Rochedale Rovers will make their another round six appearance in the FFA Cup after accounting for Ipswich Knights 3-0 at Underwood Park on Saturday night.
A double to Jose Mojica-Rodriguez and a headed effort by Luke Howell sealed Rovers’ onward passage.
Early troubles came the home side’s way when Paul Mooney went down injured in the first five minutes. After leaving the field to seek treatment, he came back on but ultimately succumbed to injury shortly after to be replaced by Ryan Faichnie.
Knights’ Emmanuel Peter looked to have a sight on goal as he looped a header on towards the back post but the assistant’s flag stopped any chance of an opening goal.
Minutes later, Michael Baird launched a thunderbolt towards the Ipswich line but it was well held by keeper Matt Baker.
Baird then teed up Seiji Shizuno who in an attempt to take it first time badly miscued a gilt-edged opportunity.
More injury worries for Rovers when Baird was also forced to be replaced by Mojica-Rodriguez with ten minutes remaining in the first half leaving coach Scott MacNicol with just one change for the remainder of the match.
Thomas Sotiriadis played provider for Mitch Davis who couldn’t beat a scrambling Rovers defence shortly before the break.
Upon the resumption, Shizuno brought down Dan Liddy near the edge of the box. Lincoln Rule attempted to curl the dead-ball chance into the top right corner but it failed to swing enough in time.
Baker pulled off a magnificent double save to keep his side from conceding as firstly he denied Greg Cheshire and the rebound that fell for Lewis Cameron. He was on hand again moments later when Mojica-Rodriguez almost tapped in close to the line.
Knights were gifted the perfect opportunity for the go-ahead goal when Jarryd Gore handled inside the area shortly before the hour. Peter stepped up to take the penalty but it was superbly saved by Brandon Cuminao who guessed correctly that Peter would go to his right.
Had they scored, it would have been against the run of play as Rovers dominated the attacking play and finallyeThe elusive goal came for Rovers midway through the second half after Howell headed home Lewis Cameron’s free kick.
After the goal was scored, Knights coach Stewart Drinkeld was forced to replace Baker with substitute keeper change Will Duncan. Baker was inconvenienced after copping a knock earlier in the half and there were suggestions his vision may have been affected.
Mojica-Rodriguez had the chance to extend the advantage as he committed and then rounded Duncan but Sotiriadis was on hand as the last line of defence to clear near the goal line.
It wouldn’t take long for Mojica-Rodriguez to see reward for his efforts as he produced a header to seal the match.
There was one more for Mojica-Rodriguez in stoppage time after Duncan failed to hang on to Cheshire’s initial effort and he was on hand to tap in the rebound.
Rochedale 3 (Luke Howell 66’, Jose Mojica-Rodriguez 75’, 90+3’) v Ipswich Knights 0
Shots on target 8-4
Shots off target 8-7
Rochedale: Brandon Cuminao, Michael Baird (Jose Mojica-Rodriguez 36’), Lewis Cameron, Greg Cheshire, Phil Davies, Jarryd Gore, Daryll Grant, Luke Howell, Paul Mooney (Ryan Faichnie 9’), Scott Sargent, Seiji Shizuno. Subs not used: Uryu Nagata, David Floyd.
Ipswich Knights: Matt Baker (Will Duncan 67’), Andy Butler, Chris Butler, Mitch Davis (Matt Johnson 78’), Takuto Kakimoto, Morten Levinsen, Dan Liddy, Emmanuel Peter, Lincoln Rule, Thomas Sotiriadis (Matt Savini 77’), Eyale Teshager. Subs not used: Liam Davison, Devon Munn.
Referee: Andrew Lindsay