Football: Rochdale 0 - 0 Southend

Date published: 13 March 2018

Rochdale were left frustrated after a dominant first half performance yielded no goals despite giving Southend goalkeeper Mark Oxley and his defenders plenty to do - Matt Done, Andy Cannon and Ian Henderson all being denied on more than one occasion.

Southend improved in the second half, although Lillis was rarely tested.

Rochdale manager Kieth Hill was forced into a late change to his starting eleven when wing back Joe Rafferty was injured in the warm up. Scott Wiseman deputised whilst Kgosi Ntlhe stepped up to the substitutes bench.

On the back of successive away wins, confidence was high Rochdale looked to continue their recent good form and took the game to their opponents from the off.

A good bit of play involving Wiseman, Cannon and Done ended with the latter seeing his goal bound effort deflected over for a corner. From the flag kick, a Cannon volley at the back post was bravely blocked by Wordsworth.

Cannon went close again midway through the first half when he glanced a Wiseman cross from the right just wide of the mark.

Captain Ian Henderson warmed the hands of Oxley with a ferocious volley just short of the half hour mark as Dale dominated proceedings.

In fact, it took until the 29th minute for Southend to register any kind of shot - Marc Antione Fortune hitting the side netting with an angled shot.

Dale tried to turn up the heat as the half wore on but could not force a goal.

Southend’s goal led a charmed life in the final five minutes with Ferdinand and Turner clearing their lines when Cannon saw his shot well saved by Oxley.

Henderson flashed a free header just over the bar from an Inman cross in the last action of the first half.

Southend came out after the break looking better, although they still could not really trouble Lillis in the Rochdale goal.

Dale came close to opening the deadlock nine minutes after the restart when Humphrys through ball was seized upon by Henderson with the captain only denied by the quick actions of Oxley who raced out to clear.

The introduction of Steven Davies and Alex Dobre gave Southend something else to think about. A dipping Davis volley was beaten away by Oxley whilst Dobre jinked his way into decent positions but could not repeat his heroics of the game at Walsall last week.

The stalemate means Dale are now six points from safety with three games in hand and with AFC Wimbledon and Fleetwood to come in the next seven days at the Crown Oil Arena, they will still believe they can escape the trouble they are currently in.

Rochdale: Lillis, McGahey, McNulty, Delaney, Wiseman, Done, Camps, Cannon (Dobre 75), Inman (Rathbone 74), Henderson ©, Humphrys (Davies 63)
Subs: (not used) Moore, Adshead, Hart, Ntlhe

Southend: Oxley, Demetriou, Ferdinand, Turner, Coker ©, Wright, Yearwood, Wordsworth, Kightly, Harrison (McLaughlin 68), Fortune (Ladapo 83)
Subs: (not used) Bishop, Timlin, Mantom, Kyprianou

Referee: Mr E Ilderton
Assistants: Mr K Haycock and Mr S Rushton
Fourth Official: Mr A Moore

Attendance: 2,286


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