Rochdale earn first clean sheet in three months

Rochdale secured their first clean sheet since the beginning of December – more than three months ago – with a 0-0 draw against Oxford United at the Crown Oil Arena.

The result moved Dale a point closer to safety in League One, though it could be viewed by fans as an opportunity missed.

A victory would have lifted Dale above their opponents and they would have been in the relegation zone on goal difference alone.

But the point maintains an unbeaten start for Brian Barry-Murphy as caretaker boss, who was pleased with the performance as a whole.

Dale now have nine games to preserve their League One status.

Tuesday’s match was an even affair, with Brad Inman forcing a good save out of Simon Eastwood and Ian Henderson almost opening the scoring when he went through in the second half.

But Andy Lonergan was busy too – with a number of good saves to keep the away side out.

Dale lost Ryan McLaughlin to a head injury mid-way through the first half, which forced Barry-Murphy into his first switch.

The first half came to life in the final minutes, as Henderson squared for Ollie Rathbone – but Eastwood was able to push his strike to safety. 

It was the visitors who then went close, as Curtis Nelson hit the crossbar with a header.

The spoils were shared and it leaves Dale two points from Shrewsbury in 20th place in the table.

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