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Report | U's 0-1 Rochdale

U's beaten by first half penalty

24 September 2022

Colchester United fell to defeat to Rochdale in Sky Bet League Two at the JobServe Community Stadium this afternoon.

Rochdale took the lead as Devante Rodney converted a first-half penalty after Kieran O’Hara was deemed to have fouled Tyrese Sinclair in the box.

Colchester put on a resilient display in the second half and were awarded a penalty in the dying moments, but Freddie Sears saw his effort saved as by Richard O’Donnell as Rochdale took all three points.

Steve Ball made five changes to the side that lost to Grimsby last week, with Junior Tchamadeu, Cole Skuse, Freddie Sears, Noah Chilvers and Dan Chesters all coming into the starting line-up.

Returning to a back four, Colchester were intent on winning the midfield battle, with Skuse, Matty Longstaff and Noah Chilvers dictating the play.

Rochdale looked content to sit off the U’s in the opening exchanges, with the home side having the majority of possession at the Jobserve Community Stadium.

There were early shouts for a penalty as Tchamadeu went down in the box, but play was waved on with the U’s unable to convert from the passage of play.

The visitors grew into the game having withstood a period of pressure from the U’s with Tyrese Sinclair and Devante Rodney looking dangerous – the latter almost opened the scoring for Dale, but his lobbed attempt landed on the roof of the net, deemed offside by the officials.

James Ball strung the palms of Kieran O’Hara as we hit the twenty-minute mark, but the Irishman was equal to the midfielder’s effort.

One minute later and Rochdale had a penalty. A lose ball in the penalty area was spilled and Sinclair was brought down by O’Hara and the referee did not hesitate before pointing to the spot, and awarding the U's 'keeper a yellow card.

Rodney was the one to step up for the visitors, sending the keeper the wrong way and putting his side a goal up.

Another chance fell the way of Rochdale as we entered the final fifteen minutes of the first half, with Jimmy McNulty unmarked from a set-piece, but his header failed to hit the target.

The U’s had half a chance before the break, with Chesters finding space on the right-hand side, but his cross was unable to find a blue and white shirt.

Steve Ball’s side were mounting pressure at the end of the half, with two minutes added on there was some hope of an equaliser. Chilvers sent a volley over the bar there was a decent chance from a corner, but there was no way through Rochdale after the first forty-five.

Ryan Clampin made way for Al-Amin Kazeem at half-time, with the U’s emerging looking for a way back into the game.

A strong start for the home side was once again the theme, and Ball changed the game further with the introduction of Kwesi Appiah as an extra goalscoring threat.

Chances were beginning to emerge for Colchester, with Beryly Lubala twice coming close for the hosts.

Chesters was another who looked to have stepped it up in the second half, his turn of pace and neat technical ability was causing problems for the Rochdale backline.

His combinations with Tchamadeu and Longstaff on the right-hand side was looking increasingly dangerous as the U’s pressed hard for an equaliser.

A big chance fell for the home side when Appiah timed his run perfectly in behind the Dale defence before laying off Lubala – however the winger found his shot blocked.

More changes in the final quarter of the match, with Frank Nouble and Alex Newby replacing Longstaff and Lubala.

Rochdale hit the post after a good move, Scott Quigley forcing a fingertip save from O’Hara as the visitors looked to kill the game off.

Sears had what was probably Colchester’s best chance of the afternoon. A tasty flick on from Appiah released the striker, but he could not keep his shot down as he bore down on goal.

The U’s were awarded a penalty in the ninetieth minute after Luke Hannant was brought down in the box.

Sears stepped up and saw his effort saved by Richard O’Donnell.

Despite the late surge from the hosts, there was no breakthrough and defeat fell for Steve Ball’s men.

Colchester will travel to AFC Wimbledon next Saturday in their next League Two fixture.

Colchester XI: O’Hara, Clampin (Kazeem 46'), Chambers, Dallison, Skuse, Sears, Chilvers (Appiah 53'), Lubala (Nouble 73'), Tchamadeu, Chesters (Hannant 82'), Longstaff (Newby 73').

Subs: Hornby, Hannant, Appiah, Eastman, Newby, Kazeem, Nouble.

Rochdale XI: O’Donnell, Seriki, McNulty, Kelly, Ball (Malley 83'), Rodney (Odoh 64'), Keohane, Graham, Sinclair (Henderson 83'), Quigley, Diagouraga.

Subs: Kelly, Odoh, Brierley, Campbell, Malley, Scanlon, Henderson.

Attendance: 2,784 (130)

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