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Match Report

 

Posted Tue 20 Mar 12 at 21:43 PM

Report: Rochdale 0 Tranmere 2

James Wallace and Jake Cassidy both scored their first goals for the Club to earn Tranmere their first away win since October - a 2-0 victory over Rochdale at Spotland.

Wallace struck just before the half hour mark in a first half dominated by Rovers. Dale pressured Tranmere for long spells in the second half but the defence, plus the post on one occasion, kept out everything the hosts threw at them and Cassidy sealed the points with a fine strike in the final ten minutes.

The result and scores elsewhere stretched the gap to the bottom four to seven points but moved Rovers up to 15th and took Ronnie Moore's unbeaten run as Manager to five games.

There was just one change to the Rovers team that started at Sheffield United as Andy Robinson returned to the left wing in place of Zoumana Bakayogo.

The starting formation against Rochdale

Rochdale attacked Rovers straight from the kick off and went close twice inside the first two minutes, with Ashley Grimes first cutting past three challenges before seeing his shot deflect wide of the target before it needed a big clearance from Ian Goodison to end a goalmouth scramble from the resulting corner.

Tranmere's first chance of the game saw Enoch Showunmi's near post header from a long Ryan Brunt throw comfortably saved by David Lucas on six minutes.

Robinson fired high over the bar from a short David Buchanan free kick on eight minutes and James Wallace was closer to the target with a 25 yard curler a minute later as Rovers began to assert themselves on the game.

The midfielder, on loan from Everton, went even closer on 11 minutes, but his low strike from the edge of the area was turned past the post for a corner.

After Dale's Gary Jones missed with a 25 yard attempt on 20 minutes, Brunt put another effort past the left hand post for Tranmere with a shot across the goalkeeper a minute later.

After Goodison headed straight at Lucas on 23 minutes, Rovers won a free kick in a dangerous position to the left of the penalty area soon after following a foul on Wallace. However, Robinson's cross was headed out of the area and Rovers couldn't take advantage after regaining possession.

Rovers' pressure earned them the lead on 29 minutes. Showunmi and Wallace closed down Jason Kennedy with the latter winning the ball 30 yards out, running towards the edge of the area and curling past Lucas with his right foot into the far right side of the goal.

The shots kept coming with Akins heading over the bar from a free kick and Showunmi repeating the feat at the near post from a left wing cross from Buchanan.

A low cross from Robinson had to be cleared from the six yard box by a Rochdale defender on 37 minutes and two minutes later Showunmi missed the target with aleft foot effort from outside the box as Rovers searched for a second before the interval.

Ash Taylor's back post header from Welsh's corner was cleared before any of his team mates could divert it in on 41 minutes, while a foul by Wallace on Jones gave Dale a free kick on front of goal 25 yards out four minutes later but Stephen Jordan put his shot high over the bar.

Rochdale made a double change at half time with Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro and Nicky Adams joining the action and it almost had an immediate impact, with Owain Fon Williams making his first save of the game just seconds into the second half.

Rovers were soon back on the attack with Robinson shooting a few yards over the bar from 20 yards after receiving the ball from Wallace who himself could have made it 2-0 on 48 minutes. The midfielder won possession midway inside the Rochdale half and raced towards the area but his low shot from 20 yards took a touch off Lucas and deflected away from the target.

A foul on Akpa Akpro by Goodison gave Dale a free kick just outside the area on 50 minutes and only the woodwork prevented Jones' shot from levelling the score, his effort hitting the right hand post before Ash Taylor cleared.

The chance spurred Dale on and soon after Akpa Akpro shot narrowly wide from 20 yards while appeals for handball against Robinson and a penalty were ignored by the referee.

The lively Akpa Akpro volleyed over Fon Williams' cross bar on 56 minutes while Andrew Tutte cut inside from the left and brought a strong save out of the Rovers keeper two minutes later.

Rovers' first change saw Zoumana Bakayogo replace Showunmi on 68 minutes, with Robinson moving into attack alongside Brunt.

A bottom corner bound effort from Akins was superbly blocked by Dean Holden on 74 minutes while Jones sent a 25 yard effort only narrowly past the top left corner.

Rovers responded by introducing Jake Cassidy in place of the hard working Brunt for the final 12 minutes, while Tutte sent another long range effort over the bar as Dale continued to press for an equaliser.

However, Rovers gave themselves some breathing space on 82 minutes. Robinson broke up Dale's play inside the opposition half and the ball fell to Cassidy who superbly struck a low shot past Lucas into the bottom left corner from the edge of the area.

It was almost 3-0 on 85 minutes when Robinson intercepted a back pass to Lucas wide on the right side of the area, ran past the keeper and played it back to Akins but his shot was well blocked for a corner.

Akins' powerful run ended in Robinson's shot deflecting wide on 87 minutes and Cassidy put an effort wide in injury time after good work from Bakayogo, the final chance of the game at either end.

Rochdale: Lucas, Phil Edwards, Kennedy, Jones, Symes, Grimes (Akpa Akpro 45 HT), Long, Tutte, Holden, Obadeyi (Adams 45 HT), Jordan. Unused substitutes: Matty Edwards, Barry-Murphy, Widdowson.

Tranmere: Fon Williams, Holmes, Taylor, Goodison, Buchanan, Akins, Welsh, Wallace, Robinson, Brunt (Cassidy 78), Showunmi (Bakayogo 68). Unused substitutes: Coughlin, Labadie, Weir.

Referee: Nigel Miller

Yellow cards: Cassidy (87)

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