Rochdale were 3-2 winners over Ramsbottom United in a pre-season friendly at the Harry Williams Riverside Stadium on Wednesday evening, with all five goals coming in the first half.
Stephen Dooley, Ryan Delaney and Ollie Rathbone were on the score sheet for Dale in the victory.
Rochdale raced into an early lead, opening the scoring just a minute into the match.
Rekeil Pyke broke into the area down the left hand-side and pulled the ball back for Dooley, who placed his effort into the far bottom corner.
There was a lively start to the game and Pyke, having been fed through the middle by Ollie Rathbone, poked a shot wide of the upright, soon after.
Rathbone had been side lined because of injury since Portugal, but he started against the Rams and fired an effort down the throat of the opposition ‘keeper with six minutes played.
Bradley Wade in the Dale goal made a good save with his feet from a one-on-one situation, before his long kick sent Rochdale in on goal. Fabio Tavares latched onto his ball over the top and he squared for Pyke, who curled a first-time effort narrowly wide of the upright.
Tavares and Pyke were involved again a short time later, when the Academy graduate crossed for the Huddersfield Town loanee, who in turn laid the ball into the path of Luke Matheson and he saw an effort deflected over with a last-ditch tackle.
Ryan Delaney was on the goal line to keep out a header from a Ramsbottom corner in the 16th minute, but the home side went on to find an equaliser two minutes later. A quick break down the right resulted in them sending a low ball to the back post, where it was smashed home.
Dale were back in front with 25 minutes on the clock through Delaney. Dooley twist and turned on the left before back-heeling for Rathbone on the overlap. The midfielder dinked a ball into the middle, which Delaney pounced on to volley into the back of the net from close range.
Rathbone turned goal scorer from provider, as he swept home Matheson’s pull back on the edge of the six-yard box to extend Dale’s lead.
But Rochdale were not out of sight yet as the Rams got on the score-sheet for a second time. A free-kick into the area was only cleared as far as the edge of the 18-yard box, and a Ramsbottom player fired a low effort into the bottom corner to get them back within one.
On the stroke of half time, Bradley’s first-time effort flew over the crossbar.
HT | RAMSBOTTOM UNITED 2-3 ROCHDALE
There were shouts for a handball inside the Ramsbottom area eight minutes into the second half but the referee was quick to wave away the claims for a Dale penalty.
Dooley was denied by the woodwork as his curling effort came crashing off the bar, while Dale came close again a soon after. As Brian Barry-Murphy’s side hit Ramsbottom on the counter-attack, Tavares got down the right and played in Bradley, who saw an effort superbly deflected over the crossbar.
In the 62nd minute, Rathbone made way for Gillam in Dale’s first change of the match.
Tavares exchanged a one-two with the substitute after charging down the left, and he curled an effort narrowly effort.
With 15 minutes left to play, there were four further substitutions. Youth Team players Morgan Piper, Joe Dunne, Louie Clarkson and Louis Chorlton replaced Wade, Williams, Pyke and Bradley.
Before the game was out, Gillam had an effort deflected narrowly wide after linking up with Dunne, while Piper pulled off a fine stop with his feet to deny the hosts after a great diagonal ball and a superb first-touch allowed them to get a show away at the near post.
FT | RAMSBOTTOM UNITED 2-3 ROCHDALE
Dale Team | Wade, Matheson, McLaughin, Williams, Delaney, Morley, Bradley, Rathbone, Dooley, Pyke, Tavares. Subs: Piper, Dunne, Lee, Chorlton, Clarkson, Gillam, Moreland.