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02 January 2023 Venue SO Legal Stadium Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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English Football League - League Two

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Match Previews

Preview: Barrow v Rochdale

1 January 2023

Find out all the details you need to know ahead of Monday's Sky Bet League Two fixture between The Bluebirds and Rochdale.

Barrow vs Rochdale
Monday 2nd January 2023, kick-off 3pm.
SO Legal Stadium
Sky Bet League Two

Formed following a public meeting on May 14th, 1907, The Dale hosted their first fixture against local rivals Oldham Athletic on September 3rd, 1907. A friendly fixture which saw four goals from Rochdale on that day saw them see off Latics 4-1.

Rochdale finished EFL Cup (known now as Carabao Cup) runners up to Norwich, 1961/62 after an old-fashioned aggregate rule decided the outcome, Norwich triumphing 4-0 on aggerate. Only the second season of the current competition. The Dale have also found themselves promoted from the 4th tier of English Football on 3 occasions.

One for the future Luke Matheson is The Dale's record sale costing Wolverhampton Wanderers £1m on January deadline day in 2020. The then 16-year old’s impressive burst onto the scene saw him force Man Utd to penalties in the Carabao Cup, doing so becoming one of the youngest goal scorers on the famous Theatre of Dreams turf.

Jim Bentley's side currently sit 2nd bottom of the Football League, with just Gillingham below them in the Sky Bet League Two standings. The Dale were defeated 4-3 away to Doncaster Rovers on Thursday, with the Greater Manchester outfit clawing back 2-0 and 3-2 deficits. Former Barrow defender Tom Anderson scored the decisive 4th goal that sent Rochdale home without anything to show for their battles.

Head To Head
Earlier in the season, only one goal could separate the two sides, Bluebirds were defeated on that day 2-1 with Niall Canavan’s late goal not quite enough to pull Pete Wild’s side from defeat, Liam Kelly’s first-half finish, added to by Scott Quigley’s goal in the second period to give Rochdale victory at the Crown Oil Arena

A total of 87 games have been played between the 2 sides, dating back to 1922. Barrow have won 30 of these fixtures with counterparts Rochdale taking 39 victories.

The Bluebirds biggest margin of win came in March 1932, when 2,189 saw a 6-0 thumping at Spotland in the old Division Three (North).

There will be a familiar face in the middle this afternoon, as Scott Oldham takes up refereeing duties for the fixture. Oldham has officiated at the SO Legal Stadium this season, when he oversaw Barrow’s 2-0 victory over Doncaster Rovers in September.

He also refereed last season’s fixture between the two sides at Prenton Park on Boxing Day.

Oldham will be assisted by Mark Cunliffe and Jack Topp. Simon Mather will be on the touchline as Fourth Official.

Barrow fans can still buy tickets for the game on our ticketing website and gain admission through the turnstiles via our e-ticket option.

Alternatively, you can purchase your ticket at the Ticket Office on Monday, up until kick-off.

Click here for more information.

Visiting With Families
If you're visiting the SO Legal Stadium with your family, check out our handy Family Guide on how to make the most of your visit.

Click here to check out our Family Guide.

Live Streaming
Domestic live streaming will be allowed for the fixture, which means that Barrow v Rochdale will be available on iFollow in the UK and abroad.

You can buy a video match pass HERE.

Live Commentary
We will be providing live online audio commentary from every game this season as we continue our link-up with BBC Radio Cumbria.

Fans will be able to listen to Adam Johnson and John Goodwin at the SO Legal Stadium to describe all the action as it unfolds.

You can purchase an Audio Match Pass for £2.50, an Audio Monthly Pass for £4.49 or sign-up for Audio Season Pass which provides all live commentary and video news for just £45.

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Match Reports

Barrow Held By Resilient Rochdale

2 January 2023

It finished honours even at the SO Legal Stadium as Barrow’s late barrage on Richard O’Donnell’s goal was not quite enough to take all three points.

It was a positive opening 10 minutes which saw some great work by Ben Whitfield finding Billy Waters inside the box whose shot narrowly falls wide of the target. 4 minutes later Richie Bennett towered above the Rochdale defence, his powerful header doesn’t miss by much. 

The Bluebirds came the closest out of the two sides in the opening half an hour, Ben Whitfield’s curling effort on the edge of the area scrapes past the other side of Richard O’Donnell’s post and out for a goal kick

Barrow came forward just shy of halftime with a successive of attacks, the most prominent of these saw the ball land at the feet of Ben Whitfield following Harrison Neal’s cross to the far post, Whitfield sees his shot collected into Richard O’Donnell’s grasp. 

Straight away from the restart Tom White won the ball and was fouled by Liam Kelly on the centre circle; Whitfield’s resulting free kick was delivered to the back post, with Niall Canavan not quite able to stretch his leg out enough to convert the ball past Richard O’Donnell in the Dale goal.

In the 58th minute, Connor Brown brought the ball forward playing into Jordan Stevens, running at the Rochdale defence before laying off to Harrison Neal, his cross to the back post directed towards Richie Bennett who put his header just wide of the mark.

74 minutes on the clock and a brilliant opportunity for Barrow started through Tom White who played it out to Patrick Brough on the left-hand side, who beats his man and cross lands for Robbie Gotts who shoots low but blocked by Rochdale’s defence, and scrappily got it out of danger to keep the score goalless. 

Into the final 10 minutes of the contest and Billy Waters had a fantastic opportunity in the 83rd, from a close acute angle fired over on the volley following Richie Bennett’s cross, Barrow continued to strive forward looking for the decisive goal, Tyrell Warren’s dangerous cross across the face of the goal was turned behind for a corner, the corner was delivered and headed by into the box by Sam Foley, finding Josh Gordon who fired over the bar. 

Deep into stoppage time, Richie Bennett’s long-range speculative effort flashed across Richard O’Donnell’s goal and narrowly wide of the target.

Full Time: Barrow 0-0 Rochdale
Attendance: 3,055

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