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Rochdale Preview

By: Richard Hubbert
Date: 31/12/2004

TOWN put in an encouraging performance yet again at Lincoln on Wednesday evening. But in the first game of 2005 at Rochdale, can they deliver away from home and bring home all three points?

Home > 2004-2005 Season > Previews > Rochdale (a)

The Opposition

Rochdale are known for not being particularly successful in the Football League. Indeed, they have been promoted just once - in the 1968/69 season when they were promoted to the old Division Three. However, this season, promotion is a real possibility. Steve Parkin (left) returned to his former club in January 2004 after an unsuccessful spell at Barnsley, and saved the club from relegation. This season he has re-shaped his squad who now lie in 7th place in the table and indeed, Dale are the only club still to win at Blundell Park in League Two this season. Hopefully Town will want revenge for that.....

Their Squad
The ever-experienced Gareth Griffiths is a player who has been about the lower leagues with clubs such as Wigan, Shrewsbury and Port Vale. Griffiths arrived at Spotland in 2001 and plays in the centre of the Dale back four. Tony Gallimore (left) is a player Town know all about having been at Blundell Park between 1996 and 2003. "Gally" had a spell at Barnsley last season, but signed terms with Dale this season, and has made16 starts at left back for them. However, the emergence of young left back Alan Goodall has meant that he has been on the bench recently. Leo Bertos is New Zealand international midfielder who was signed by Alan Buckley in his brief spell as Rochdale manager last season. He bagged 10 goals last season and is a real threat on the right wing. Ernie Cooksey will be hoping to do as well as he did last time he faced the Mariners, when he played for Oldham last February when Town lost 6-0. The midfielder was snapped up in September by Steve Parkin after falling out of favour at Oldham. In attack, Paul Tait has been around a few teams in the lower leagues, with Bristol Rovers his last club before a move to Spotland in the summer. Tait has not hit the back of the net as much as he would perhaps have liked though, with just two goals in 14 appearances. Taiwo Atieno has already bagged a couple of goals in five starts since his three month loan move from Walsall.

Key Player
Grant Holt (left) is the man to watch out for in the Rochdale side, having banged in 18 goals this season. Holt was Steve Parkin’s first signing on his return to the club and it looks like an impressive one. A resilient striker who leads the line well, Holt scored the only goal against the Mariners at Blundell Park in September.

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Team News


  • Justin Whittle went off with a knee injury towards the end of the draw with Lincoln on Wednesday. Town’s captain hopes he will not be out for too long, but it does mean he will sit out of the trip to Spotland. This means that Terrell Forbes will come back into the side, providing he recovers from his illness. If he doesn’t, it could mean a change of formation or a start for Glen Downey.

  • Russell Slade may consider bringing Michael Reddy into the side after having an impact in his last two games as a sub, but he will probably sit on the bench. Equally, Thomas Pinault is pushing for a recall, but after an excellent display from all on Wednesday, he will possibly be left out again.
  • Paul Tait missed Dale’s draw with Chester City, but should be back in the squad after recovering from a knee injury. He is likely to replace Taiwo Atieno despite the former Nuneaton striker scoring against Chester.
  • Probable Teams


    1Anthony Williams
    2John McDermott
    16Ronnie Bull
    4Simon Ramsden
    28Terrell Forbes
    6Rob Jones
    15Terry Fleming
    8Jason Crowe
    7Ashley Sestanovich
    26Martin Gritton
    10Andy Parkinson
    13Matthew Gilks
    2Wayne Evans
    5Gareth Griffiths
    16Greg Heald
    12Alan Goodall
    18Jamie Clarke
    11Gary Jones
    4Ernie Cooksey
    7Leo Bertos
    9Grant Holt
    10Paul Tait



    11Stacy Coldicott
    12Graham Hockless
    17Thomas Pinault
    9Michael Reddy
    25Glen Downey
    3Tony Gallimore
    20Taitwo Atieno
    6Daryl Burgess
    29Scott Warner
    1Neil Edwards

    Head to Head

    The Mariners have quite a decent record against the Dale winning double the amount of matches against them than Rochdale have managed against us (if you see what I mean). There have been very few draws between the two sides, with just six in 36 meetings.

    P 36 W 20 D 6 L 10 F 67 A 46

    Rochdale Head-to-Head (6th on The Opposition Ladder)


  • Former Mariners legend Tony Ford, who made just under 400 appearances for Town, finished his long career with Rochdale. He made his Town debut in 1977, then finished his career some 25 years later in 2002. Ford is now assistant to Steve Parkin at Spotland.

  • Mickael Antoine-Curier (left), now regarded as one of the worst players ever to pull on a Town shirt, had a short spell with Rochdale last season (as well as Town, Notts County, Sheffield Wednesday, Kidderminster and Oldham!). Alan Buckley signed him, and he actually scored - against Lincoln City at Sincil Bank in September 2003. He was then released, and he moved onto Sheffield Wednesday.

  • Kevin Donovan made four appearances for Rochdale last season when he acted as cover for Leo Bertos when he was on international duty. Alan Buckley knew all about Donovan of course, having managed him at Town and WBA. Donovan now plays his trade for York City in the Conference.

  • Last Meeting

    Town’s only home defeat of the season in League Two was against Rochdale, in a dull match which saw an 80th minute Grant Holt goal give Rochdale all the points.

    Grimsby Team: Williams, Whittle, Ramsden (Coldicott, 77), Gordon, McDermott, Pinault, Fleming, Crowe, Parkinson, Reddy, Sestanovich (Chris Williams, 65)
    Subs: (not used) Young,Bull,Robinson,

    Rochdale Team: Edwards, Evans, Griffiths, Burgess, Gallimore, Cash (Goodall, 81), Bertos, Jones, Brisco, Clarke, Holt (Tait, 87)
    Subs: (not used) Gilks,Probets,McGivern,

    Attendance: 4,795    Report


    Town to banish the memory of 2 away wins in 2004, to start off with a 100% away record in 2005. 1-0 to Town!


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