Wycombe Wanderers 3-0 Rochdale
Reporter: Martin Culshaw
Date online: 22 January 2012
Relegation threatened Rochdale lost out to fellow strugglers Wycombe Wanderers. Another lacklustre performance has cast doubts over Caretaker manager Chris Beech's long term future as Dale boss.
In what was described as a relegation '6 pointer' Beech named an unchanged side from Tuesday's game at Tranmere. Marcus Holness returned to the bench with Andrew Tutte missing out.
The home side started the game much the brighter with the Dale defence having to stand firm to repel any Wycombe attacks. Harris' shot took a wicked deflection that almost caught Kurucz out but the stopper gathered at the second attempt. Kurucz was forced into action again when Bloomfield tried his luck from range but the on loan West Ham keeper pushed over.
The turning point of the game came just after the half hour mark when Beavon got on the end of a long punt up field from Bull. The Chairboys striker turned away from Amankwaah before lifting the ball over Kurucz for 1-0.
Beech had a huge half time team-talk but whatever was said didn’t have the desired effect. Amankwaah bravely blocked a couple of long range efforts after a mêlée in the Dale box whilst Dale's best efforts fell to Kennedy but the midfielders shots were also blocked.
Nicky Adams and Ashley Grimes were introduced by Beech in attempt to get back in the game. Home defender Basey stopped Grimes when he was about to pull the trigger from 12 yards whilst Jones volleyed wide.
Wycombe quickly put the game beyond Dale in a 120 second spell. Beavon controlled a knock down from a deep freekick before firing into the top corner to double the advantage. Looking a defeated side, Dale conceded a 3rd from a corner when Winfield bundled home when the defence failed to clear.
The rest of the game was played out with an inevitability about the result although Beech's side did create a couple of chances late on. Ormerod forced Bull into a fine save whilst Kennedy was again denied by some good defending. Grimes saw his turn and shot easily gathered as injury time ended.
It was a devastating result for Rochdale's season and its one that could seal the fate of Beech as manager. Rumours of Accrington manager John Coleman in talks with the Dale board are gathering pace; the powers that be down the corridors at Spotland have some decisions to make.
Chris Beech spoke afterwards: “We have lost 3 points today. The players were prepared correctly. The players that started were capable of winning the game. Those that came on were capable of changing the game. We felt we picked the right team and those players that played Tuesday (at Tranmere) deserved the chance to play again today. Any team that are down at the bottom, then the first goal is crucial. If you score first the opposition start to get nervous. I haven’t read the rumours. I have concentrated on my job in hand here. We will prepare for next week and a difficult game in the derby against Bury.”
Rochdale: Kurucz, Darby, Amankwaah, Holden, Jordan, Akpa-Akpro, (Abadaki 84), Jones(c), Kennedy, Barry-Murphy (Grimes 64), Ormerod, Bogdanovic (Adams 64)
Subs (not used): Lucas, Holness,
Wycombe W: Bull, Foster, Basey, Winfield (c), Laing, Harris, Lewis, Bloomfield, Grant (Ainsworth 68), Strevens, Beavon (Kewley-Graham 90)
Subs (not used): Rendell, McCoy, Stewart
Referee: Mr P Miller
Ass Referee: Mr S Barrow & Mr I Crouch
4th official: Mr J Farries
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