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 Pre-season Friendly (3); Spotland, Rochdale; Tuesday 22 July 2003; 7:30pm
Attendance: 2,669
Halftime: 0-0

Radzinski (61')

Referee: Mr D Pugh

Match Summary

The first of two simultaneous pre-season friendlies, this one saw Alan Irvine lead half the Premiership squad, plus a few up-and-coming kids over to Rochdale while David Moyes watched his half of the squad lose at Crewe.

Hard to judge where we are at this moment in time based on this performance.  It wasn't great but, to give credit to Rochdale, they made it hard for us and allowed us little time on the ball which is what teams do when they are punching above their weight. 

Watson was probably our best player.  He tried to make things happen from all areas of the pitch, starting off on the right, moving into the middle and then to the left to help out Pembo at one point.  He also made some good runs into the area, one of which won us the penalty that Pembridge bludgeoned against the bar.

We were generally sitting too deep in midfield.  Without criticising either player, I don't think Linderoth and Li Tie is a combination that would work in the Premiership.  Campbell and Radzinski had to keep dropping back to help out with the result that we created very few chances in the first half.

After half time, Mr Nyarko appeared to a warm reception and had his photo taken with some fans.  The midfield seemed to keep its shape better with him on the field and he showed a couple of nice touches, although most of his passing was of the short and simple variety.   A couple of step-overs followed by a cheeky back-heel right at the start of the second half seemed to suggest his morale is high.  Perhaps he could answer more of our problems in midfield than Linderoth time will tell....

They gifted us the goal: a defender made a balls-up of a back-pass and Radzinski was in.  Only other points worth noting were that OHanlon looked like he could well be the natural successor to Davey Weir.  Strong, confident, good in the air, and able to bring the ball out of defence with no little skill.  Very impressive.  And Alan Moogan looks to have potential as well.  First time I've seen him play, he looks a livewire who is eager to get the ball and run with it.

All in all, not a great game, even for a friendly, but I think it may have given Irvine one or two useful pointers to report back to Moyes.  A couple more Under-19 players (Brian Moogan and Anthony Barry) failed to get off the bench.

[Thanks to Deep Blue on the People's Forum for these comments Ed]

Match Facts
Rochdale (4-4-2)
_ shirts, _ shorts, _socks
Evans (80' Warner)
Simpkins (80' Hill)
Griffiths (72' Grand)
Bertos (61' Duffy)
McCourt (61' Doughty)
Connor (61' Patterson)
Townson (61' McEvilly)
Beech (75' Allen)

Subs not used:  Mann

Yellow Cards: 

Red Cards:
Everton (4-4-2)
_ shirts, _ shorts, _socks
Clarke (61' O'Hanlon)
Weir {c}
Linderoth (46' Nyarko)
Li Tie
Pembridge (84' A Moogan)
Radzinski (61' Pascucci)

Subs not used:
B Moogan, Barry

Yellow Cards:

Red Cards:

Squad at Crewe
(Injured:) Wright 
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Steve Milne

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