Alnwick’s moment of madness leaves Hill with a big problem

Goalkeeper Ben Alnwick left manager Keith Hill with a major headache as the Barnsley manager registered a win on his return to former club Rochdale.

Barnsley earned their place in the second round in spite of Alnwick, whose moment of madness in stoppage time handed the hosts a bizarre lifeline.

Barnsley’s passage through to the next round seemed straightforward with Alnwick holding the ball on 90 minutes and Barnsley leading 2-1. But the Tykes stopper inexplicably head-butted Ray Putterill, conceding a penalty and earning himself a red card.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Jason Kennedy’s spot kick took the match into extra-time and with full-back Bobby Hassell in goal for the visitors, Rochdale were in the ascendancy.

But another former Spotland favourite – Chris Dagnall – saved Alnwick’s blushes as his brace secured victory. Hassell conceded again via another penalty by Kennedy after Craig Davies handled, but went on to make a string of fine saves.

“It was incredible, the most bizarre game I’ve been involved with in my entire life,” said Hill, whose team were cruising after goals from John Stones and Davies cancelled out Andrew Tutte’s early effort.

“It was a great start from Rochdale, but in the second half as the energy slightly ebbed away from Rochdale, I thought we were in the ascendancy and it was just a routine 2-1 win into time added on.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“Ben’s got the ball in his hands, 90 minutes on the clock and after that it’s unexplainable.

“With Luke Steele being out injured and Ben Alnwick looking at a three- or four-game suspension, I will have to bring in another goalkeeper.

“We’d done everything we possibly could in preparation for Ben to start the season as our goalkeeper, but in one game, everything we’ve done has been thrown out of the window for one petulant lapse.”

Rochdale: Lillis, Pearson, Edwards, P Edwards, McIntyre, Cavanagh, Kennedy, Tutte, Donnelly (Putterill 75), Grimes (Curran 84), Adebola (Craney 84). Unused substitutes: Smith, Bennett, Rafferty, Barry-Murphy.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Barnsley: Alnwick, Stones (Hassell 85), Foster, McNulty, Wiseman, Mellis, Perkins, O’Brien (Dagnall 18), Etuhu (Cywka 70), Done, Davies. Unused substitutes: Lidakevicius, Golbourne, Dawson, Digby.

Referee: G Sutton (Lincolnshire).

Man of the match: Chris Dagnall.