Rochdale 1-1 Shrewsbury

Rochdale “A” 1 (Dagnall 54)
Shrewsbury 1 (Hall 34)

Dale team: Lee, Ramsden, D’Laryea, Holness (Bowyer), Evans, Muirhead, Doolan, Basham, Thompson, le Fondre (Buckley), Dagnall

A complete non-event was today’s game. Keith Hill had decided that it was too risky to allow first-teamers to play this pointless match, so we had a vastly different side out at Spotland, with probably only three or four of our favoured eleven actually starting. We still got a draw.

Not all end-of-season matches are dull but for the record, this one was. The Dale fans were strangely quiet today, as if they were saving their voices for next week’s play-off at Darlington. The players who were on the pitch knew they weren’t as good as the ones left out, and they played like it. As a result I couldn’t find myself enjoying today’s game to the usual level. It was all very pre-season.

It’s a shame Keith Hill didn’t go the whole hog and actually field a team of youngsters, as they might have stepped up to the plate and realised they were playing for contracts. Senior fringe players like Doolan, Basham and Muirhead all got starts, and none of them impressed. Maybe I’m being too harsh, but I got the feeling the lads didn’t actually care what the result was today. I’m not sure much of the crowd did.

The only thing the players cared about today, and understandably so, was the Flitcroft family, due to John Flitcroft’s death. A minute’s applause was arranged, surreally with Maggie May playing in the background, and when Dagnall scored the players all joined together to display a shirt with “Flitcroft” written along the back. My thoughts are needless to say with Dave and the rest of his family.

The match itself was pretty boring, lethargic stuff. I can’t remember specifics. All I know is Hall scored for them (I cannot remember how), and that Dagnall scored for us after a horrendous error by keeper Bevan. And that was it. A couple of players made debuts (Evans and Bowyer), and one player may have made his final appearance in professional football (Doolan). The new Rochdale record was played at half-time. I left with five minutes to go to catch a train to North Wales, and missed the only talking point of the match; a red card given to Muirhead by accident, later rescinded. Ho hum.

All that matters (and mattered) is next week’s match at Darlington. Rochdale have a real chance of finally being promoted. And today’s match was just in the way.

See you all at Darlo.

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One Response to Rochdale 1-1 Shrewsbury

  1. […] of May 2008. Rochdale were 5th in Division Four and preparing the reserves for an end of season nothing-game against Shrewsbury – in a week’s time they would play Darlington for a place in the play-off final, and a […]

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