serious effort of the half. Rochdale's Nicky Adams headed over from 12 yards four minutes into the second half while a low Labadie cross forced Marcus Holness to turn over his own bar soon after while under pressure from Elford-Alliyu. Taylor's header forced Fon Williams to punch clear from the resulting corner and the midfielder's follow up effort went a few yards wide of goal. Warner claimed Adams' dangerous cross on 58 minutes, while a perfect ball over the top from Jennings released Showunmi a minute later, but the striker's first touch allowed Holness to clear. Elford-Alliyu robbed the ball from Joe Widdowson on 60 minutes to cut inside the area but his cross was easily cleared. However, the ball was soon back with the West Brom loanee and this time his shot deflected out for a corner from which Showunmi headed over the top. The lead was almost doubled on 64 minutes. Jennings did well to win the ball and played a one two with Showunmi before curling his effort just past the far post when one on one. Some fine solo play on the left wing from Labadie earned a corner on 69 minutes and Rovers again nearly went further ahead. The ball was only cleared as far as Elford-Alliyu and his volley was turned into the path of Taylor by Mark McChrystal but the midfielder's shot went inches pas the far post. Both Showunmi and Goodison picked up knocks that looked set to see them replaced by Lucas Akins and Nick Wood respectively, but the break in play for Goodison's treatment seemed to help Showunmi continue while the Jamaican international was soon back in the action too after a brief spell on the touchline. But Goodison's return only lasted a few minutes longer, with Wood coming in to the right side of central defence. Robinson made his third debut for the Club on 80 minutes, replacing Jennings on the left wing and he was soon called on to defend a deep cross from Rochdale. Pressure from Rochdale saw Dawson and Jean Louis Akpa Akpro both miss the target, while Dawson fired high and wide with ten minutes remaining. The former Leeds player was in the action again moments later, cutting in towards the area only to be brought down by Akpa Akpro. He was only denied a goal by the fingertips of Fon Williams who made a fantastic save to keep out his dipping free kick. But Rochdale soon went back on the attack, forcing Rovers deep into their own half, and on 89 minutes it needed a well timed block from McChrystal to keep out Liam Dickinson's effort. Five minutes of added time meant some nervous final moments for Rovers and just as they looked on course for all three points, Rochdale captain Gary Jones looped a header over Warner to equalise. Tranmere: Warner, Kay, McChrystal, Goodison (Wood 75), Cresswell, Labadie, Taylor, Welsh, Elford-Alliyu, Showunmi, Jennings (Robinson 80). Substitutes not used: Collister, Morrow, Fraughan, Akins, McGurk. Rochdale: Fon Williams, Wiseman, Widdowson, Holness, Dawson, Kennedy, Jones, Josh Thompson (Atkinson 45HT), Joe Thompson (Dickinson 67), Adams (Akpa Akpro 76), O'Grady. Substitutes not used: Edwards, Done, Barry-Murphy, Gray. Referee: Darren Drysdale Yellow cards: Kay (55), Labadie (59) Follow Tranmere on Twitter at

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