The Latics were drawn at home to Gary Caldwell's men in the first round of trophy now called the EFL Cup held earlier with Rochdale and Bury also landing tricky ties.

1. Why you were looking forward to going to the ground (or not as the case may be): 

Rob joined Trinity Mirror in 2001 and was editor of the Daily Post North Wales for seven years. He was also publishing director for Trinity Mirror North Wales and Cheshire.

Driving to the ground I found very straightforward following the directions on this website, and having got to Spotland in plenty of time, I found suitable parking almost right outside the ground on Willbutts Lane itself.  

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Rochdale have a number of rivalries with local and non-local clubs. The club's current main competition is with Bury also known as the M66 Derby. Bury have largely been in the same league as Rochdale in recent times and, after Oldham Athletic, are the closest Football League club to Rochdale.

5. Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, toilets etc..

The club finished bottom of the league in 1977–78, but was successful in their bid for re-election. Southport, which had finished one place above Rochdale, was demoted instead and replaced by Wigan Athletic. Rochdale finished bottom for a second time in 1979–80, but was again re-elected – by one vote over Altrincham. In 1989–90 the club reached the fifth round of the FA Cup for the first time, but lost 1–0 to Crystal Palace.

Our newspapers include the flagship Manchester Evening News - Britain's largest circulating regional daily with up to 130,485 copies - as well as 20 local weekly titles across Greater Manchester, Cheshire and Lancashire.

In pics: Stunning aerial shots of London's football stadia by photographer Jason Hawkes

Rochdale move into the League One play-off places with a comfortable home victory over Southend.

Main Stand: Adults £22, Over 65's/Under 22's* £16, Under 17's £5 Willbutts Lane Stand: Adults £22, Over 65's/Under 22's* £16, Under 17's £5 Pearl Street Stand: Adults £20, Over 65's/Under 22's* £14, Under 17's £5 Sandy Lane Terrace: Adults £17, Over 65's/Under 22's* £12, Under 17's £5

The English National Football Archive (Enfa) was asked to compile a "Long-Suffering Fan Index" and, after crunching data from 220,000 results since the first Football League season in 1888-9 - ranking the current 92 Football League clubs by their lack of success, and weighted by extra factors including the size of their average home crowds - Rochdale came out bottom... or top, depending on your point of view.

When Rochdale Metropolitan Borough Council was formed in 1974 (taking over from Rochdale County Borough Council and five other borough/urban district councils), a new coat of arms was created and awarded for council use. Rochdale A.F.C., however, continued (and continues today) to adopt the old Rochdale County Borough arms.

The team has achieved promotion three times – in 1969, 2010 and 2014. Although the club has never won a competition since joining the League, they have the distinction of playing in the final of the League Cup in 1962, the first of only two teams from the lowest tier to have done so.

Parkin's replacement, Keith Hill, who was initially appointed as caretaker-manager, became arguably the club's most successful manager to date. Hill and his assistant manager David Flitcroft led Rochdale to a 5th-placed finish in 2007–08, securing a play-off place. After beating Darlington 5–4 on penalties in the semi-finals, Rochdale reached Wembley for the first time in their history. Despite taking the lead in the match, they lost the final 3–2 to Stockport County.

We had planned to visit the intriguingly named Cemetery pub, but with time running out we decided just to get parked and walk up to the stadium. We ended up being invited by a helpful steward into the Dale Bar at the ground, and despite being virtually the only away fans in the bar we were welcomed and treated well. I didn't hear one negative word toward us. Nice people and decent bar, well stocked and the service was excellent.

Apart from local football and rugby league, Spotland has in the past been used to host minor nations' rugby league matches, such as British Amateur Rugby League Association (British Amateur Rugby League Association) matches, and also the National League Cup finals of 2003 and 2004.

For a list of notable players in sortable-list format see List of Rochdale A.F.C. players; for all Rochdale players with a Wikipedia article see Category:Rochdale A.F.C. players.

Fans of the Dale and Sheffield United gave a stirring minute-long applause to pay tribute to Denise Webb, who died in December after a battle with cancer

With us in sixth position in the League and hoping for the play-offs and Rochdale in second hoping to cement their place in the automatic promotion places, it was going to be an interesting encounter. In spite of the League standings, Southend tend to do well against teams at the top yet not against teams at the bottom (we had lost to Wimbledon the previous week who were fighting relegation) so it was even more important that we got maximum points.

Online, manchestereveningnews.co.uk welcomes 2.4million unique users who experience12.4million page views every month.

It was announced in June 2009 that the kit supplier for the next three seasons would be Carbrini.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game    

• Premiership: Stoke City (Fan Suffering Index: 54.72; national rank: 43)

• League One: Colchester FC (Fan Suffering Index: 63.39; national rank: 5)

A brilliant day, I agree with what it says in the guide that it is one of the best away days in the Football League. Certainly eleven and a half hours on a coach well spent and definitely one I'll do again!

How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?    

Rochdale's current home colours are black and blue shirts, white shorts and blue and black hooped socks. Previously, Rochdale's usual colours were blue and white, introduced in 1949. Prior to this, Rochdale wore black and white stripes, which was influenced by the strong Newcastle United side of 1907 (the year Rochdale was formed), the stripe which they adopted for their centenary season in 2007.

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Rochdale manager Keith Hill left baffled by his Dale side despite victory at Spotland

A brilliant night out, with great local people, a great venue to drink in, fabulous atmosphere in the ground with good banter being exchanged with the brilliant Dale fans, and only 4 games to go, knowing that 3 wins and a draw would seal our promotion. These are the days that true football fans love, and the way that all games should be.  Good luck to Dale, and hoping to meet you all again one day – in the Premiership!

Willbutts Lane Stand: Adults £22, Over 65's/Under 22's* £16, Under 17's £5

Ahead of tomorrow's showdown at White Hart Lane, we remember 11 players north London would rather forget

Rochdale

On 25 April 2015, Rochdale revealed Erreà as their new supplier.[8]

We don't normally go to many away games. Plus this season had been really challenging and most away matches are quite a drive away. But with the season safe for us, we made a late decision to go along for the day out and have a bit of a laugh.

The Dale boss said his side's performance in the second half was 'total domination'

Very good. Welcoming and friendly locals, decent view, decent grub, easy to get in and out. No complaints at all and a far better experience than many away grounds. Just a shame they had Grant Holt playing for them, still it gave us someone to hate like a pantomime villain.

"When he plays on snow, he doesn't leave any footprints." ManagerWed 11 Jan 2012

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