Stevenage travel to Northwest England tomorrow for yet another crucial clash in Sky Bet League Two against Jim Bentley’s Rochdale…
Steve Evans’ men sit second in Sky Bet League Two and four points clear of fourth place with a game in hand. Tuesday’s 3-2 victory against AFC Wimbledon saw Boro pick up their first victory in six matches, after suffering a rare winless spell.
With just fourteen games remaining of the 2022/23 campaign, every point earned is vital in the push for promotion.
Rochdale have had an extremely tough campaign so far, as they currently sit 24th in Sky Bet League Two and six points away from safety. The Dale have picked up just one victory from their last ten matches, with that win coming away to promotion hopefuls Bradford City back in January.
Over the course of the season, Rochdale have won just five from thirty-four league matches, drawing seven and losing twenty-two. Their most recent result was a 1-1 draw away to Crewe Alexandra last weekend, with Dale’s Jimmy Keohane grabbing an eightieth-minute equaliser.
Rochdale began the season with Robbie Stockdale in charge, but after losing their first four matches, Stockdale was relieved of his duties. At the end of August 2022, Jim Bentley was appointed manager and has since been handed the tough task of keeping his side in The Football League. Bentley previously managed Morecambe, where he enjoyed an eight-year tenure.
Boro and The Dale have met just six times in the past, with Stevenage winning four of those meetings, Rochdale winning one and the sides drawing just once. Perhaps the most memorable encounter with Rochdale was back in January 2012, when Mark Roberts took over as Player-Manager following the departure of Graham Westley.
Roberts led his side to a 5-1 victory away from home, with Lawrie Wilson, Luke Freeman and Joel Byrom getting on the scoresheet. The 2022/23 campaign’s reverse fixture saw Stevenage pick up a 1-0 victory at The Lamex Stadium through a Carl Piergianni header.
The Crown Oil Arena has been home to Rochdale since the club’s formation in 1907. The ground holds a capacity of 10,249, with a record attendance of 24,000 being set in 1949 when Rochdale hosted Notts County. The stadium was selected as a venue for the 2013 Rugby League World Cup, hosting a match between Fiji and Ireland.
Sebastian Stockbridge has been appointed Match Referee for tomorrow’s fixture, with Thomas Harty and Chris Isherwood as Assistants, and Richard Wigglesworth as Fourth Official. Stockbridge has dished out seventy-five yellow cards and four reds in twenty-six matches this season.