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Match Reports

REPORT: Rochdale V The Imps

9 January 2018

Match Reports

REPORT: Rochdale V The Imps

9 January 2018

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It’s victory yet again in the Checkatrade Trophy for The Imps as a late goal from substitute Ollie Palmer defeated Rochdale and put City into the hat for the quarter finals of the competition after a battling and deserved win at the Crown Oil Arena against the League One side.

City were the side on the offensive right from the kick off, with much of the play in the final third of the home side. Sam Habergham played an early free kick to the back post, it was half cleared before Alex Woodyard fed debutant, Danny Rowe, his shot however was blocked.  After the initial flurries from The Imps, Dale grew into the game and Andrew Cannon was at the centre of the threat for the home side, he unleashed a curling shot which went just the wrong side of the upright from the home side’s point of view.

Defensively the Imps were solid, Michael Bostwick partnering Luke Waterfall at the heart of the City backline were screening the sizeable threat of Calvin Andrew, and that solidity continued to be a feature as Bostwick headed away a dangerous curling inswinger from Joseph Bunney with Andrew and others haring in behind him. Mark Kitching played in a low across the face of the City goal, but once again the marking was such that the Imps once again quelled the threat.

The first chance on target for City came after a searching ball into the right channel from Bostwick earned a throw deep in Dale territory, it was taken shot to Woodyard who crossed onto the head of Matt Rhead at the back post, but his downward header was saved by Josh Lillis. A fortuitous rebound fell the way of Cannon but the Rochdale wideman was kicking himself after blazing over the top from just outside the area. The Imps again forced Lillis into another save following a wonderful link between Matt Green, Harry Anderson and Habergham whose lofted cross was bet by Rhead who headed on target. Bunney lined up a free kick for the hosts on the edge of the penalty area, just right of centre, and Paul Farman topped over his viciously swerving effort expertly as half time approached.

The last chance of the half was to go the way of Rochdale, Bunney lofting the ball into the box from the flank, it was half cleared before being played back towards the number 39 but Anderson was there to deny a second crossing opportunity. The Imps finished the half with the final goalmouth action as Anderson hit a low drive straight at Lillis.

Half Time

AFC Rochdale 0 The Imps 0

Elliott Whitehouse carved the first chance for The Imps in the second half making a burst from midfield past two defenders into the right channel, his low cross was met by Anderson who would have opened the scoring for City but for a timely block by Joseph Rafferty. The Dale full back almost immediately made his mark at the other end of the field as he carried the ball almost 40 yards but Neal Eardley halted his progression with a wonderful tackle on the edge of the box.

A long ball crossfield from Farman almost caught out the Dale defence as Ollie Palmer chased to just keep it in and cross but Green couldn’t get there, and moments later the chance of the game to that point went the way of the visitors, Woodyard taking control around 25 yards out before smashing a shot on goal which almost deceived but Lillis got enough on it to deflect it clear.

The Imps’ supporters could sense a goal coming and they continued to back the side with typical gusto, Bostwick made a typical block and then set Green free who shot but it was blocked as City gained some momentum.

City continued to put pressure on the home side but couldn’t quite make the breakthrough with the final ball just being blocked on a number of occasions despite the best attempts of Woodyard, Whitehouse and Anderson to feed the strikers.  It looked like penalty kicks would decide things as the game went into the final five minutes but it was to be The Imps who scored the decisive goal to take them into the quarter final, sub Nathan Arnold skipped past his man out on the left, he looked up and slid the ball across the face of goal to OLLIE PALMER who had the simplest of tasks inside the six yard box to seal victory in Lancashire.

Full Time

AFC Rochdale 0 The Imps 1

AFC Rochdale

1          Josh LILLIS

2          Joseph LAFFERTY

3          Kgosi NTLHE

4          Jimmy McNULTY

6          Harrison McGAHEY

9          Calvin ANDREW

17       Braddan Inman

25       Daniel ADSHEAD

27       Andrew CANNON

32       Mark KITCHING

39       Joseph BUNNEY


22       Brandon MOORE

10       Callum CAMPS (71’ for Adshead)

11       Jordan WILLIAMS (70’ for Andrew)

14       Oliver RATHBONE

20       Brian BARRY MURPHY

28       Aaron MORLEY

40       Ian HENDERSON (80’ for Rafferty)

Booked: Cannon 79’

The Imps

1          Paul FARMAN

3          Sam HABERGHAM

4          Elliott WHITEHOUSE

5          Luke WATERFALL

9          Matt RHEAD

10       Matt GREEN

16       Michael BOSTWICK

23       Neal EARDLEY

24       Danny ROWE

26       Harry ANDERSON

30       Alex WOODYARD


34       Michael ANTKOWIAK

2          Sean LONG

8          Ollie PALMER (62’ for Rhead)

11       Billy KNOTT (70’ for Green)

12       Ellis CHAPMAN

28       Nathan ARNOLD (56’ for Rowe)

32       Cameron STEWART

Booking: Green 15’ Woodyard 19’

GOAL: Palmer 88’

Referee: B Toner

Assistants: G Fyvie & N Sharp

Attendance: 1,149 (416 Imps' supporters)

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