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Spotland
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Rochdale v Grimsby Preview

By: Sam Kinnaird
Date: 27/02/2009

GRIMSBY head to promotion-chasing Rochdale with everyone including the bookies writing them off. The Mariners though this season have a history of winning when it's least expected, and Saturday is another perfect opportunity to prove the "experts" wrong.

Home > 2008-2009 Season > Previews > Rochdale (a)


The Opposition

Overview

Rochdale AFC was formed in 1907, and last season played in a black and white striped kit to commemorate their centenary season. It almost brought them promotion to League One but they lost out to Stockport 3-2 in an epic play-off final. Rochdale are the longest serving team in League Two, having occupied a place in the division for 35 years, and former managers include Steve Parkin, John Hollins and Alan Buckley.

The past 5 seasons have been up and down for the Dale with league finishes of 21st, 9th, 14th, 9th and finally 5th last season. Last season started indifferently for Rochdale with only 3 wins in their first 13 games and were stuck in mid table around Christmas time. But after the turn of the year the results changed, with 5 wins out of 6 in January and 5 wins out of 7 in April. This run saw them storm up the table, at one point it looked like they could gatecrash the top 3 but they finished in 5th place, 2 points behind Stockport but 11 points ahead of 8th placed Chesterfield.

The play-off semi final pitted them against Darlington; a tense opener saw Darlo take a narrow 2-1 lead to Spotland. The 2nd leg was a much more open affair with Rochdale coming from behind to win 2-1 and take the tie to extra time and penalties, which Rochdale won 5-4. It would be their first ever trip to Wembley stadium and Stockport County were waiting for them having beaten Wycombe in their semi-final.

The final was an open, attacking game full of drama and great goals. Rory McArdle put the Dale 1-0 up but Stockport went 3-1 up with goals from Nathan Stanton (og), Anthony Pilkington and Liam Dickinson. Adam Rundle pulled one back to set up a frantic finish but in the end Rochdale had to make do with another season of League Two football.

The Team

The summer and January transfer window saw little action for Rochdale as Keith Hill (above) endeavoured to keep the same side that came so close to promotion last season. Ciaran Toner was signed on a free from the Mariners in the close season and has become a major figure in the Dale midfield during the 22 games he has played. Midfielder Clark Keltie and defender Scott Wiseman also signed in the summer, with the latter coming with a decent amount of lower league experience from Darlington. Midfielder Nicky Adams was signed on loan from League One leaders Leicester in January and scored on his debut against Dagenham. Ex-town defender Simon Ramsden is still at the club, playing nearly 100 games since his move from the Mariners in 2006. Adam Le Fondre (left), born with an unlikely Manchester name plays up front for the Dale has a goal record of better than 1 in 3 for the club since his move from Stockport in 2007 and will be a handful for the town backline.

Key Player

Chris Dagnall. Scouser frontman Dagnall was signed from Tranmere Rovers 3 years ago after being told he wouldn't make it at Prenton Park, and since his move he has become one of the best strikers in the division with 31 goals in 97 games for Rochdale. He signed for the club after a loan spell in which he struggled to find the net, but ex-manager Steve Parkin clearly saw his potential and brought him in on a free. Although this season he has only found the net 8 times he is a scorer of important goals, and is bound to come to life at a time where Rochdale are on the brink of gate crashing the top 3. Oh how Town could do with him at the minute...

Recent Form

TownRochdale
LMorecambe(h)2-3
LDarlington(a)0-1
LBury(h)1-2
DBarnet(a)3-3
DExeter(h)2-2
Currently 22nd in League Two.
WDarlington(a)2-1
LBrentford(h)1-2
DMorecambe(h)1-1
WMacclesfield(a)1-0
WChester(a)2-0
Currently 4th in League Two.

Top Scorers

TownRochdale
Jarman5
Proudlock5
Le Fondre 15
Buckley8
Dagnall8

Team News

TownRochdale

  • Full backs Robbie Stockdale and Joe Widdowson are back in contention after missing out through injury in midweek

  • Jean Louis Akpa-Akpro is also available after a long injury spell.

  • Chris Llewellyn begins a three-match ban after picking up a red card in Tuesday's 3-2 defeat against Morecambe.

  • Mike Newell decided to shuffle his pack in the previous game and may do so again.
  • Dale skipper Gary Jones is struggling with a groin injury sustained at Darlington on Tuesday.

  • Clark Keltie is likely to step into central midfield while Simon Ramsden is expected to keep his place in central defence

  • Rory McArdle struggling after a knock in training.
  • Squads

    TownRochdale
    1GKPhil Barnes
    2DFRobbie Stockdale
    3DFTom Newey
    4DFRyan Bennett
    5DFMatthew Heywood (c)
    7MFPeter Till
    8MFPaul Bolland
    9MFAdam Proudlock
    10MFChris Llewellyn
    11MFDanny Boshell
    12DFJamie Clarke
    13GKGary Montgomery
    14MFJames Hunt
    15DFMatthew Bird
    16MFJean-Paul Kalala
    17MFNick Hegarty
    18MFPeter Bore
    19FWDanny North
    20FWAndy Taylor
    21DFJoe Widdowson
    22FWNathan Jar man
    23MFGrant Normington
    25MFRob Atkinson
    26FWJean-Louis Akpa Akpro
    27MFMickael Buscher
    28GKLeigh Overton
    30MFStuart Elliot
    31MFDean Sinclair
    32FWAdrian Forbes
    1GKSam Russell
    2DFSimon Ramsden
    3DFTom Kennedy
    4DFNathan Stanton
    5MFClark Keltie
    6MFCiarán Toner
    7FWLee McEvilly
    8MFGary Jones (c)
    9FWChris Dagnall
    10FWAdam le Fondre
    11MFAdam Rundle
    12DFNathan D'Laryea
    14DFScott Wiseman
    15MFJoe Thompson
    16MFNicky Adams (on loan from Leicester City)
    17FWJon Shaw (on loan to Crawley Town)
    18MFKallum Higginbotham (On loan at Accrington Stanley)
    19FWLee Thorpe
    20DFRaphale Evans
    21GKJames Spencer
    23DFRory McArdle
    25MFTheo Coleman
    26MFKyle Lambert
    27MFMark Jones
    30FWWill Buckley
    31DFMarcus Holness (on loan to Barrow)
    34GKFrank Fielding (on loan from Blackburn)

    Head to Head

    Despite a good overall record against Dale Grimsby have lost 7 out of 10 against them.

    P43 W21D7 L15F75A61

    Rochdale Head-to-Head (19th on The Opposition Ladder)

    Last Meeting

    Grimsby 0 Rochdale 0 (Sat 09th Aug 2008)

    The opening game of the season saw Grimsby fortunate to escape with a point.

    Report

    Prediction

    The Fishy Prediction

    Town have a dire record against Rochdale in recent times, but with wins against Shrewsbury, Wycombe and Bury this season maybe the impossible is very possible.

    Rochdale 0-1 Grimsby

    Reader's POMs

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