Ten man Rochdale secured their third consecutive win on Saturday with a 2-1 over Accrington Stanley at the Store First Stadium.
Dale were reduced to ten men on the stroke of half time when George Donnelly was controversially shown a straight red card for an innocuous challenge on Nicky Hunt.
Rochdale were already 2-1 to the good heading into the interval and Dale defended resolutely in the second half to keep the advantage.
Speaking after the game, Assistant Manager Chris Beech gave an honest appraisal of the match.
He told Dale Player: “They were quality goals and it looked like we could have a really good day. To be fair though, the game swung before the sending off. We felt like we dropped off and, if you put it in boxing terms, allowed the opposition off the floor. We thought we could have done better with the goal we conceded, but of course when George was sent off it allows the opponents back off the floor. He’s ready to fight again, he’s a goal up and he feels as though he’s got an advantage now because he’s playing against ten men.
“We’re becoming an expert team at defending leads with ten men. We were disappointed with the way we defended during the second half of the first half, from 22 minutes until 45 minutes, so Keith [Manager Keith Hill] had a word at half time and they were excellent in the second half. It was a different sort of pressure, more direct pressure and corners, but they dealt with it and it is very pleasing.”
Despite being reduced to ten men, Rochdale continued in a positive fashion, with an attacking 4-2-3 formation, and Beech says we have a group of players which allows that.
“We have pace in the team and we felt that Ian [Henderson] and Scott [Hogan] provide that on the wings, so we tried to do that while rotating Peter [Vincenti] inside and up to centre forward. Pete works hard and obviously we’ve got someone like Graham [Cummins] on the bench who can hold the ball up, and to be fair he did that and nearly got in a couple of times. We felt like that was the best way to go and the result justifies those decisions.”
You can listen to the full interview on Dale Player. Or a short clip on our YouTube