Rochdale’s under 18 side came from a goal behind at Hartlepool on Saturday to secure their place in the third round of the Youth Alliance Cup.
The Pools netted with six minutes on the clock but Dale’s youngsters responded quickly and levelled the score just two minutes later through Danny Whitehall who headed home from Scott Tanser cross.
Andy Cannon’s 65th minute goal ensured victory for Chris Beech’s side.
Speaking after the game Beech said: “This was a hard fought challenge. To concede after just six minutes was a blow but we reacted well to even the scoring two minutes later. We weren’t at our greatest in the first half probably due to not having played competitively since mid-December but to their credit the players responded very well and in the second half they began to dominate, control and create chances, one of which fell to Andy Cannon who made no mistake in finishing from a solo run.
“It is great to get through into the third of the competition, especially after the long journey to Hartlepool and after the Christmas break, but while we credit the success we also fully understand that we must make sure that we keep out foot firmly on the gas as we look to get back into our rhythm and pace of our game.”
Rochdale: Ashley, Hill, Antoine-Clarke, K Masirika, Tanser, Allen, Camps, Cannon, Logan, Martin, Whitehall. Subs: Diba Musangu, Rabiu, D Masirika, Horan, Spittle
The youth team’s next fixture is against Oldham Athletic at Moor Lane on Saturday 12th January (kick-off 11am).