Rochdale 1-1 Preston NE
Reporter: Martin Culshaw
Date online: 02 January 2012
Rochdale started 2012 with a 1-1 draw against Preston North End but caretaker manager Chris Beech will be disappointed his side didn’t take all 3 points. Debutant Daniel Bogdanovic, on loan from Championship side Blackpool, pounced to level the game after Preston debutant Jake Jervis had given the visitors the lead. Dale had 2 goals ruled out by referee Trevor Kettle for fouls whilst Bogdanovic rattled the underside of the crossbar in an impressive debut display.
With injuries to Dave Lucas and Marcus Holness and the loans of Harry Bunn and Matthew Barnes-Homer coming to an end, Dale caretaker manager Chris Beech added to his squad on the morning of the game by bringing in Hungarian keeper Peter Kurucz from West Ham whilst striker Daniel Bogdanovic arrived from Blackpool; both on 28 day emergency loans. Stephen Darby returned to the starting XI whilst Akpa-Akpro was preferred to Joe Thompson who dropped to the bench.
Rochdale made the first chance of the game when keeper Kurucz punched a cross which was picked up on the half way line by Adams. The winger ran at the visiting defence before unleashing a powerful left footed effort that went just over.
Moments later though and Dale were behind. Another cross by the Lillywhites wasn’t dealt with by Kurucz but the 2 follow up shots were well charged down by the on loan stopper but he could do nothing about the 3rd shot which was flicked over the line by on loan Jervis to open his Preston account.
Dale responded well and almost equalised 5 minutes later. Adams’ cross was met by Bogdanovic but he was unlucky to see his header crash off the underside of the crossbar.
Dale were camped inside Preston’s half and got back on level terms on 25 minutes. Adams corner was turned goal-wards but Stuckmann saved although he couldn’t stop Bogdanovic marking his debut with a goal when he bundled the ball home.
It was no more than Dale deserved and as the game edged towards the interval it was the home side asking most of the questions. Jones saw a 40 yard free kick go agonisingly wide whilst Kennedy warmed the hands of Stuckmann with a turn and shot. Stuckmann again denied Dale when he got down smartly to save from Akpa-Akpro.
Beech’s side started the second period much as they had ended the first. Bogdanovic forced the visiting defence to take evasive action as he tried to turn a David Ball pass home whilst Barton made a last gasp block as Adams was about to pull the trigger inside the area.
Referee Kettle had infuriated both sides with some strange decisions but it was Dale who were to feel hard done by just shy of the hour mark. Dean Holden powered a header home from an Adams corner but the official ruled it out for a push.
Dale continued to press forward and again good defending inside the area denied Ball a shot at goal when well placed. Gary Jones’ mis-kick inadvertently found the head of Holden but he couldn’t hit the target.
In a rare North End attack in the second half, Kurucz bravely collected a left wing cross ahead of Jervis.
Stuckmann was proving to be a huge frame to get past in the Preston goal with Bogdanovic being denied again with an angled drive.
The referee, who had already become the villain as far as Dale were concerned was again at the centre of a controversial decision. Bogdanovic jumped with Stuckmann to contest a cross from the right which was won by the striker but when Grimes slotted the ball into the unguarded net, referee Kettle blew for a foul on the keeper.
It was tough luck on Rochdale who deserved the 3 points against a side with promotion ambitions but it’s a point that stretches their unbeaten run to 3 games.
The Dale Caretaker manager spoke after the game: “I don’t know how we didn’t win that game. If I was on a full managers contract I would probably talk about the referee as then I would be able to afford to pay the fine but I’m not so I’m not going to. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to work out that Preston are a tall physical team. The lads at the back, Barton in midfield and the lad they have brought in on loan is a big lad and that physicality is something Rochdale have lacked since Craig & Chris have left (Dawson & O’Grady) but we have, over the past 2 weeks, we have developed commitment and desire. We played some good fast passing football. I’m going home after today’s game knowing we deserve defiantly 4 points from these 2 games and arguably 6. We’ve missed a bit a guile, class and knowhow and Bogdanovic has got all of that. I’ve never seen him play but Ryan Kidd (assistant manager) knows him very well and when you manage you have to surround yourself with people you trust and I’ve gone for Daniel on Ryan’s say. We were always going to bring in another goalkeeper as when we get towards the end of the season when it’s a pressure environment, we need that stability. We have got irons in fires which I’m excited about and if we can get the players in then I’ll be happy. The first goal ruled out had some pushing and shoving going on but the second one looked harsh.”
Rochdale: Kurucz, Darby, Holden, Jordan, Widdowson, Adams, , Jones (c), Kennedy, Akpa-Akpro (Tutte 68), Ball (Grimes 73), Bogdanovic (Thompson 90)
Subs (not used): Barry-Murphy, Edwards
Preston NE: Stuckmann, Gray, Carlisle, Morgan, Coutts (c), Proctor (Douglas 63), Smith, Barton, Mayor (Daley 75), Parry (McLaughlin 80), Jervis
Subs (not used): Turner, Tsoumou
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