ROCHDALE 2 CITY 3
22nd July 2006
City Samaras(43), Barton(60 pen), Dickov(pen)
Rochdale Lambert(4), Brown(12)
City Weaver, Jordan, Richards, Distin, M.Mills, Croft, Barton, Ireland, Hamann, Sibierski, Samaras – subs used Schmeichel(46), Logan(77), Flood(77), D’Laryea(69), D.Mills(46), Sturridge(77), Williamson(77), Johnson(73), Laird(65), Dickov(63), Miller(63) – unused Subs Etuhu
Rochdale Gilks, Ramsden, Jackson, Cooksey, Doolan, Stanton, Christie, Rundle, Brown, Lambert , Goodall subs Edje(46), Dagnell(57), Warburton(84), Coleman(68), Moyo-Modise(76), Thompson(29), Boardman(6)
GEORGIO SAMARAS SCORES CITY’S FIRST GOAL
It was a scorcher again for the Blues’ pre-season trip to Spotland but the sweltering heat did nothing to subdue City’s travelling army who were typically boisterous in the sold out away end.
Stuart Pearce fielded a much-changed side from the one that appeared at Wrexham and it seemed as though it would be costly for Pearce with his team going two goals down early on. The opener came in the fourth minute when a thundering cross from lyseden Christie provided an easy tap-in for Rickie Lambert. City failed to create anything of significance and paid dearly when Dale went two up in the 12th minute. A slip by Didi Hamann set Adam Rundle off on a speedy run ending with a shot that was saved well by Nicky Weaver. However, it could only make it as far as the waiting Gary Brown who fired it into the back of the net. City regained their composure after 20 minutes creating pressure that saw a few chances for Georgios Samaras and a clever shot from Joey Barton. They managed to pull a goal back just before half-time, Samaras slotting the ball home after good work from Hamann.
After a relatively poor first half Pearce’s men came out firing on all cylinders for the second. Mounting pressure and clever play made an equaliser look increasingly inevitable and when Lee Croft was taken down in the box by a clumsy challenge, it was left to Barton to convert the spot-kick – which he did with ease. Ishmael Miller and Paul Dickov were introduced to rapturous applause from the away fans. The day would get even better for Dickov as his first touch put City in front for the first time in the game. Miller was felled by a heavy tackle from Simon Ramsden, leaving Dickov to slot home the penalty to score his first goal since returning to the Blues.
Pearce’s men continued to dominate until the close with the introduction of Daniel Sturridge drawing the most admiring glances from the Blues crowd. All in all a good day at the office with the Blues playing quality football throughout the second half.
THE CITY MAGAZINE AUGUST 2006