Morecambe put an end to Rochdale’s unbeaten league run on Saturday with a 2-1 win at Spotland.
A goal in each half from former Dale Jack Redshaw saw the Shrimps ease into a two goal lead, before George Donnelly gave Rochdale some hope after netting on 73 minutes.
But despite Rochdale applying the pressure after the goal, the visitors saw out the game to take the three points and scupper Dale's chance of extending their unbeaten run to seven.
Manager John Coleman made one change to the start eleven from last weekend's League Two encounter at Accrington Stanley as Jason Kennedy made way from Peter Cavanagh.
It was a lively start to the match for both teams with the two sides having opportunities to open the scoring inside the first five minutes.
With just a minute on the clock Morecambe’s Andrew Wright sent a fizzing low shot past the post, and it was the Shrimps who tested the Rochdale goal just a minute later this time through Jack Redshaw.
Lewis Alessandra took the ball off Peter Cavanagh in the middle of the park before slotting in the on-running Redshaw. The former Dale frontman found the space to get a shot away but he could only drag his shot wide of the target.
Three minutes later and Rochdale had what was just one of a limited number of clear cut opportunities of the half but were kept out by a fine save from Morecambe goalkeeper Barry Roche. After a fantastic piece of build-up play from back to front, Joe Rafferty was on hand to send in a fantastic cross for the waiting Dele Adebola who fired a diving header goal-wards from the back post. Roche’s quick reaction kept the towering frontman out from six yards.
Rochdale then struggled to a get a foothold on the match and it was the visitors who were allowed to dominate for a lengthy period as Dale struggled to get into their stride due to string of failed passes which allowed the Shrimps to take advantage.
On seven minutes Morecambe’s Andrew Flemming tested goalkeeper Josh Lillis after getting onto the end of a through ball from Alessandro. His first touch effort was however smothered by the ‘keeper.
With the visitors continuing to apply the apply the pressure a goal never looked far away and it came with ten minutes played. A neat pass from Kevin Ellison cut open the Dale defence to allow Redshaw through one on one with Lillis. He picked his spot before slotted the ball past the ‘keeper and into the bottom right hand corner of the net to give the Shrimps a 1-0 lead at Spotland.
After the goal, it was Morecambe who stayed on top and Dale were forced to ride the pressure.
On 24 minutes, the visitors had two opportunities in quick succession to add a second but were denied by the woodwork then by Ashley Grimes who cleared an effort off the line.
The Shrimps broke on the counter attack and after running on through on goal Ellison smashed a strike goalwards which was deflected by a Phil Edwards block onto the post and out of play for a corner ball. From the resulting set piece Grimes was the man to thank for sweeping clear Wright’s header off the line.
As the match continued, Lillis was again called into action as Gary McDonald fired a shot from inside the area directly at the ‘keeper.
It was from this that Rochdale broke forward immediately and came close to an equaliser. Rafferty sent in another fantastic cross from the right hand side into a packed box but Adebola was unable to connect with the ball and it was deflected just inches wide of the upright by Morecambe skipper Will Haining.
In what had been a quiet first half for Dale, this opportunity appeared to spur the home side on and just minutes before the interval Kevin McIntyre’s cross-come-shot rattled the underside of the bar, off goalkeeper Roche and back out into play before being cleared away.
Manager John Coleman continued as was for the second half after opting to make no substitutions at the interval.
Within the opening three minutes of the half it was Morecambe who tested the opposition goal first. Alessandro lost his marker, Joe Rafferty, after taking the ball on his chest and cutting inside allowing him through one on one with the ‘keeper. Lillis charged well off his line towards the frontman and did well to put in a well-timed challenge to take the ball away.
Two minutes later and Adebola was through on goal, but was kept out by Roche from less than six yards out after the ‘keeper got down to block the shot.
With Dale unable to find the tempo as seen in recent weeks, Coleman made his first substitution of the match shortly after with Phil Edwards making way for Jason Kennedy.
The substitution saw Dale looking more lively in the final third but after failing to test the Morecambe goalkeeper, it was the visitors who went on to double their lead.
On 56 minutes, Grimes had an effort blocked by the Shrimps’ defence while Tutte’s follow up shot was collected by Roche.
Shortly after the hour mark Tutte again sent an effort goal-ward, this time firing a curling effort into the top netting from 22 yards out after getting on the end of a neat flick on from Adebola.
And it was on 66 minutes that Redshaw grabbed his second of the afternoon to give the visitors a two goal advantage. Dale should have had a free-kick in the oppositions half after Kennedy was felled from behind, but the referee waved play on allowing the Shrimps to create the play which ultimately led to their second.
Redshaw, who was lurking at the back-post tapped the ball into the back of the net from close range after getting on the end of an Ellison low cross across the face of goal.
But despite going two behind, Rochdale weren’t yet ready to settle for defeat and on 73 minutes George Donnelly gave Dale a lifeline out of nowhere. Rafferty chipped the ball into a packed box and Donnell, who had his back to goal, managed to get a head on the cross, and with the help of a deflection, it found its way into the net.
Rochdale looked like a different team, and just minutes later Donnelly was able to power through on goal after capitalising on a Morecambe mistake in the centre of the park. His shot however went well wide of the target.
On 80 minutes, Donnelly again came close and should have scored after creating an opportunity through his own hard work.
Some quick feet work saw him lose his two markers inside the area, allowing him enough space to try a shot on goal. He attmpted to curl it round the ball round the ‘keeper from a tight angle but could only send it round the upright.
Rochdale ramped up in the pressure in the final moments of the match, Grimes was denied by Roche, before the ‘keeper did well to get on the end of Tutte free kick to punch the ball clear of danger.
But it was the visitors who could have added a three deep in injury time after Haining rattled a free-kick from distance off the cross bar.
It finished Rochdale 1, Morecambe 2.