Rochdale’s unbeaten run came to end on Saturday with a 3-0 defeat at Portsmouth’s Fratton Park.
Pompey took a lead into the interval thanks to Jed Wallace, and a second half double from Bondz N’Gala ensured three points for the home side after a lack lustre display from Dale who were unable add to four wins in September.
Manager Keith Hill named an unchanged eleven for the match at against Pompey, following last weekend’s display against Wycombe Wanderers.
After a blistering start in front of a 15,000 strong crowd, the game settled into an evenly matched affair, but Dale were dealt a blow when the home side netter after 23 minutes.
Clear cut chances had been at a premium, despite a high tempo opening period, and the first real chance of the game fell to Pompey’s Jed Wallace on 13 minutes. He should have done better as he dragged his shot wide from close range.
Meanwhile immediately up the other end, Michael Rose delivered a dangerous ball across the face of goal, but despite Scott Hogan throwing himself at it, he was unable to make a connection and it went out of play.
Pompey opened the scoring on 23 minutes, after a well won challenge by Jack O’Connell fed the ball into the path of Jed Wallace, who drilled his shot past Josh Lillis and into the back of the net.
GOAL: PORTSMOUTH 1-0 ROCHDALE
Shortly after the half hour mark goalkeeper Trevor Carson, who joined Portsmouth on loan from Bury on Thursday, pulled off two fine saves in quick succession to deny Dale.
On 37 minutes Matty Lund almost caught out the ‘keeper with a cross-come-shot, and Carson had to be alert to tip it over the bar.
From the resulting corner, Done fired an effort from the edge of the area goalwards, and Carson again had to get his fingers to it, to send it up and over the bar.
Rochdale finished the half with a flurry, but were unable to find a breakthrough.
HT: PORTSMOUTH 1-0
There were no changes at the break as Manager Keith Hill stayed as was for the start of the second half.
Portsmouth came out after the interval buoyed by their first half lead and peppered Dale’s goal during the early exchanges, before extending their advantage during a half dominated by the home side.
Dale had been given a warning on 50 minutes when Bradley headed the ball across the face goal for Agyemang who found the awaiting Wallace. Wallace fired the ball narrowly past the post after being given time to get his shot away.
And they doubled their lead just two minutes later when N’Gala headed home from a corner.
GOAL: PORTSMOUTH 2-0 ROCHDALE
After the goal, Manager Keith Hill made two substitution as Cummins and Vincenti replaced Bunney (53 minutes) and Rose (58 minutes), respectively.
The formation stayed the same as Done moved into the vacant left back position.
Although they were positive changes, Rochdale were still unable to pose a threat in front of goal, and it was Pompey who went on to extend their lead on 65 minutes through N’Gala who netted his second of the afternoon.
He was allowed a free header from a corner ball and he powered it past Lillis and into the back of the net.
GOAL: PORTSMOUTH 3-0 ROCHDALE
Rochdale were yet to threaten during the half following a lack lustre showing, and it was on 78 minutes that Jack O’Connell had the side’s first chance as he headed a Dale free-kick narrowly past the upright.
In the closing stages of the game, Dale went in search of consolation goal, but their afternoon was summed up when Cummins’ volley from seven yards was denied by the wood work.
In the dying moments off the game, Carson blocked a Cummins header off the line, before Vincenti’s follow up effort was also hooked off the line.
It finished Portsmouth 3, Rochdale 0.