The Sunday fixture saw Rochdale put together a mixed 1s and 2s team to face Carlisle. The game started well for Rochdale, who controlled most of the first half but unfortunately never really look like actually scoring, while any threat for the Carlisle forwards was being snubbed out by the back four of Danny Bowe, Danny Ramsbottom, Mark Eden and Mark Vynne.
With the score at 0-0 at half time Rochdale came out of the blocks hard, but still struggled to find a way though. Penetrating runs coming from the energetic midfield pair of Michael Waddicor and James Shepherd, started to pay dividends. Eventually a Eden short corner strike came back off the keeper, with Eden reacting the quickest to lift the ball back over the stranded keeper and into the Carlisle goal.
Unfortunately this only spurred on Carlisle who quickly struck back with two quick goals from short corners and as the Rochdale team tired they were driven back into their own half, leaving Dave Gowers an isolated figure up front.
Carlisle scored again to make it 3-1 and Rochdale were really on the back foot with Waddicor and Shepherd being over run in midfield despite their battling and determination. This was made worse when Eden diving for a reverse stick tackle rolled his ankle causing him to collide with the Carlisle attacker. Eden, not only tore his ankle ligaments but was sent off for his troubles.
This not only ended the match as a contest but also Eden’s season. However Rochdale fought on bravely with 10 men and a captains goal from skipper Waddicor gave them some hope, before Carlisle struck a finishing blow to make it 4-2.
Captain Michael Waddicor “With Rochdale missing so many experienced players, it was always going to be a difficult game and in the end we did not have enough to win.”
The Oulder Hill Leisure Complex Man of the Match went to Danny Ramsbottom.