Rochdale v Morecambe, 7th Feb 2009, at Spotland
Two trips away, two fantastic wins and one huge new wave of optimism. Didn’t I tell you Joey Thompson was now officially the best winger in the world? Just one game after TANY proclaims JT a front-runner for World Player of the Year, he runs out against an oddly limp Aldershot and scores a hattrick. Then he bags the opener against an expectedly shite Chester City. Next week; Joey Thompson saves the world by skinning John Terry, and then gets off with Angelina Jolie.
And so we look forward to Morecambe on Saturday with a heady mix of confidence and excitedness. The opposition have been somewhat erratic on the form front recently, losing to Accrington, drawing against Port Vale before bashing Brentford last night. Which Morecambe will turn up this weekend is anybody’s guess, but Dale should be wary of complacency. The Shrimpers have always been a good test since they came up from the Conference, and have some decent players (Twiss, Drummond, Bentley) and a canny manager – the experienced Sammy McIlroy.
But in reality, the game is Dale’s to win, and we know it. The starting lineup should remain as it has for the past two games, now that Nathan Stanton’s red card has been rescinded. A slight doubt remains about Mr. Assist, Nicky Adams, after he went off with a gashed head against Chester, but he has a few days to recover and the wound appears only superficial. Other than that, there have been no new injuries, so Fielding, Wiseman, McArdle, Stanton, Kennedy, Thompson, Toner, Jones, Adams, Dagnall and Buckley should be the order of the day. Adam le Fondre may make an appearance, Rundle too – but why change a winning side?
A win against Morecambe would wrap up a wonderful fortnight for the club, and not just for the results. Tom Kennedy and Lee Thorpe have both signed contract extensions, until June 2010 and June 2009 respectively – which are perhaps the best two signings of the transfer window. This time last year we were bemoaning the loss of Glenn Murray to Brighton; this year we’ve not lost anybody, which is quite remarkable given the talent supposedly being scouted at Spotland every week. The transfer market has noticeably quietened down since last year due to the world’s perilous financial state – it seems Rochdale’s favourite biscuit is one called the Credit Crunch. And yes, you have heard that joke before.
Written by Matt Boothman on 4th Feb 09