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Match Reports

Match Report: Southend United 2-2 Rochdale

31 October 2015

Mooney and Leonard goals aren't enough as Rochdale come back to draw.

First half goals from David Mooney and Ryan Leonard weren't enough as Rochdale came from two goals down to draw 2-2 in an entertaining game at Roots Hall.

Mooney's penalty and Leonard's good finish put Blues in command just before half time.

But Dale battled back in the second 45 and earned themselves a point through goals from Joe Bunney and Michael Rose.

Boss Phil Brown made one change to his starting XI, with Michael Timlin returning to the team in place of Anthony Wordsworth, who dropped to the bench.

The visitors started the game brightly, and Dan Bentley had to be alert to push a Jamie Allen strike round his post for a corner after only three minutes.

Both sides were cancelling each other out in the opening half of the first half, with Blues' best chance in the opening half an hour coming through Gary Deegan.

The midfielder latched onto a clearance and unleashed a half-volley which took a couple of deflections before flying agonisingly over Josh Lillis' crossbar. 

Soon after and Mooney latched onto a through ball but saw his prodded attempt blocked by the onrushing Lillis.

And with seven minutes of the half remaining, Blues took the lead from the spot.

Leonard was brought down in the box by Josh Lillis, leaving Mooney to lash home emphatically from the penalty.

And two minutes later Blues had their second of the day thanks to Leonard.

After good play down the right from Stephen McLaughlin, his pass found fellow midfielder Leonard, who swivelled and fired low into the corner, giving Lillis no chance.

Blues came out after the break looking to kill of the challenge of the Dale - with boss Keith Hill making all three changes at half time.

Four minutes into the second half, Joe Pigott missed a golden chance before Cian Bolger saw his header bounce into the gloves of Lillis.

Henderson's header was angling for the corner of the net before Bentley stuck out a glove to deny the Rochdale man as the visitors looked to get back into the game.

And get back into the game they did as they pulled one back with 27 minutes of the game remaining.

Bunney's shot from inside the box took a deflection before finding the back of the net.

Bunney went close soon after, with his effort narrowly going past Bentley's right-hand post as Dale searched for an equaliser.

John White was then forced off with 20 minutes remaining, with Gen Rea

And with 12 minutes of the game left they did find a second goal, with Rose curling a free kick past the wall and past Bentley, with the ball nestling in the back of the net.

The momentum was with Rochdale and Bentley had to be out smartly to deny substitute Calvin Andrew from scoring a third.

With five minutes remaining, Brown put David Worrall on in place of Stephen McLaughlin in a late bid to find a winning goal.

And in a frantic finale, Mooney saw his ferocious strike beaten clear by Lillis, and then Pigott curled over the bar after some neat footwork.

Blues: Bentley, White © (Rea, 71), Bolger, Prosser, Coker; Leonard, Deegan (Atkinson, 81), Timlin, McLaughlin (Worrall, 85); Pigott, Mooney

Unused substitutes: T. Smith, Wordsworth, Payne, Williams

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