Rochdale v Posh 1st Rd 16 Nov 2002
Venue: Spotland, Rochdale
Score: Peterborogh Utd 2 v Rochdale 3
Referee: Alan Kaye.
The Posh were knocked out of the FA Cup at the first round stage as Third Division Rochdale held on for a narrow 3-2 victory despite a late comeback by Barry Fry’s men in the final 10 minutes of the game with Neale Fenn and Andy Clarke both on target.
Rochdale got the game underway at Spotland and player-manager Paul Simpson took the first shot of the afternoon, but his right footed effort flew well over the crossbar. Jason Lee, in for Bradley Allen, headed wide of the target at the other end as the match began with a good pace.
Rochdale soon found themselves a head as their record signing Paul Connor put the home side ahead in the 3rd minute and was a major threat in the early exchanges. His pace took him away from Marc Joseph in the 10th minute, but his low shot was easily saved by Posh keeper Mark Tyler.
Simpson saw a curling free kick deflect of Matthew Gill moments later as the home side pushed forward. From the resulting Simpson corner kick, Rochdale added a second goal as Clive Platt headed past Tyler as the near post as the hosts sensed a morale boosting win.
Icelandic Under 21 international Helgi Danielsson struck the outside of the post with a long range effort before Jimmy Bullard flashed a shot wide of the near post as Posh went in search of a lifeline.
Simpson nearly made it 3-0 on the quarter hour mark as he let fly from 25 yards, but Tyler was not called upon to make a save as the ball nestled into the stand behind the goal.
Joseph nearly inadvertently put through his own net on 20 minutes after Platt had skipped past Edwards and delivered a teasing low centre, thankfully for Posh, he managed to stab it wide of the target, through luck more than judgement.
Danielsson’s name found its way into the referee’s notebook on 24 minutes for a late challenge and from the resulting set piece, Simpson floated a left foot shot just wide of the upright.
Posh tried to respond just after the hour mark as Lee went close to connecting to a whipped Joseph centre, But Gareth Griffiths cleared for Rochdale.
The inability to defend corner kicks came back to haunt Posh once again as on 61 minutes Chris Beech bundled home from close range after Posh had failed to clear a Simpson in-swinging centre.
Lee hit the base of the post with a header from six yards following a clipped Farrell cross moments later at the other end.
Posh should have reduced the arrears on 77 minutes as Neale Fenn found some space in the penalty area, but he drilled his shot straight at Rochdale’s keeper Neil Edwards, who parried the ball to safety.
Bullard was still showing impressive energy, but his hard work was not being rewarded as his cross was easily claimed by Edwards.
Posh did grab a goal back on 84 minutes as Fenn back heeled the ball over the line after originally missing from less than a yard out after Farrell’s forceful run and cross found the front man at the back post in space.
Posh were showing late spirit as Joseph headed narrowly over following a goal mouth scramble.
The comeback was on with two minutes remaining as Andy Clarke slotted his 10th goal of the season past Edwards after Fenn had toe poked the ball through to the in form striker.
Farrell was a menace in the final moments, but his cross in the 92nd minute somehow managed to elude everyone in the box.
Then Joseph headed over in the last minute of added on time as Rochdale held on for the 3-2 win and a place in the 2nd Round.
The Posh: Mark Tyler, Matthew Gill, Marc Joseph, Andy Edwards, Andy Clarke, Jason Lee, Jimmy Bullard, Gareth Jelleyman, Tony Shields, Helgi Danielsson and Sagi Burton.
Subs: David Farrell, Adam Newton and Neale Fenn for Gareh Jelleyman, Tony Shields and Helgi Danielsson.
Unused subs: Dennis Pearce and Dan Connor.
Rochdale: Neil Edwards, Wayne Evans (sub David Flitcroft), Gareth Griffiths, Chris Beech, Matt Doughty, Paul Simpson, Gavin Melaugh, Lee Duffy, Clive Platt, Paul Connor and Shane Cansdell-Sherriff.
Unused subs: Matt Gilks, Lee McEvilly, Kevin Townson and Rory Patterson.
Goal scorers: The Posh – Neale Fenn 83 mins and Andy Clarke 88 mins. Rochdale – Paul Connor 3 mins, Clive Platt 12 mins and Chris Beech 61 mins.
Bookings: Sagi Burton and Helgi Danielsson (Posh).