‘Dale’s first home victory is long overdue.
Rochdale’s form continues on an upward curve and it’s a measure of the progress that the Lancashire side have made in recent weeks that they were disappointed not to come away with anything from their game with pre-season promotion favourites Sheffield United at Bramall Lane on Saturday.
Jamal Campbell-Ryce’s late deflected goal – most people in the ground thought the winger was attempting a cross – condemned ‘Dale to a first defeat in four matches on the road but it wasn’t deserved.
Ian Henderson struck the Blades’ woodwork and Peter Vincenti was denied in the final seconds as his side searched for an equaliser. Keith Hill certainly wasn’t disheartened at the final whistle as his player produced further evidence that they can compete with the best at League One level.
Ashley Eastham and Stephen Dawson were outstanding against United and getting the latter on a free transfer is looking like an excellent piece of business by the manager. He’ll be wanting more of the same as his team look to get a first home win under their belt against Walsall this week.
Dean Smith’s side have made a slow start but came to life at the Bescot on Saturday when ending the unbeaten run of Preston North End, though the visitors ended the game with 10 men. The Saddlers have been boosted by the return, on loan, of former captain Andy Butler and will be looking to kick on now.
But they’ve not managed an away win so far and rely heavily on Tom Bradshaw for goals. If the ‘Dale defence can keep him quiet, a first three-pointer of the season at Spotland could be on the cards for Hill’s men.
We have Rochdale at 7/5 for a home win and that looks decent value considering their progress in recent weeks – a victory in front of their home fans is certainly long overdue. Ian Henderson has his shooting boots on at present and is 11/2 to score the game’s first goal.
The match kicks off at 7.45pm on Tuesday, September 16th at Spotland.