FA Cup: Stockport County beat Rochdale with Rooney wonder goal

John Rooney
John Rooney celebrates (Pic: Mike Petch)

National League side Stockport stunned League One neighbours Rochdale with a 2-1 win at Spotland to advance to the FA Cup second Round after a first-half stunner by John Rooney from inside The Hatters’ midfielder’s own half.

Jim Gannon’s side started brightly against their EFL hosts, who started the day 34 league positions higher, and County soon had a deserved lead through a quite remarkable goal.

Attacking midfielder Rooney, younger brother of Man Utd and England legend Wayne, dispossessed Jimmy Ryan inside the County half, before advancing to a position just shy of the halfway line and producing an exquisite lob over ‘Dale stopper Gavin Bazunu.

With County in dreamland after a flying start, things got even better inside fifteen minutes when Alex Reid pounced to turn home Connor Jennings’ low cross-shot.

County had made all the early running, but Brian Barry-Murphy’s side gave themselves a lifeline just after the 20-minute mark.

Former Chorley man Alex Newby skipped down the right and stood up a cross for Matty Lund to head home at the back post to half the deficit for the hosts before the break.

Chances followed for the hosts in the second half, only to be met by a superb rearguard action by County with ‘keeper Ben Hinchliffe also producing a number of stunning second-half saves to keep ‘Dale at bay.

Three minutes of stoppage time were seen out heroically by The Hatters, who now go into the hat for Monday’s draw.