Date published: May 09, 2022
Matt Done scored the opening goal in his 310th appearance for the club
Rochdale’s final game of the 2021/22 campaign ended in victory, with Dale recording a 2-0 win over Newport County in South Wales.
Matty Done broke the deadlock at Rodney Parade in the 16th minute, while Abraham Odoh wrapped up the win in stoppage time.
There was a change to the squad that lined up against Bristol Rovers last Saturday, with Jimmy McNulty replacing Jimmy Keohane, who missed the game with shoulder surgery.
The home side started brilliantly and put Rochdale under pressure in the opening rallies, but Dale held firm, comfortably fending them off, and that was history for much of the half, the team from Robbie Stockdale creating the best of luck.
With Newport County unable to carve out an opening, it was Dale who tested first, after five minutes. Luke Charman, who scored his first goals for the club last weekend, hit an effort across goal and just wide from the right.
The Exiles continued to enjoy the ball, again undisturbed, and Rochdale took the lead through Done in the 16th minute. In his 310th appearance for the club, he beat the offside trap to latch onto the end of Ethan Brierley’s brilliant through ball and he fired a powerful effort past Nick Townsend.
Six minutes later, Brierley hit a 20-yard volley just wide of the post, as an offside flag went up against Done.
The midfielder then fired a shot from the edge of the area held by the keeper.
Before the end of the half, Max Taylor got in the way of Finn Azaz’s powerful effort, while Josh Pask sent a header well over the top.
A real fight ensued at the start of the second half, with both teams each creating a chance in the first quarter of an hour. Brierley hit from range for Dale and Newport’s Rob Street sent a header from short.
Street should have leveled the score in the 67th minute after being played on goal, but could only hit just wide of the post.
Shortly after, Dominic Telford found himself on the end of Azaz’s cross in the box, heading him down and into the ground, but a good block from Taylor avoided danger.
Sixty seconds later, Telford was back, after the ball was threaded into his feet, but Jake Eastwood came out to deny it, deflecting the shot with one foot.
Rochdale’s first substitution of the match followed in the 76th minute, with Abraham Odoh replacing the injured Charman who could not continue.
With nine minutes left, Eastwood kept Pask from reaching Pask with a nice save, before Street headed for the rebound.
Done made way for Josh Andrews late, who received a standing ovation from the 277 traveling supporters.
Andrews was involved immediately after his introduction and almost doubled Dale’s advantage with his first touch of the match, but he could only watch as his shot went inches past the post.
But Rochdale’s second of the afternoon came, with fellow substitute Odoh completing the scoring as the game went into six minutes of stoppage time. It was a great move from Dale and after receiving the ball just inside the box, Odoh took a touch and fired into the bottom corner.
Andrews had a shot circled around the near post, as Dale went in search of the third and Odoh shot narrowly wide of the target just to the death.
Report courtesy of rochdaleafc.co.uk
Newport: Townsend, Norman, J Clarke, Pask, Lewis, Dolan, Bennett (Bright 61), Cooper (Cain 45), Azaz, Street, Telford (Collins 74)
Subs (not used): Day, Fisher, Ellison, Waite
Rochdale: Eastwood, Taylor, O’Connell, McNulty, O’Keeffe, Brierley, Dooley, Clark, Done (Andrews 88), Grant, Charman (Odoh 76)
Subs (not used): White, Newby, Cashman, L Kelly, B Kelly