Rochdale 1 Hartlepool United 1

By Footymad Previewer
Last updated : 11 November 2006
In a game of very few chances that was marred by driving wind and rain Rochdale substitute Keith Barker missed a glorious last-gasp opportunity to book his side's passage into the second round.

"In the circumstances we're happy to take a replay," a relieved Pools boss Danny Wilson admitted afterwards.

"It was an afternoon for rolling your sleeves up and battling. Both teams did that but in the end I think the weather was the winner.

"There weren't many chances in the game and so we hoped that James Brown's goal would have been good enough.

"They also had a chance near the end but other than that there were few sights on goal."

Rochdale boss Steve Parkin opted for an attacking line-up from the start with a five-man midfield and the decision appeared to have paid dividends as the home side began in impressive fashion.

In an evenly matched first half, Rochdale created the game's best chances with leading scorer Chris Dagnall forcing a decent save out of Hartlepool keeper Dimi Konstantopoulos on eight minutes.

Then on 35 minutes Dagnall turned provider to set up strike partner Glen Murray but he fired wide when well placed.

That miss was to prove extremely costly as Hartlepool took an undeserved 41st minute lead with their only real opportunity of the game.

Striker Brown claimed an effort that appeared to have been toe-poked beyond his own keeper by defender Nathan Stanton but it mattered little as it put the away side in the box side on a difficult afternoon.

The second period was wrecked as a spectacle for the supporters but Dale fans won't mind as they pulled themselves back on level terms.

With the driving wind and rain at their backs the home side completely controlled the second half but managed to produce only one chance from which they scored.

The Hartlepool defence failed to clear a cross from the left and veteran midfielder John Doolan pounced to fire home a rocket from just outside the penalty area.

Both teams continued to display plenty of heart in midfield but chances really were at a premium in a scrappy second period.

However, deep into time added on, Barker had a real opportunity to be a hero but with the goal at his mercy and only keeper Konstantopoulos to beat he dragged his close range effort wide to set up a replay on the shores of the North Sea on November 21st.

Rochdale Match Reports


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