Pre-season starts with a win
Rochdale’s new look squad made the trip to Northwich Victoria on Tuesday evening and started the pre-season schedule with a comfortable victory.
Goalkeeper Steve Collis was handed his first start for Dale, while Joel Logan was in at right back as previously announced. New signings Olly Lancashire and Ashley Eastham were in the centre of defence, while Michael Rose was given the nod in his usual left sided position.
Supporters who made the trip to Valley Road also caught a glimpse of Jamie Allen, Bastien Hery, Peter Vincenti and Scott Hogan for the first time.
With Manager Keith Hill doing most of his business during the close season, this left room for just three trialists – Former Celtic Under 19 Goalkeeper Robbie Thomson and ex Manchester City and Stockport County full back, Javan Vidal, who were both given a run out in the second half, plus Lois Maynard who was also on the bench.
It was a tough work-out for the players who were faced with temperatures well into the high 20s, but the conditions certainly didn’t hamper the first half performance as they produced a high intensity display.
Dale looked lively from the first whistle and after peppering the goal, Scott Hogan who netted a first half hat-trick, opened his account on 9 minutes. He latched onto the end of a corner ball and headed past Nick Culkin at the near post.
This came after early pressure where Peter Vincenti forced the ‘keeper into a two handed save, and former Vics striker Joe Bunney sent a shot across the face of goal and narrowly past the upright.
Rochdale didn’t have to wait long to double their tally as Michael Rose made it 2-0 from another set piece on 15 minutes. He picked out the bottom corner of the net with a free-kick, leaving Culkin with no chance of a save.
Just two minutes later and Dale netted a third. Hogan again headed home from an Allen corner in similar fashion to his first goal.
Rochdale continued in control and just after the half hour, Hogan fortuitously bagged his hat-trick, again from a set-piece.
The Vics’ Humphrey’s had cleared the ball following a corner, but it hit off the No11 and past the ‘keeper into the back of the net.
Less than 60 seconds later, Bunney came within inches of making it four, however he was denied by the woodwork.
HT: Northwich Victoria 0-4 Rochdale
Manager Keith Hill made just one change at the interval with Collis, who had very little to do in the first half, making way for Thomson.
The Scot had more to do than his colleague, but when he was called into action he did well to react to the pressure.
While the first half was a high tempo affair, the second 45 minutes lacked the same intensity, although the players continued to apply themselves in order to keep a clean sheet and add a fifth to the tally.
Rose again netted with his left wand, curling a free-kick from the edge of the box into the bottom corner of the net on 57 minutes.
The second substitution of the night for Dale came five minutes after the goal (62 minutes) when Logan was replaced by Vidal. It was a straight swap with the trialist taking up the right full-back position.
It was a quieter half in front of goal for Rochdale and The Vics went on to have their first real opportunity of the match on 68 minutes. Thomson pulled off a fine save to keep out the opposition.
Godwin Abadaki and Reece Gray were introduced onto the field of play on 69 minutes and 75 minutes respectively, with Bunney and Hogan making way for the pair.
The home side went in search of a consolation, and with 10 minutes of the match remaining Thomson again pulled off fine save as he palmed a shot up and over the bar.
In the remaining moments of the game Gray had a couple of attempts on goal, but to no avail.
It finished Northwich Victoria 0, Rochdale 5.
Rochdale: Collis (Thomson 46), Logan (Vidal 62), Lancashire, Eastham, Rose, Barry-Murphy, Allen, Vincenti, Hery, Hogan (Gray 75), Bunney (Abadaki 69).
Subs not used: Henderson, Maynard (trialist), Lund, Tanser and O’Connor