Rochdale 3 (Tutte 6, Kennedy pen 90+3, pen 107)
Barnsley 4 (Stones 44, Davies 78, Alnwick s/o 90+2, Dagnall 94, 105)
An incredible, amazing match took place at Spotland which had it all and a bit more. Two penalties, extra time and a red card also saw Bobby Hassell spend more than half an hour in goal and pull off some world-class saves.
Confusion in the Dale defence led to Davies doing well to muscle off the defender on just three minutes before curling low at Lillis. The hosts were raring to go in an attempt to get one over their former Management team.
A Donnelly strike took a wicked deflection that Alnwick did well to save on five minutes as Rochdale replied down the right. Barely a minute later they took the lead as Tutte finished superbly with a sweeping 20-yard finish after Wiseman was caught out down Barnsley left by Donnelly.
The home side cut three the Reds down their right once more and blazed a glorious opportunity to double their advantage as Grimes flashed his header wide when expertly picked out by the scorer Tutte. The striker was completely unmarked eight yards out.
Things got even worse for the Reds when the stretcher had to be called on for Jim O’Brien with 15 gone as the winger went down awkwardly on the right. Dagnall replaced him on 18 minutes.
It took until the 24th minute for Lillis to be tested again, although Done’s strike lacked enough power to trouble the Dale ‘keeper. Done robbed Lillis out on the Barnsley left but his drilled cross just couldn’t quite catch Rochdale out as Davies was thwarted by a good Edwards challenge.
Alnwick came to the Reds’ rescue on 28 minutes as Kavanagh smacked a half-volleyed effort low to the far post but the number 12 got a strong hand to it to turn it round. Grimes made Alnwick work barely a minute later from distance with a 25-yard curler.
A minute before the break came a moment that youngster John Stones will certainly never forget as the defender hauled the Reds level on his full debut. Mellis swung in a vicious delivery to the far stick which Stones met with a clever header for the leveller. The 18-year-old relished the moment as he celebrated with the fans he used to watch this side with as a kid.
Six minutes into the second half Grimes was caught out by a cross that was probably too good and couldn’t properly connect with Tutte’s delivery when found unmarked eight yards out.
The Reds were starting to take control of the game as the clock ticked towards the hour but Kennedy went fairly close as he dragged an effort just wide following Tutte’s surging run down the centre.
A quality ball from Stones set Etuhu away down the right and his cross was barely met by the head of Done who probably jumped just a fraction early on 63 minutes.
On 70 minutes Tomasz Cywka was introduced for his Barnsley debut as he hoped for an impact down the right.
There was a right old scramble in the Rochdale box as panic set in when Davies sent back a Mellis free-kick, Dagnall and McNulty both tried to force the ball home but the Dale survived by the skin of their teeth.
Alnwick was in the right place at the right time again to calmly take Kennedy’s 20-yard effort into his grasp as the match seemed to look destined for extra time. But Davies took matters into his own hands as he powered his way into the area down the left before tucking past Lillis who got a helpless touch on 78 minutes.
The 18-year-old Stones, a strong contender for man of the match, was replaced by Bobby Hassell to a standing ovation from the Reds faithful with five minutes to play.
In the dying few minutes there was plenty of drama as Alnwick was dismissed and Bobby Hassell had to go between the sticks. Kennedy stepped up to send Hassell the wrong way and the match into extra time.
Four minutes into extra time and the match took another twist as Chris Dagnall remarkably sent the Reds into the lead once more with his first Barnsley goal. The striker did well making a great run to meet Cywka’s pass and hammer home with his left peg from 10 yards.
Amazingly, the Reds added another and in thunderous fashion. Tomasz Cywka worked wonders to tee up Dagnall who volleyed into the top corner from 10 yards for his second.
Rochdale didn’t give up and were awarded a penalty when the referee saw a handball in the Barnsley box. Kennedy stepped up to send Hassell the wrong way once more.
Second Half of Extra Time
The Reds were hanging on and even posing a threat on the break, Kennedy thought he’d scored but McNulty came from nowhere to deny him a simple finish. Eight minutes into the second half and Bobby Hassell pulled off a save Gordon Banks would have been proud of down to his right, Phil Edwards simply thought he’d scored, but the Reds’ number two had other ideas.
The hosts were throwing everything at the Reds yet they were having none of it, especially Bobby Hassell who again denied the Dale with a smart save to deny Kavanagh.
This incredible match continued into the last minute when Bobby Hassell again denied the Dale a certain goal with a great save from Crainey’s header.
The whistle finally came and great celebrations followed with the players and hundreds of Tykes diehards.
Rochdale: Lillis, Cavanagh, Edwards, Kennedy, Tutte, Donnelly (Putterill 75), Grimes (Curran 84), Edwards, McIntyre, Adebola (Crainey 84), Pearson.
Subs not used: Smith, Bennett, Rafferty, Barry-Murphy.
Reds: Alnwick (s/o 90+2), Stones (Hassell 85), Foster, McNulty, Wiseman, Mellis, Perkins, Done, O'Brien (Dagnall 18), Etuhu (Cywka 70), Davies.
Subs not used: Lidakevicius, Golbourne, Dawson, Digby.
Referee: Mr G. J. Sutton
Assistant Referees: Mr P. Graham & Mr M. Salisbury
Fourth Official: Mr P. Dermott
Attendance: 2, 709