Scouting report: Rochdale

A closer look at The Dale ahead of Wanderers' midweek trip to the Crown Oil Arena

Ahead of Wanderers' trip to local-rivals Rochdale, takes a closer look at Keith Hill’s side…

After finishing mid-table last season, Rochdale endured a slow start to the campaign as they picked up just three points from their opening seven games before recording an upturn in fortunes over the last fortnight courtesy of victories over Fleetwood Town and Millwall.

Currently sitting in 19th position, the aforementioned victory over Fleetwood  in their last outing at the Crown Oil Arena is Keith Hill's side's only league win in front of their own fans so far this season, running out 2-1 victors thanks to goals from Matthew Lund and Steven Davies. 

Davies was one of six new arrivals at the club this summer, with Niall Canavan, Harrison McGahey, Oliver Rathbone, Joe Thompson, Conrad Logan also joining the striker in Greater Manchester.

Dale will be keen to extend their unbeaten run to five games in all competitions as they host a Wanderers side in the league for the first time since October 1987, though they have never previously beaten the Whites in league football.

• D 1-1 AFC Wimbledon H – Sky Bet League One, 27/8/16
• L 1-0 – Oxford City A – Sky Bet League One, 3/9/16
• D 1-1 (W4-2 on penalties) – Sunderland U21s H – Checkatrade Trophy, 6/9/16
• D 2-2 – Bristol Rovers A – Sky Bet League One, 10/9/2016
• W 2-1 – Fleetwood Town H – Sky Bet League One, 17/9/2016
• W 3-2 – Millwall A – Sky Bet League One, 24/9/2016

Enjoying his fourth season with the club in his second spell, Hill returned to Rochdale in 2013 after a small stint with Yorkshire club Barnsley. 

Born in Bolton, he began his career with Blackburn Rovers in 1987 and featured over 90 times over a four-year period before moving Plymouth Argyle. 

Moving to Rochdale in 1996 four years in the south-west, he signed for Cheltenham Town five years later, but would only play five games for the club, spending part of his time on loan at Wrexham.

Hill finished his career with Conference side Morecambe, retiring in 2003 after playing 20 times for the Shrimps. 

Following his retirement, he joined his former club Rochdale’s coaching set up, taking up the position of Director of Youth before being appointed caretaker manager in December 2006, and later being given the job on a permanent basis the following January.

In his first full season as Rochdale boss, he guided the club to the League Two Play-Off Final, coming up short against Stockport County before missing out to Gillingham in the play-off semi-finals the following season.

After leading Rochdale to automatic promotion to Sky Bet League One in 2009/10, Hill was appointed Barnsley manager in May 2011 and held the position until December 2012.

Following his departure from Oakwell, he returned to Rochdale in January 2013 and would go on to guide to club to another promotion back into the third tier in 2013/14.

Starting his career with Norwich City, versatile forward Henderson made over 70 appearances during a six year stay at Carrow Road before making the move to Northampton Town. 

The former England Under-20s international would stay with the Cobblers for a single season, moving to Luton Town before later enjoying a brief spell with Turkush side Ankaragücü.

Following his stay in Southeast Europe, Henderson moved to Colchester United in October 2011, scoring 26 times in 130 appearances for United. 

Joining Rochdale after his contract was cancelled with the U’s, he signed a two-year deal with the club in May 2013.
The 31-year-old finished the 2014/15 season with 22 league goals, the second highest in the league that season, while he scored his 50th goal in all competitions for Dale against Oldham in March 2016 - his form earning him a contract extension along the way.

This season has seen Henderson find the net five times in all competitions, including a 93rd minute winner against Millwall last Saturday.

LAST ROCHDALE XI (v Millwall, W3-2)
Lillis, Bunney, McGahey, Canavan, Thompson, Lund, Keane, Camps, McDermott, Henderson, Andrew.

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