Darlo 0 Rochdale 2
by Scott Thornberry - 30th September 2009
It was a match which Craig Liddle could only have dreamt about a couple of years ago. When Lidds retired from football he was promised a position at the football club, that position never materialized and he flung himself into his Sports Shop business in Chester Le Street aswell as getting into the football coaching side of things.
After taking up the reigns at Darlington College he was eventually snapped back up by the football club to take charge of the youth team. But on Tuesday night he found himself in charge of the first team and he made several changes to Colin Todds squad with a couple of youth players given the nod.
Curtis Main started the game alongside Kevin Gall, David Dowson dropping to the bench. Whilst Danny Groves took the place of the suspended Jamie Chandler.
It was an inventive Darlington which took to the field and started the game brightly. Playing the ball around the pitch with ease things looked promising. Kevin Gall was gifted with three good chances early on. His best chance was when he superbly turned Dale defender Nathan Stanton and was one on one 8 yards out, he tried to curl the ball across the six yard box and into the far corner, but his shot went agonizingly wide.
It was an entertaining game with Dale creating chances of their own but none really that clear cut. Darlington continued to push on and just as the ball was bundled on the line Main was ready to prod home. But the little buggers managed to scramble it away and it was another opportunity gone.
The Quakers continued the second half as the played the first, lively and energetic and should have been rewarded. Jamie Devitt came so close to a wonder goal, he weaved in an out on the left wing and evaded all of the Dale defenders, he smashed in his shot from outside the area and it was dipping into the top far corner, but the Dale keeper tipped the ball over the bar at full stretch.
But on 61 minutes Darlo were punished for not putting their chances away, Russell Hoult failed to get a good punch away from a corner and the ball fell to Will Buckley. Somehow his low shot managed to miss about four Darlo players legs and squeezed in off the inside of the left upright. Jammy gits!
Ian Miller then had a header cleared off the line, Kevin Gall had several more guilt edge chances where he should have done better. But the game was killed off with 10 minutes left on the clock. Rochdales O’Grady twisted the knife with a superb finish, he met a great cross and smashed home, a lovely goal but it was so so harsh on Liddles men.
At the final whistle there were a few boos but many more claps as the players were applauded off the pitch. The team showed real invention but do look very toothless. Chance after chance was created but nobody was there to prod home, you make your own look in this game and if we can find a goal poacher out there we could have a good chance of surviving. Yes we should keep the faith but we should also be realistic. We are getting crowds of sub 2000, Raj has openly stated that he will run the club wisely and balance the books, we do not have money to burn anymore so we should expect a season of pain but also have a season of hope.
Goals: Buckley (0-1, 60), O'Grady (0-2, 80)
Referee: Steven Rushton (Stoke)
Darlington (4-4-2): Hoult ; Kane , Foster , Miller , J Smith , Devitt (Convery 70, ), G Smith , Groves (Dowson 77), Bennett ; Main , Gall. Subs (not used): Liversedge (gk), Plummer, Bains, Riley, Barnes
Rochdale (4-4-2): Arthur ; Wiseman , Stanton , Dawson , T Kennedy , Thompson (Buckley 54, ), Jones , J Kennedy , Whaley ; Dagnall , O'Grady . Subs (not used): Edwards (gk), Holness, Spencer, Stevens, Flynn,