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Match Reports

Report: Rochdale 0-3 Wycombe

Fred scores twice as Chairboys earn first away win.

28 September 2019

Fred Onyedinma scored twice and Adebayo Akinfenwa found the target as Wanderers collected a first away win of the season at Rochdale.

Onyedinma slotted home the opening goal from Alex Pattison's flick-on, and Akinfenwa's powerful header from Giles Phillips' long throw put Gareth Ainsworth's men in full control.

The points were sealed after the break when Onyedinma tucked home after Josh Parker hit the post, securing a second successive win for the Chairboys ahead of an appetising meeting with Peterborough United at Adams Park next Saturday.

Ainsworth was forced to do without injured trio Joe Jacobson, Matt Bloomfield and Nick Freeman, while Nnamdi Ofoborh missed out through suspension, though Curtis Thompson came in for his first appearance of the season and Rolando Aarons returned to the bench.

Both sides fielded different formations to usual in a bid to end their winless home and away records respectively, with Wanderers often deploying a three-man defence in a 3-5-2 setup as Dale went 4-3-3.

Fred Onyedinma, bursting forward from left wing-back, created the first opening with a pacy dart past Jimmy Keohane to deliver a low ball which was scrambled to safety, before Dominic Gape sent a fierce drive over the top at the end of a smart move.

The breakthrough then came on 16 minutes through Onyedinma, Wanderers’ brightest outlet, who found space at the back post to tuck home from close range following Alex Pattison’s flick-on from Gape’s cross. Rochdale appealed in vain firstly for a throw-in and then an offside flag as Onyedinma took advantage of statuesque defending and goalkeeping to find the net, with the help of MJ Williams who couldn’t clear from the goal-line.

And with the goal came confidence in abundance from the Chairboys, who continued to take the game to their hosts and doubled the lead on 25 minutes. It was a routine long throw from Giles Phillips and Adebayo Akinfenwa outmuscled his marker to find the target with a powerful header, though in truth the keeper Robert Sanchez should have done better as the ball flew through his outstretched arms and into the net.

Dale’s response was patient and measured, though often frustrated, with their long diagonal passes to target men Aaron Wilbraham and Calvin Andrew being ultimately nullified by the Wycombe defence, though one well-constructed build-up did create a chance for Ian Henderson, who poked a low cross straight at Allsop.

Then Jim McNulty flicked a header from a corner against the crossbar as the hosts gathered momentum before the interval, but Wanderers held a two-goal lead at the break.

A quiet opening to the second period saw Calvin Andrew booked for a trip on Alex Pattison before Rhys Norrington Davies’ low cross-shot was dangerous but ultimately cleared to safety, and then Rochdale introduced Stephen Dooley for Jimmy Ryan on the hour mark.

Then Scott Kashket took the place of Pattison, who’d picked up a second knock of the game, and Dale substitute Dooley forced a routine save from Allsop with a low shot on the turn.

Fabio Tavares came on for his EFL Debut, taking the place of Wilbraham on 71 minutes, and then Josh Parker was introduced for Akinfenwa, who tossed the captain’s armband to Gape.

Parker was then almost immediately involved in Wanderers’ third goal, interchanging with Kashket in the box before bending an excellent ball against the post, with Onyedinma on hand to tuck in the rebound.

Jamie Mascoll replaced Giles Phillips with six minutes to play, while Aaron Morley came on for Ollie Rathbone in Dale’s final change, before Jamie Mascoll was booked in stoppage time, but there was no further drama as Wanderers returned south with three points in the bag.

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