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Match Previews

Rochdale v Reds: Match Preview

28 August 2015

Barnsley will look to put Wednesday night’s Cup heartache behind them when they return to League One matters at Rochdale on Saturday.

Despite a valiant display against Everton at Oakwell, the Reds fell just short with the Premier League side edging the entertaining affair 5-3 in South Yorkshire.

It was the Club’s first defeat since the opening day of the season however, with Lee Johnson’s men currently unbeaten in their last three league games including victories against Burton Albion and Millwall.

That form leaves Barnsley in 10th place and with the Reds able to take confidence from their midweek League Cup performance they will be eager to bounce back with a win at Spotland.

Rochdale meanwhile will be searching for their first win in four games following defeats against Walsall and Hull City in the League and League Cup respectively, as well as a goalless draw at Chesterfield last weekend.

That point at the Proact Stadium leaves Saturday’s hosts Rochdale in eighth place after an encouraging start to the campaign which saw them pick up back-to-back victories against Peterborough and Blackpool; either side of a penalty shoot-out success against Coventry in the first round of the League Cup.

Those three straight wins came after a promising set of pre-season results for Dale which included wins against Huddersfield, Blackburn and the MK Dons but with the Club’s form deteriorating of late, boss Keith Hill will be keen for a response against his former Club on Saturday.

Previous Meetings
The Reds will be hunting for a fourth consecutive victory against Rochdale when they travel to Spotland this weekend.

Last season saw the two Clubs meet in the League for the first time in 35 years and it proved to be a happy reunion for Barnsley; with the Reds doing the double over their Lancashire counterparts.

At Spotland a 10th minute Peter Ramage goal was enough to earn Barnsley all three points in a tight affair, while back in Yorkshire and it was a complete contrast, as goals from Mason Holgate, Sam Winnall, Conor Hourihane and a Josh Scowen brace earned the Club a 5-0 success at Oakwell.

That was a third straight win for the Reds against Rochdale, after the Club’s 4-3 triumph at Spotland back in August 2012 when a double from Chris Dagnall helped Barnsley progress in the League Cup.

You have to go back yet another two years however for the last time Dale tasted success in this fixture, as a second-half Anthony Elding strike knocked Barnsley out of the League Cup.

On home soil the Lancashire-based outfit have gone even longer without success, with the Club’s most recent home win against Barnsley coming back in August 1996 when Steve Whitehall netted the winner in a close-fought League Cup tie at Spotland.

Team News 

Barnsley could field the same side which came agonizingly close to beating Everton on Wednesday night.

That means Lewin Nyatanga could continue at left-back, while Reece Wabara will provide support on the opposite flank.

With such fierce competition in midfield, boss Lee Johnson will have to make a late decision on his selection as recent signing Kadeem Harris targets a first start for the Club since arriving on loan from Cardiff.

Winger Ryan Williams will not be pushing for a spot amongst the Barnsley midfield however, with a groin injury ruling him out of action for the next seven to 10 days.

Another player who will not be on view this weekend is Rochdale defender Oliver Lancashire, who is also suffering with a groin problem and is still a week away from a return.

Former Blackpool man Ashley Eastham replaced Lancashire against Hull City on Tuesday night and should do so again at Spotland, while Dale will be hoping that striker Joe Bunney can shake off the knock which saw him miss his side’s narrow 1-0 defeat at the KC Stadium.

Man in the Middle

Gary Sutton will take charge of his seventh Barnsley game on Saturday, with the Reds hoping to experience a more enjoyable afternoon in his company. Four of the six Barnsley games which have been led by the Lincolnshire-born official have ended in defeats for the Reds, two of which came as recent as last season.

In October Sutton oversaw the Club’s Football League trophy exit on penalties at Oldham, while just four months later and he was in charge of the Reds 2-0 defeat at Swindon in League One.

The referee – who will be assisted by Robert Merchant and Amy Fearn at Spotland, as well as fourth official Anthony Moore – has been at the helm for two Barnsley victories however, as he watched over the Club’s 2-0 home win against Millwall in 2013, as well as their 4-3 League Cup success against Saturday’s hosts Rochdale just over three years ago.

That was one of nine Rochdale games which the official has overseen, with Dale winning one, drawing one and losing seven in his company. So far this season Sutton has been the man in the middle for one League One game and two League Cup ties with the most recent coming on Tuesday night when he dished out five yellow cards in Charlton’s impressive 4-2 win at Peterborough.

Their Star Man

In April 2008 Donal McDermott was part of the Manchester City side which clinched the FA Youth Cup after beating Chelsea 4-2 on aggregate.

While the likes of Kieran Tripper, Dedryck Boyata, Vladimir Weiss and Ben Mee have gone onto play Premier League football, Irishman McDermott has not; plying his trade on loan at several Football League Clubs including the MK Dons, Chesterfield, Scunthorpe and Bournemouth before a permanent move to Huddersfield Town in July 2011. 

Despite his huge promise the winger made just 11 starts in West Yorkshire and in January 2012 he returned to one of his former Clubs Bournemouth.

