Date: 10th November 2015 at 9:55pm
Written by:

Morecambe visited Spotland on Tuesday night to take-on Keith Hill`s League One Rochdale in the Northern Quarter Final of the Johnstone`s Paint Trophy following their bore draw at Dagenham in the FA Cup at the weekend. They put on a far more dynamic display tonight against supposedly superior opposition and should have been two goals to the good at half time. As it was, Paul Mullin`s excellent half volley after sixteen minutes following Rochdale`s failure to clear a corner effectively was the difference between the two sides. Mullin turned villain on the half hour when his spot kick was saved by Manchester United loanee Keeper Joel Dinis Castro Pereira in the Dale goal after Aaron Wildig had been brought down in the penalty area.

Rochdale threw not just the kitchen sink at the visitors but former Shrimps` favourite Lewis Alessandra throughout the second half as well as their goalkeeper up for set pieces in Injury Time but despite Rochdale creating a hat-full of chances, Barry Roche in the away goal never had a serious save to make. The nearest Dale came to an equaliser was when Rhys Bennett headed just wide after 72 minutes and Nathaniel Mendez-Laing also missed narrowly with a shot right at the end of the game. It wasn`t exclusively one-way traffic, though: at the other end, Castro Pereira was forced to push a free-kick over his bar after an hour; Kevin Ellison headed a free-kick narrowly wide after eighty-one minutes and Jamie Devitt missed a golden opportunity to seal it for the visitors` with just four minutes still scheduled to play. It was a tremendous performance from the Shrimps which illustrated their Jekyll and Hyde personality this season: if they had played half as well as this last Saturday, the Daggers would already be out of the FA Cup. Jim Bentley was delighted at the end of the game as well he might be – now, only one of Wigan, Barnsley and neighbours Fleetwood stand in the way of a Northern final.
Ref: David Coote.