Rochdale 1-0 Bolton Wanderers

  • September 27, 2016 | By Chris Mann
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Steve Davies scored the only goal at the Crown Oil Arena, as Rochdale beat Bolton in league competition for the first time.

In 14 previous meetings between the clubs, Dale's only victory over Wanderers came in a League Cup tie in August 1989 - with the Trotters unbeaten in six prior league matches dating back to 1972.

Bolton started the League One campaign with four successive wins, as they cruised to the top of the table, but are now winless in seven attempts in all competitions, with supporters voicing their discontent during and after a dismal display.

Phil Parkinson made four changes to the Bolton side that lined up against Bradford City on Saturday, as Lawrie Wilson, Tom Thorpe, Chris Taylor and Keshi Anderson were all handed starting roles.

Mark Beevers was one of four to miss out, as he struggles with a bout of tonsillitis, while Josh Vela was dropped to the substitutes' bench after he too continues to feel the after-effects of a virus. Sammy Ameobi joined him in the dugout, while Lewis Buxton was unable to feature after picking up a knee injury last time out.

After a stop-start opening to the game, it took the better part of 20 minutes for a shooting opportunity to present itself to either team. It fell the way of the hosts, as Joe Thompson found himself in the clear, but his cross-cum-shot from a narrow angle looped wide of Mark Howard's far post.

Bolton's first chance arrived midway through the half and should have resulted in a goal, but James Henry somehow volleyed wide at the far post after being picked out by an inch-perfect cross from Jamie Proctor.

The two combined again moments later, with Henry this time getting better accuracy on his strike, but Joe Bunney put his body on the line to block the threat and turn the ball behind.

Rochdale were forced into an early substitution on 27 minutes, as Ian Henderson's evening came to an end after he failed to recover from a blow to the head inside the opening 60 seconds. Davies, the eventual matchwinner, came on in his place.

Dean Moxey was next to receive treatment, after he found himself on the end of a late challenge that saw Dale's Matthew Lund enter the referee's notebook.

A long-range strike from Jay Spearing brought a save out of Josh Lillis in stoppage time, moments after Jamie Allen had fired over the crossbar as the half drew to a close - a half which was insipid of goalmouth action and unsurprisingly saw the sides go in level, scoreless, at the break.

There were no changes to either side at the start of the second period, which began with Lillis getting away with a mistake from a Wilson long-throw, seconds before Rochdale moved up to the other end of the field and broke the deadlock in style.

A rare venture forward into Wanderers territory saw the ball fall kindly at the feet of Davies. After his initial attempt was blocked, he reacted quickest to smash the rebound beyond a helpless Howard and into the roof of the net.

Dale almost doubled their advantage within five minutes, with Howard beaten once again, but Allen's headed came back off the inside of the post as Bolton lived to fight another day.

Their disappointing start to the second half prompted Parkinson into a double change just after the hour, as Zach Clough and Sammy Ameobi came on for Keshi Anderson and Chris Taylor, the latter of whom was booed off the pitch by a section of the travelling away support.

Tom Thorpe found himself in the right place at the right time to clear away a goalbound effort from Thompson on 68 minutes, after Howard got himself in a mix-up with his central defenders, before Proctor brought Lillis into action at the other end after he tricked his way into the Rochdale box.

Henry, who had missed a guilt-edged opportunity earlier in the game, brought a fine save out of Lillis with 10 minutes to play, before coming even closer when his deflected effort from a narrow angle clipped the post.

Clough shot straight at Lillis as Bolton began to take aim from range, while frustration finally got the better of them in added time when David Wheater dragged a shot well wide from 30 yards to spell the end of Wanderers' hopes of claiming a point.

Rochdale, unbeaten in five, move up to 15th place as a result of their victory and go to within four points of Bolton, who drop to seventh after a run of six league games without a win.

Parkinson's side return to action on Saturday, when they step out at Macron Stadium for a match with Oxford United.

Rochdale: Lillis, Rafferty, Canavan, Keane, Bunney, Lund, Allen, Camps, Henderson (Davies 27), Thompson (Odelusi 81), Andrew
Subs Not Used: McGahey, McDermott, Rathbone, Noble-Lazarus, Logan
Booked: Lund
Goals: Davies 52

Bolton Wanderers: Howard, Wilson (Vela 81), Thorpe, Wheater, Moxey, Spearing, Henry, C Taylor (Clough 62), Trotter, Anderson (Ameobi 63), Proctor
Subs Not Used: Alnwick, Osede, A Taylor, Perry
Booked: C Taylor

Referee: David Coote
Attendance: 6,011

Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
1 Accrington Stanley 0 0
2 Barnsley 0 0
3 Bolton Wanderers 0 0
4 Bristol Rovers 0 0
5 Burton Albion 0 0
View Full Standings >>


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