05.11.22 Match Report Rovers v Rochdale

Rovers progressed to Round Two of the Emirates FA Cup following a 1-0 victory over Rochdale courtesy of Scott Sinclair's first goal for the Gas.

Rovers made two changes to their starting line-up after last week's 4-2 loss to Derby, with Scott Sinclair and James Connolly coming in for Luca Hoole and the cup-tied Josh Coburn.


The first real chance of the tie fell to Aaron Collins. The Rovers forward cut inside following a lovely ball from Sam Finley and looked to give O'Donnell the eyes before dragging his shot back across the goal. The Rochdale 'keeper was able to gather following Aaron's effort.

Finley was pulling the strings in midfield early on. The midfielder played a perfectly weighted ball to Scott Sinclair who looked to take on his man. The Rovers no.7 opted to pick out Collins in the middle of the box instead of taking on the shot, with the latter pulling his effort wide of the target.

Abraham Odoh did well to beat Lewis Gordon and force a lowball across the Rovers penalty area which would have caused alarm for the Gas had it not been for Bobby Thomas' intervention to clear the danger.

Sinclair burst into the area just before the interval and was persistent in getting a shot away at goal which O'Donnell was able to gather.


Five minutes into the second half, Bobby Thomas struggled to clear the ball, which Henderson capitalised on. The Rochdale forward stole the ball off of the Rovers centre-half and looked to place his shot into the far corner of Belshaw's goal. The Rochdale forward got his angles all wrong and saw his effort roll harmlessly past the post and safely behind.

Rochdale had another chance to open the scoring only moments later. Devante Rodney was played in behind the Rovers defence and it took a strong hand from James Belshaw to prevent the visitors from taking the lead.

Tenacious play from Sam Finley presented Rovers with a chance. After winning the ball back in the far corner of the pitch, the Rovers midfielder picked out Luke McCormick who got his head up and picked out Aaron Collins whose shot was deflected behind for a corner as the Gas upped the ante.

The breakthrough came just past the hour mark. Substitute Harvey Saunders chased down what seemed to be a lost cause and was able to win a corner. The corner was taken short and the cross was flicked on towards the back post where Scott Sinclair was on hand to tap home his first-ever Rovers goal.


Good play again from Saunders presented Collins with a chance at goal. The Rochdale players were quickly out to block the Welshman's shot following Saunders' cross.

Rochdale pushed for a late leveller to force the tie into a replay but Rovers held firm and are in the hat for the second-round draw.

Next up for Rovers is a return to League One action when we face Fleetwood Town at The Mem on Saturday, 12th November (3pm).

ROVERS: Belshaw, Gibbons, Thomas, Connolly, Gordon, Rossiter, Finley (c), Evans, McCormick, Sinclair, Collins.

Substitutes: Jaakkola, Hoole, Clarke, Kilgour, Saunders, Westbrooke, Whelan.

ROCHDALE: O'Donnell, Ebanks-Landell, Kelly, Ball, Rodney, Odoh, Keohane, Graham, Diagouraga, John, Henderson. 

Substitutes: Kelly, Seriki, McNulty, Brierley, Nelson, Sinclair, Tulloch, Malley, Kelly.

Referee: Will Finnie

Attendance: 4,679

Read Time: 3 mins