Rochdale and Plymouth played out a 0-0 draw in a game of few chances at the Crown Oil Arena.
Dale made three changes from the side that lost against Blackpool in midweek, with Paul McShane making a rare start in defence, whilst Kwadwo Baah and Jimmy Keohane also came in.
Today's team 👊
Paul McShane, Jimmy Keohane and Kwadwo Baah return to the side ✅
Matthew Lund played through sickness on Tuesday which has continued since, meaning he is only fit enough for the bench as he recovers 🤒#RAFC
— Rochdale AFC (@officiallydale) February 20, 2021
The visitors have been in strong form recently, with Ryan Lowe understandably attracting interest from higher divisions, and they started much the better side against Dale.
There were just two minutes on the clock when Conor Grant crossed for Panutche Camara, who was left completely unmarked inside the area, but his effort was well saved by Gavin Bazunu in the Dale goal.
Since Connor Shaghnessy’s arrival at Dale, we have seen Brian Barry-Murphy’s side begin to utilise long throws. Unfortunately, they’ve done more harm than good.
The home side were once again left vulnerable on the break from a long throw and McShane brought down the marauding Ennis to pick up an early yellow.
Plymouth were enjoying all of the possession and pushed forward regularly, but were unable to find a way past a Dale defence that looked far more solid thanks to McShane, with Luke Jephcott’s volley one of few opportunities in a dour first half.
Danny Mayor was causing a lot of problems for Gabriel Osho, who once again featured at right-back despite looking uncomfortable there in previous fixtures, and the former Bury man got past the on-loan Luton defender before firing a shot straight at Bazunu.
Stephen Humphrys rolled a shot wide for Dale but in truth, the first half was extremely low on real attacking quality.
Half Time: Rochdale 0-0 Plymouth
Dale came out with a lot more passion and hunger and created their best opportunity of the game when Humphrys’ neat flick found Shaughnessy on the edge of the box, but his curled effort was straight at Michael Cooper.
The home side were well on top but still vulnerable of course, and Ennis fired straight down the throat of Bazunu after sitting Eoghan O’Connell down in a rare attack by the Pilgrims.
Matty Lund, who started on the bench due to illness, then replaced Shaughnessy but was forced off not too long after through injury, which could be a huge blow for Dale ahead of some vital upcoming fixtures.
Cooper then made the save of the match by denying Aaron Morley with a flying save, as Dale continued to push forward.
The ‘keeper then made comfortable saves from Humphrys and substitute Matty Done, before denying the former at the death.
Full Time: Rochdale 0-0 Plymouth
A game low on quality, but plenty of fight from Dale to end their run of defeats, whereas Plymouth continue their recent unbeaten run.
Man of the Match: Paul McShane