Rochdale promoted after 41 years


Staff member
April 17, 2010

Rochdale finally secured their first promotion in 41 years after a nervous afternoon at Spotland ended with a 1-0 win over Northampton.

After missed opportunities at Torquay United and Darlington, Keith Hill’s men finally made it over the line thanks to Chris O’Grady’s first-half winner.

But it was an edgy 90 minutes for Dale fans, and they had their hearts in their mouths after 10 minutes when Liam Davis skipped round Jason Taylor and carried the ball 40 yards into the penalty area before shooting into the side netting.

Kevin Thornton then drew a low save from Dale goalkeeper Frank Fielding two minutes later.

But any nerves were settled on 23 minutes when Tom Kennedy’s low corner wasn’t cleared and O’Grady swivelled and smashed the ball into the roof of the net for his 21st goal of the season.

Chris Dagnall had chances to make it two but he failed to hit the target after latching on to O’Grady’s flick-on before flashing a volley inches wide of the far post moments later.

And as the half drew to a close, Rochdale saw another chance go begging as O’Grady headed a Kennedy free-kick over the bar.

Those missed chances made for a nervy second half and while Northampton continued to threaten, at the other end, Rochdale still couldn’t kill the game off – O’Grady guilty of missing the best chance when he headed against the bar after his initial shot had been saved by Jason Steele.

The board showing four minutes of injury time was greeted with boos from the Dale fans but those quickly turned to cheers as the final whistle sparked jubilant scenes in the stands and on the pitch.