Sunday 5 January 2020

346 spotland, rochdale

Ground number 346
Date of First Visit: 4th January 2020
Spotland (aka Crown Oil Arena), Rochdale

Rochdale 1
Newcastle United 1 (Almiron)

FA Cup 3rd round
Attendance: 8,593 (3,200 Toon fans)


After many years of hopin' that one day we would get to Spotland in Rochdale for a game, it finally happened in the 3rd roond draw of the FA Cup!
A leegue groond av wanted to 'tick off mee list' for many a year, had finally happened, but az wor record in any of the domestic cups iz woeful against lower leegue clubs (23 defeats against lower opposition since world war 2!) I woz excited, but apprehensive aboot yet anothaa 'disaster day' to add to the record books!

Aalso, on my part, a'd never been to Rochdale on any occasion before, so to get a chance to visit new boozers woz aalso an added bonus! (a'd actually passed through it a few weeks ago on the train on the way to and back from Bornley for a Premyaa Leegue fixture!

We arrived in Rochdale at 10:00 bells after leavin 'The Central' at '6:55 bells' and heeded for a real ale bar which we'd been told aboot, called The Flying Horse where we had a 'nose bag' (brekkies) washed doon with a pint of the local brew!

We stopped there for the duration and left 45 mins before kick off to catch a bus to the ground which iz 3 miles from Rochdale toon centre in the suburb of 'Spotland' (Hence the groond's name!)

Actually, its now caalled 'The Crown Oil Arena', but I like to gan by original names, so 'Spotland' it iz for me!
We had the entire Willbutts Lane Stand on the side of the pitch, which held 3,200 enthusiastic Toon fans!
Can yoo spot the Rochdale mascot on the far touchline?
Its Desmond the dragon!!!
(Looks more like Bugs Bunny to me!)

Playin' in wor aall orange change strip, we went for 'the jugular' straight away, az we attacked the goal to wor right and had several chances to take the lead and finally the breakthrough in the 17th minute, when Miggy Almiron fired home a left foot drive to send the Toon fans into rapturous over the top celebrations! (we were anly playin a Leegue One club after aall!)
Instead of killin' the game off, we missed chance after chance to extend wor lead, most notably, wor 40 million poond number 9 Joelinton who missed at least 3 glorious chances to double wor advantage!------Somehow Rochdale survived and they went in just 1-0 doon at half time!
2nd HALF 

Again, in the 2nd half we went 'for broke' and again Joelinton missed chances to add to hiz one solitary goal in 22 games!
The frustration from the Toon fans woz loud, az he lumbered aboot!

The turnin point came with just 11 minutes left on the clock when Joelinton lost possession and the home side raced doon the pitch!

The baall fell to 40 year old Rochdale forward Wilbraham and he made nee misstayk from close in with a left foot shot, which beat Dubravka in the Toon goal!
Disaster had struck and az the Rochdale fans celebrated the Toon fans torned on Joelinton and he got some horrendous stick for hiz blunder and oweraall performance!---We'd finally 'snapped' and 'Joe' woz the scapegoat!

The home side then went to win the game and if it wasn't for Dubravka makin' some heroic saves near the end, we would surely have lost this game!
Loud boooing and heckling from the travellin' contingent followed at the final whistle, az we left the groond to drown wor sorrows back in Rochdale toon centre! 

In the end, we were lucky to get an unwanted replay, but should have sown the game up lang before half time!---Humiliation and disaster once again, but not az bad az the 3-0 hammerin' by Leegue One Oxfaadd  3 years ago!--(Thank god for smaall mercies!)

We then caught a train to Leedz where several more 'sustenance' in the followin' 3 'liquid lubrication locations', before heedin back to The Toon via York!


Team line ups and more pix later az its time to 'gan on the hoy' in The Toon for a few 'liquid lubrications'!

Toon team: Dubravka, Yedlin, Krafth, Ferandez, Hayden, Atsu, S Longßtaff, M Longstaff, Almiron (Ritchie 64),Muto (Ki 53), Joelinton

Attendance:8,593 (3,200 exasperated Toon fans)


On a lighter note, many, many years ago, when he woz anly 17, septuagenarian 'NUFC mad-sad groundhopper' 'Dave from York' went for a weeks holiday in---wait for it!---ROCHDALE!

Hiz mate's family lived there and he woz invited to stay for a week in this bleak and desolate toon, with its smoked filled cotton mill chimney's pollutin the atmosphere with thick black smog and grime!

A'v said to him 'many a time', that if we ever played in Rochdale, he would get some horrendous stick in 'The Geordie Times'!

Surely Rochdale would be in your top 10 list of places to send your muthaa in law for hor holidays, behind that God forsaken place, pennywell in sun'lind, the acrid smelling chemical works in middlesbro and central Beirut!


"We're all goin on a sum-mer holiday!
No more workin for a week or two!
We're off to Roch-dale for our summer holiday!
Smoke poll-ution for a week or two!
For me and you!"

"We're goin where the sun don't shine!
We're goin where its cold and blue!
We've seen it on Crime-stoppers!
Now lets see if its true!"


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