Two-and-a-half years at Dean Court saw McDermott make only 24 appearances and last summer he was on the move once again; joining Dundalk in his native Ireland. A title winners medal there built back some confidence in the exciting forward and following spells back in England with non-league sides Salford City and Ramsbottom United, McDermott agreed a one-year deal with Rochdale in May after a successful trial.

It has been so far so good for the 25-year-old at Spotland and with age on his side, the Dale no.12 will be looking to make up for several years in the wilderness in the coming campaign.

The Irishman has already shown this season that he still has the talent which persuaded Manchester City to take him on as a youngster; bagging an assist on his debut in a 2-0 home win against Peterborough. His second outing in Rochdale colours would get even better however, as his curling effort put Dale ahead against Coventry. Four days later and the new Dale signing was on the scoresheet again, this time firing in from 15 yards as Rochdale beat Blackpool 2-0 in a Lancashire derby.

That strike remains McDermott’s most recent goal for the Club but with his ability to create danger in the final third and his gift to be in the right place at the right time, the Irishman will be one to watch this afternoon.

Mutual Man
In August 2012 Barnsley completed the signing of Polish attacker Tomasz Cywka after his short term contract with Reading expired.

The Reds became Cywka’s fifth English Club; having joined Wigan in 2006 at the age of 18 before spells with Oldham, Derby and then Reading. With Derby the only Club where the former Poland U21 international held down a regular first team spot, Cywka’s arrival in South Yorkshire was taken with a hint of caution.

Those worries were soon quashed however, with the attacking midfielder scoring on his third appearance for the Club, which was one of five in 33 appearances during the 2012-13 campaign.

Cywka’s most memorable moment in Barnsley colours would come in his second season though, as the Pole netted a stunning free-kick from 30 yards as the Reds lost narrowly 3-2 at Nottingham Forest. That strike took the former Wigan man’s Barnsley tally to seven but after further goals against ex-Club Derby and then Ipswich he ended his Reds career with nine.

Last summer, after two successful seasons at Oakwell and following the Club’s relegation to the third tier, Cywka departed Oakwell and agreed a one-year deal with Championship side Blackpool. On his Tangerines debut the winger returned to the scene of his finest Barnsley moment, but this time he failed to find the net in a 2-0 loss at Forest. His one and only goal for the Seaside Club came on his third outing, as he struck a consolation goal in a 2-1 defeat against Blackburn.

After seven appearances for Pool the recently turned 27-year-old joined Saturday’s hosts Rochdale on loan. The move would not turn out to be successful however with Cywka making just one start for Dale before returning to Blackpool at the end of the season. Following his release from Bloomfield Road in May, the former Red opted for home; signing a three-year deal with Polish giants Wisla Krakow.

Form Guide
Rochdale results so far this season: (WWWLDL)
Rochdale 2-0 Peterborough United
Rochdale 1-1 Coventry City (Rochdale won on penalties)
Blackpool 0-2 Rochdale
Rochdale 1-2 Walsall
Chesterfield 0-0 Rochdale
Hull City 1-0 Rochdale

Barnsley results so far this season: (LWWWDL)
Chesterfield 3-1 Barnsley
Scunthorpe United 1-1 Barnsley (Barnsley won on penalties)
Barnsley 1-0 Burton Albion
Millwall 2-3 Barnsley
Barnsley 0-0 Bradford City
Barnsley 3-5 Everton AET

Going to the match?
Rochdale play at Spotland, its full address is as follows:
Spotland Stadium
Sandy Lane
OL11 5DR

How to get there

From the East or West via the M62 (Use OL11 5DR for Sat Navs):
Spotland Stadium is just over two miles from junction 20 of the M62. Follow signs for Rochdale along the A627(M). At the first set of traffic lights keep left, sign posted Bury and Rochdale Town Centre. B&Q will be on your right hand side, follow this road until the next set of traffic lights. Here you need to be in the second lane of four lanes, to head straight across (sign posted Blackburn). Follow this road (Roch Valley Way) until the next set of traffic lights, remaining in the left hand lane. At the traffic lights go straight ahead on to Sandy Lane (the Cemetery pub should be on your right hand side). Continue along this road and the Stadium is on your right hand side after approximately half a mile.

By Rail:

Rochdale train station, which is served by trains from Manchester Victoria and Leeds, is about two miles and 35 minute walk from Spotland. Taxis are available outside the station at a cost of around £6/£7.


Spotland has a small car park which can accommodate guests and staff only. Street parking is available around the stadium, however please be aware that parking restrictions are in place in the yellow coned areas – these are monitored by traffic control. 
Parking is also available at a local high school, which is around half a mile from the ground: Oulderhill Community School, Greave Avenue, Rochdale, Lancashire, OL11 5EF. 

Please note that Rochdale AFC does not take any responsibility for vehicles left on the street, or at Oulderhill School.

Ticket Information

Ticket Prices:
Adults - £22
Senior (Over 65) - £16
Young Adults (17-21) - £16
Juvenile (Under 17) - £5

The official Club Coaches will leave Oakwell at 12:15pm prompt on the day of the game, and tickets are priced at £14 per seat.

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