League One high-fliers Rochdale AFC are happy to have earned a replay after drawing 0-0 with Northampton Town in the first round of the FA Cup on Saturday, according to manager Keith Hill.
Rochdale played the majority of the tie with ten men after captain Ian Henderson was dismissed, but struck the woodwork twice in a tightly-fought match at Sixfields.
Hill was positive about the result, and is looking forward to welcoming League Two Northampton to Spotland Stadium on Tuesday, November 18.
Speaking to BBC Radio Manchester, Hill said: “This isn’t a punishment to play a replay in the FA Cup.
“So many teams are actually out, and going down to ten men it could have been us, but we live to fight another day.
“We are through to the next round at this moment of time. I’m quite happy with it. The players are happy to play the games.”
Rochdale’s performance on Saturday was hampered when skipper Henderson received a red card after 16 minutes for kicking out a Ben Tozer, but Dale still posed a threat through Michael Rose and Matthew Done.
At the end of the first half Stephen Dawson almost broke the deadlock with an effort from over 40 yards, but his attempted lob rattled off the crossbar with Matt Duke stranded.
Ivan Toney missed a couple of opportunities for the hosts after the break, before Rochdale centre back Ashley Eastham almost snatched the victory when his header hit the post in the final minute of normal time.
Reflecting on the game, Hill suggested that the red-card decision was harsh but he was still positive about the threat his team posed.
“I think we could quite easily have walked away from here having won the game,” he said.
“I’m happy with the draw considering the situation we were in after 15 minutes.
“It’s difficult for the supporters (being down to ten men after 15 minutes). They travelled here looking for a bit spectacle.”
Both Rochdale and Northampton Town go into the draw for the second round of the competition which takes place this evening. The ball to look out for is number 29.
Main image courtesy of Official Rochdale AFC via YouTube, with thanks.