Early Hope fades as Latics are held by Rochdale

Date published: 05 April 2024

Stuttering Latics were forced to settle for a derby day draw at home against Rochdale.

Hallam Hope put the Latics ahead inside six minutes, finding the net against Rochdale for the second time this season following a penetrating run from Josh Lundstram.

Rochdale levelled after 27 minutes when Sam Mather got the decisive touch at a corner directed to the near post for the ball to trickle over the line.

Both sides had chances to take three points before a near-9,000 crowd, with Latics striker Andy Dallas unfortunate to see his well-struck effort bounce off a post.

Latics boss Micky Mellon, whose side remain five points shy of the National League play-off places, said: "The goal we gave away, from our point of view, is poor. Really, really poor.

"There were a lot of bodies around that to deal with it and we lose that.

"And that pretty much sums the game up."

Latics, who now have just three games remaining of the regular National League campaign, return to action on Wednesday night when they travel to FC Halifax Town.

Mellon's side have now gone eight games without a win.

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