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21 December 2019 Venue Pirelli Stadium Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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English Football League - League One

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Match Reports

MATCH REPORT: ROCHDALE (H)

21 December 2019

ALBION found their goalscoring touch at home once more to secure a welcome three points courtesy of a 3-1 win over Rochdale

Despite conceding inside two minutes for the second home gasme running when Callum Camps fired home Albion roared back and were in front by the time eighteen minutes were showing on the clock, Ryan Edwards firing in a loose ball and Lucas Akins converting from the penalty spot when Colin Daniel was upended.

Albion should really have been well clear by half time but Rochdale battled back in the second half and victory was only asssured when Liam Boyce fired in with eight minutes to go.

Albion showed three changes to the side defeated 2-0 at league leaders Wycombe Wanderers last weekend. John Brayford and Oliver Sarkic returned to the side having made it as far as the bench last weekend while Ryan Edwards returned after serving his one match ban. He replaced Stephen Quinn, serving his own ban whilst Brayford slotted in at right back allowing Lucas Akins to move forwards in place of David Templeton who was missing after his wife gave birth less than 24 hours previous. Sarkic replaced Joe Sbarra with the birthday boy on the bench.

Things could not have got off to a worse start for Albion though as they found themselves a goal down within two minutes for the second home game running. It started with a long clearance from keeper Robert Sanchez and when Rekeil Pyke beat Richard Nartey to the header to flick on Dale skipper Callum Camps was allowed to run on and lash the ball beyond O'Hara.

But Albion finally had a slice of luck go their way on eleven minutes when they got back on level terms. Buxton spread the play out to Daniel on the left and his burst forwards created room for a low cross that was scuffed by Boyce but fell invitingly for EDWARDS to catch with a volley into the bottom corner off the outside of his boot.

Daniel was revelling in the space out wide on the left and when he raised forwards again on 17 minutes Eoghan O'Connell clumsily sent him tumbling in the box giving AKINS the chance to complete a quick turnaround smashing the penalty high into the roof of Sanchez's net.

Albion were dominating the game and Fraser blasted over the bar before Sarkic was found in acres of space by a glorious crossfield pass by Boyce but was not quite able to finish the move and Fraser then danced through a couple of challenges just inside the box before seeing a deflected effort nestle into the side netting.

Rochdale, to their credit were trying to play football from the back but it almost cost theim dear on 39 minutes when good pressing from the Albion frontline forced a hurried clearance from Sanchez and Boyce was able to feed Sarkic, his shot on the turn not quite able to beat the Dale keeper.

The Brewers had been completely dominant in the first period but they almost ended up going in level at the break when Rochdale moved the ball around nicely before a low ball through the Burton penalty area was allowed to bypass everyone with nobody in a blue shirt gambling on it. It would have been harsh on Albion to go in level and it was only a one goal lead to take into half time.

Half time: Burton Albion 2-1 Rochdale

Rochdale started brightly after the break and but for better finishing could have been level but it was Boyce with the best opening forcing a good stop from Sanchez with a rising drive from the edge of the box on 48 minutes.

Dale were finding space out on their left and a superb cross in looked a certain goal until Pyke went up and completely mistimed his header sending it well wide of the target.

The visitors then turned to substitute Aaron Wilbraham, the veteran striker expected to use his physical presence to try and unsettle the Brewers back line as Dale went in search of an equaliser. The warning signs were there for Albion and from a rare Rochdale corner Matty Done clipped the top of the crossbar with an effort from just outside the box.

Jimmy Keohane was even closer on 64 minutes with a low drive that struck the base of the post before Jake Buxton was able to eventually clear the danger.

Albion made their first change on 69 minutes, Sbarra replacing Sarkic but it was proving difficult to stem the flow of Rochdale attacks, Keohane again going close with a low drive that was only just wide of the upright.

Akins got Albion moving forwards again and was close to a third for the Brewers on 81 minutes, Sbarra busying himself to win possession in midfield to find the striker who cut inside before firing just over the top.

A minute later and victory was assured when BOYCE latched onto Fraser's pass to find room for an angled shot that Sanchez got something to but could only watch as it trickled into the corner.

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