REPORT | Rochdale 1-0 Wrexham

Macclesfield Town
Posted:Tue 19 Nov 2019

All that separated Wrexham from their League One opponents over 180 minutes, was a Paul McShane header early in this replay – which was poor reward for a Wrexham side that battled so well over the piece.

The travelling supporters though did stay behind to applaud their players off the pitch at the end of a second closely fought encounter.

Dale took an early lead on eight minutes, when Paul McShane was able to get on the end of a corner, headed on by Rekeil Pyke to crash in his effort from eight yards out, giving Rob Lainton no chance.

James Jennings was more than a little unhappy that the corner which lead to the goal, should have been a goal kick and from the main stand it, appeared that there was a double hit on the ball with the Wrexham defender’s kick seeming to then come off the covering attacker.

Two minutes later, Wrexham almost replicated the home team’s goal, when Paul Rutherford’s cross from the right was headed on by Bobby Grant towards Ben Tollitt at the back post, but it was just too far in front of the winger, who did get a toe to the ball but was always stretching.

Both teams continued to push forward on a lovely playing surface, courtesy of their FA Cup tie with Tottenham Hotspur last season.

On 21minutes, a Wrexham move ended with Tollitt heading just wide when under pressure getting on the end of an Akil Wright cross.

Five minutes later, Dale winger Fabio Tavares pulled a left-wing cross towards goalscorer McShane, but when it ended up at the feet of ex-Red Matty Done, his thunderous shot from well outside of the box being turned away in acrobatic style by Lainton, diving to his right.

On the half hour, Grant battled for the ball on the edge of the home area and passed it out to James Jennings, whose first time effort was whipped low across the face of the goal, but curled away from the far post and ran out for a goal kick.

Shortly afterwards, Luke Summerfield played in Mark Carrington, overlapping down the right and his deep cross allowed Grant to get a header on target that was saved.

Then Summerfield got on the end of a pull back from 20-yards and his powerful low effort was brilliantly saved by Robert Sanchez, low to his right, getting a strong hand behind the shot and forcing it away for a corner.

Following treatment for McShane, which saw him replaced by Jimmy Ryan on 44 minutes, Carrington cut in from the right, left his marker on the ground, switched the ball to his other foot but fired high over the empty Sandy Lane terracing.

Rutherford was booked in added time for a foul on Done.

Just before the whistle went, a great ball over the top was chested down by Grant, but Rutherford couldn’t quite take it in his stride and the covering defenders were able to slide over and clear the danger.

Ht 1-0

Wrexham were on the front foot from the restart, but our first shot of the half came on 54 minutes, when Tollitt tried a long-range effort that was deflected over the target for a corner.

From that corner, taken by Grant, Jennings throw himself at the ball at the near post and while he made contact, the effort carried over the crossbar.

On the hour, Dale keeper gave his own supporters a heart stopping moment when he badly sliced a back pass behind for a corner.

Then Jennings drove to the byline before sending in a low cross that somehow managed to evade everyone in the Rochdale penalty box!

It was Wrexham enjoying the majority of possession, with the home team happy to pull numbers behind the ball and stifle much of the Reds’ attacking threat.

From a free kick deep in our own half, the ball bounced on the edge of the Dale area and Shaun Pearson ran onto it, but with only the keeper to beat from eight yards, the skipper pulled his effort a yard wide of the left hand post!

Making up a quarter of the attendance at the Crown Oil Arena, the 409 travelling fans were right behind the boys and urging them forward.

There was a double change for Wrexham on 84 minutes, as both Devonte Redmond and Leighton McIntosh came on for Wright and Tollitt.

Another Lainton free kick from inside his own half was headed away by the Dale defence, but only as far as Luke Young, who steadied himself before firing high from 25-yards.

With two minutes to go, Grant head on a ball into the box, it was knocked back to him by a defender and the striker quickly despatched a first-time effort that carried just over the cross bar.

Another high ball into the home box, saw Sanchez well off his line, miss the ball, which dropped out to Summerfield and his chip back in was easily cleared off the goal line for a corner.

Lainton came forward for the set piece, but Rochdale cleared their lines quickly and Carrington did well to fore the ball out for throw in.

The final seconds were played out as the homes took their time at a free kick, much to the anger of manager Dean Keates on the sidelines.

So the FA Cup adventure is over for another year, despite giving it our best shot.

Rochdale: Sanchez, O’Connell, Williams, Camps. Pyke (Andrew 80), Keohane, McShane (Ryan 44), Done, Morley, Tavares (Wilbraham 63), Henderson.
Subs: Lynch, Bradley, Gillam, Hopper.

Wrexham: Lainton, Carrington, Lawlor, Pearson, Jennings, Summerfield, Young, Wright (Redmond 84), Rutherford, Tollitt (McIntosh 84), Grant, Rutherford.
Subs: Dibble, Barnum-Bobb, Chambers, Tharme, Bickerstaff.

Referee: Seb Stockbridge (Tyne)
Attendance: 1,628
Away: 409

Bookings –
Andrew (90, foul)
Wrexham: Rutherford (45, foul)

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