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17:06 10th March 2012


Ashley Grimes repeated his heroics at Spotland earlier in the season to earn his side a point late in the game.

Town took the lead on the stroke of half time when Danny Ward fired home following a poor clearance by the Dale defence. The visitors weren't behind for long though and went in at half-time level when Andrew Tutte burst through a gap in Town's defence before thundering past Alex Smithies.

Jordan Rhodes helped Town retake the lead in the 49th minute when he converted Lee Novak's cross, however, Town were unable to see the game out when Ashley Grimes volleyed home from the edge of the area.

Simon Grayson named an unchanged eleven and bench for the visit of Rochdale following Town's one goal victory against Hartlepool in midweek.

Town started the game positively, just as Simon Grayson had asked in his pre-match conference, and hit the bar within two minutes when Lee Novak connected with Danny Ward's far post corner.

Despite that, the visitors were not looking to sit back and won two corners in the first five minutes, but on both occasions failed to test Alex Smithies.

The best chance of the opening ten minutes fell to Town though, when Calum Woods chipped a ball forward to the advanced Antony Kay who could only fire straight at David Lucas when one on one.

Danny Ward and Andrew Tutte exchanged long range efforts before Kay latched onto Ward's knock down and clipped Dale's bar with a dipping volley from the edge of the area.

With the half hour mark approaching, Kay tried his luck again from range and this time forced Lucas to tip over. From the resulting corner Sean Morrison rose highest but could only direct his header back to where the ball came from, when well placed.

Kevin Long went close for the visitors with a header straight at Smithies in 31st minute, but the big talking point from the first half occurred in the 34th minute after Lucas had saved well from Novak, Joe Widdowson looked to have used his arm to prevent Jordan Rhodes' rebound - referee Webb was quick on the scene and waved away the claims.

Town ended the first 45 well and went close twice when Rhodes flicked Novak away, who took the shot early and flashed his effort just wide of Lucas' right upright.Jamie McCombe then headed straight at Lucas from Scott Arfield's precise in swinging cross.

GOAL - Town deservedly took the lead on the stroke of half-time when Danny Ward scored his first home goal of the season. Ward benefitted from Rochdale's inability to clear Morrison's long throw and fired an effort from 20 yards, which flew past the scrambling Lucas and into the back of the net.

GOAL - The visitors hit back instantly when Andrew Tutte hit an effort to match Ward's strike just a minute earlier. The midfielder saw a gap in the Town defence and darted through it before firing excellently past Smithies at his near post.


GOAL - The visitors made a good start to the second 45, but it was the Terriers who retook the lead in the 48th minute when Jordan Rhodes slid in at the back post. Joey Gudjonsson did well to dispossess Rochdale in the middle of the park and release Novak who turned Dean Holden expertly before finding Rhodes at the back post with a delightful low cross.

SUB - Simon Grayson was forced into a change a minute later when Jack Hunt, who had picked up an injury in the first half, was replaced by Gary Naysmith. As a result, Woods switched to right-back and Naysmith to left-back.

SUB - John Coleman made his first change of the afternoon on the hour mark when he replaced centre back Dean Holden with Phil Edwards.

Dale's goal scorer Tutte tried his luck from range before Rhodes controlled Novak's flick header down well and hit a half volley early just past Lucas' left upright.

SUB - With just over twenty minutes remaining on the clock Damien Johnson came onto replaced Joey Gudjonsson.

SUB - Coleman followed suit and made an attacking change replacing defensive midfield Brian Barry-Murphy with striker Ashley Grimes.

GOAL - Substitute Ashley Grimes drew the scores level with eight minutes left on the clock. A long ball forward split open Town's defence and allowed Michael Symes time to head the ball down to his strike partner Grimes. Grimes, who scored the equaliser against Town at Spotland, took the knock down first time and sliced a volley past the outstretched hand of Smithies.

SUB - Simon Grayson brought on Tuesday night's match winner Alan Lee with six minutes left on the clock at the expense of Lee Novak.

BOOKING - Dale centre back Kevin Long received the first card of the game for dissent.

SUB - Rochdale made their final change of the game in the 89th minute when Nicky Adams entered the field in place of Stephen Jordan

Town pressed for a winner but nothing was forthcoming; Alan Lee spurned Town's best chance when he fired over from 12 yards out.


Town's team (4-4-2):

Alex Smithies; Calum Woods, Sean Morrison, Jamie McCombe, Jack Hunt (Gary Naysmith 49); Danny Ward, Antony Kay(c), Joey Gudjonsson (Damien Johnson 73), Scott Arfield; Lee Novak (Alan Lee 84), Jordan Rhodes

Unused substitutes:

Ian Bennett, Gary Roberts

Bookings Town:

Bookings Rochdale: Kevin Long 84

Gate: 13,715

Away: 746

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    Data provided by Press Association


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