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Match Reports

Stanley 1 Rochdale 2

Seven-game unbeaten run ends despite Zanzala's late goal

1 January 2020

Stanley’s seven-game unbeaten run came to an end with the first game of 2020 as they lost 2-1 to Rochdale.

The Dale have proved something of a bogey team for Stanley, the Reds last beating them in February 2013.

John Coleman’s side created more of the chances in the first half without really testing keeper Rob Sanchez and then Ian Henderson, who scored two against Stanley earlier this season, chipped home in injury-time in the first half.

Stephen Dooley added a second after the break and, while Offrande Zanzala got one back in injury-time for the Reds, they couldn't find a second.

Dion Charles had two early chances for Stanley but they were comfortable for Sanchez while Sam Finley’s long range strike on 12 minutes wasn’t far off.

Jordan Clark’s looping ball to the far post was collected by Sanchez as the Reds dominated the early chances.

Midfielder Ben Barclay was substituted on 29 minutes after picking up a yellow card and then being talked to by the referee Tom Nield for another tackle minutes later, Seamus Conneely replacing him.

Stanley suffered a big blow on 32 minutes when influential winger Sean McConville went over on his ankle and was stretchered off, Joe Pritchard coming on for him.

Dale had sporadic attacks without really testing Joe Bursik but took the lead in injury time in the first half.

Rochdale broke with Kwadwo Baah on the left wing and he found Callum Camps who set up Henderson for a chipped finish.

Zanzala had a chance to equalise before the half-time whistle blew but headed straight at Sanchez.

In the second half, Jerome Opoku’s fierce ball in missed the head of Zanzala by inches as Stanley looked for the equaliser.

There was a real goalmouth scramble as Pritchard played the ball in, it hit a Rochdale player and bounced close to the goalline with Sanchez being awarded a free kick as Zanzala challenged for the loose ball.

Finley put another great ball into the area but couldn’t find a Stanley player as the Reds upped the tempo.

However, Dale broke on 64 minutes, Ollie Rathbone sent Dooley free, with the Reds appealing for off-side, and he slotted past Bursik.

Stanley had a great chance to get one back on 75 minutes but the in-rushing Pritchard blasted well over.

Calvin Andrew had an effort cleared off the line in injury-time for Dale before Zanzala poked the ball past Sanchez in injury-time but couldn't grab a late leveller despite a grandstand finish.


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