Rochdale travelled to Southport on Saturday, looking to avenge the 7-2 lose from earlier in the season. But it was Southport who started the game putting a lot of pressure on the Rochdale defence in the first 10 minutes but when Rochdale got the chance to counter they pressed Southport high up the pitch, and began to get in and around the D.

This pressure eventually resulted in a short corner for Rochdale. The ball was injected by Dean Close to Graham Broadley who slipped it to Bjorne Brauns for the first time shot. Saved by the Southport keeper, it was Close who reacted quickest to the rebound, lifted it over the incoming stick and pushed it into the back of the net to give Rochdale the lead.

Rochdale managed the remains of the first half well, but for a momentary lack in concentration which allowed the Southport players to break into the D to get a goal back.

Confidence was high from the first half performance and looking to secure a win Rochdale came out and started the second half with the same energy that they finished the first and as a result earned a series of short corners. This continued pressure resulted in a second goal for Rochdale, driven in by Broadley.

Southport now started to push up to the Rochdale defence and with a few mistakes in the D, Rochdale started giving away short corners. One of which led to Southports equaliser after a long deliberation between the umpires. Aggrieved by the decision Rochdale responded in the only way you can. They continued to press and with a well worked passing routine Niam Willis received the ball at the top of the D and struck a thundering shot into the bottom corner to give Rochdale the lead they deserved.

Again Southport started to press and decisions were constantly going against Rochdale. Southport were awarded another short corner, leading to a decision from the umpire to award a penalty flick for obstructing a goal scoring opportunity much to the amazement of all the Rochdale players. Southport scored from the flick to make it 3-3.

Captain Dean Close “The way the game finished we were very annoyed about how the final few minutes had panned out, leaving us feeling like we had suffered a loss, rather than a well earned point away from home”.

Man of the match was Dave Marlow for his commanding performance in defence.