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Match Reports

Rochdale 1-4 Town - Town pick up vital three points with biggest win of the season

3 December 2022

Match Reports

Rochdale 1-4 Town - Town pick up vital three points with biggest win of the season

3 December 2022

A dominant display saw Town depart Rochdale 4-1 winners and claim a vital three points away at The Crown Oil Arena.

Having gone behind to James Ball early on, George Thomson's long range strike ensured the sides went into the break all square.

There was no stopping Town in the second half though as a Luke Armstrong brace and first Town goal for Sam Folarin secured our biggest away win since our EFL debut at Southend.

Simon Weaver made four changes from last week as Kyle Ferguson, Sam Folarin and Josh Coley replaced unavailable trio Joe Mattock, Jack Muldoon and Alex Pattison, while, George Thomson replaced Josh Austerfield.

Town started the brighter of the sides and created two good openings inside the opening ten minutes, Danny Grant seeing his strike blocked before Jaheim Headley fired wide.

Rochdale got their noses ahead in the eighth minute though when a corner to the near posted ended up in the back of the net, Ball getting the final touch under the close attentions of Warren Burrell.

Harrogate got back on level terms six minutes later though as Thomson guided a trademark strike into the bottom left corner from all of 25 yards, leaving Richard O'Donnell with no chance.

A weak Headley backpass almost presented Ian Henderson with the chance to restore his side's lead, but the Town full back was able to recover well to thwart the danger.

Just after the half hour mark Luke Armstrong thought he had put Town ahead when he turned Kayne Ramsay's low cross goalwards, only for Ethan Ebanks-Landell to scramble off the line.

The hosts finished the first half with a flurry as Abraham Odoh was denied by a smart piece of Pete Jameson goalkeeping, before Henderson got on the end of another Dale corner and saw his looping header connect with the frame of the goal.

Town took the lead for the first time eight minutes into the second half. Jameson's quick throw found Coley down the left, who bamboozled Ethan Brierley and put a low cross into the box that Folarin unselfishly dummied for Armstrong who was able to compose himself and finish.

Armstrong claimed his second five minutes later, finishing from close range after Headley had driven into the box and picked out his teammate to put Town 3-1 up.

It was then the turn of Folarin to get his name on the scoresheet and claim his first Town goal. After Armstrong's cross had been diverted onto the post by a Rochdale defender, Folarin was in exactly the right place to tap home.

Weaver took the opportunity to introduce Brad Williams for his EFL debut late on, with the youngster helping Town over the line to a vital three points that opens up a five point gap to the relegation zone.

Town: Jameson, Falkingham, Burrell, Thomson (Frost 81), Grant (Austerfield 83), Coley (Ilesanmi 89), Folarin (Williams 89), Headley, Ramsay, Ferguson, Armstrong

Subs not used: Welch-Hayes, Horbury, Giles

Goals: Thomson 14, Armstrong 53, 58, Folarin 70

Booked: Ferguson

Rochdale: O'Donnell, Ebanks-Landell, Ball (Malley 65), Odoh (Tulloch 83), Keohane (Seriki 65), Brierley (Rodney 65), Graham, Quigley, Diagouraga, John, Henderson (Sinclair 65)

Subs not used: Kelly, Nelson

Goals: Ball 8

Booked: Brierley, Uduh

Referee: Declan Bourne

Attendance: 2,254 (140 away)

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