Cheadle Town 0-3 Rochdale Town

Our first league defeat at home this season and the first time we have failed to score this season; I think this is what they call "a bad night at the office".

We had our half-chances - more of those in a bit - but we were far from what we would call our best all evening and if we're brutally honest with ourselves can have absolutely no complaints about Rochdale Town taking all three points back home with them.

With the few half-chances that we did create, it also felt as though our scoreline would still be "nil" if we were still playing now.

On the 15th minute the 'Dale keeper smacked a clearance against the onrushing Darryhl Mason. Maybe seven times out of ten the ball does the decent thing and allows Darryhl the free run on goal; on this occasion it rolls just out of his reach and out of play.

Five minutes later and Darryhl is unmarked in the box and on the end of a left-wing cross, but this evening he gets his footing all wrong at the last minute and his intelligent attempt to back-flick it in sails harmlessly over the bar.

Those were the only two incidents of note in a turgid opening half hour until we went and handed Rochdale their opening goal on a plate.

Coming out to deal with a lofted through-ball, Josh Samberg managed to both miss it and collide with one of his own defenders with the ball squirming free for Rochdale's Jonny Thompson to roll it home off the post from the edge of the box.

Two minutes later Rochdale extended their lead. Possession was lost in our midfield with the denouement being Scott Alfrey rifling home from the edge of the box.

The second half started as uneventfully as the first and suddenly woke up with around 20 minutes to go as we looked to get a foothold in the game.

The ever tireless Darryhl Mason fizzed one across the goalmouth on 68 minutes but Mssrs Sherrington and Whyatt were just short of getting on the end of it.

Josh Samberg then made a good double save a minute later, pushing away a Rochdale long range effort and then recovering quickly to block the follow-up shot at his near post.

The 75th minute saw a minor turning point in the game from a Cheadle point of view. Chris Sherrington's cross from the left was met with the meatiest of headers from Rick Whyatt only for it to cannon off the underside of the bar and bounce away to safety. That goes in and it's a different game as it might have given us the impetus to go on a get a result.

As it turns out that was to be our last significant knock on the Rochdale door. With the game petering out to its evident conclusion the visitors went and capped their win in injury time, breaking away and taking all the time in the world to allow Kyle Jackson to stroke home from close range.

To Crilly Park this weekend where two things need arresting: one, this bad run of form of ours that hasn't seen us win any of our last five matches in all competitions and two, the fact that we are yet to win away from home in the league this season.


TEAM: Samberg, McLaughlin (Vincent), Pearson, Trucca, Kennedy (Rathburn), MacAuley, Magida, Westmerland (Nolan), Mason, Whyatt, Sherrington. SUBS: Nolan, Rathburn, Vincent.

The photos and match footage below are reproduced with very kind permission of David Wright.