Rochdale continued their preparation for the 2014/15 campaign with a 2-1 win pre-season friendly win over Wigan Athletic on Saturday.
Goals from Ian Henderson and Bastien Hery saw Dale open up a two goal lead, before James Tavernier halved the deficit.
Manager Keith Hill named a strong starting eleven for the visit of the Latics, with the likes Olly Lancashire, Matty Lund, Ian Henderson and Matty Done lining up against the Championship side. Scott Tanser, Joe Rafferty, Rhys Bennett, Bastien Hery, George Donnelly and Jamie Allen completed the eleven.
Former Dale Grant Holt was amongst the starters for Wigan.
Torrential rain and thunder storms had battered Rochdale throughout the early hours of the morning and in the hours before kick-off, but the Spotland surface withstood the downpours and looked pristine for the friendly fixture.
Dale started the match in a positive manner and were quick off the mark through Ian Henderson, who opened up a one goal advantage.
Hendo, who is no stranger to beating opposition ‘keepers with cheeky chips, clipped Lee Nicholls from an acute angle after making the most of some excellent advantage which had been played by the referee. He got to the by-line and chipped the ball across the ‘keeper and into the opposite side of the net.
GOAL: ROCHDALE 1-0 WIGAN ATHLETIC (Hendo, 5 mins)
Two opportunities followed for the visitors in quick succession, but on both occasions Josh Lillis was on hand to deny them.
In the fifteenth minute Tim Chow’s powerful effort from distance was blocked by the goalkeeper before being hooked away by Rafferty. A minute later and Lillis tipped a Holt header from a free-kick, which looked destined to sneak in at the post, round the upright.
Dale looked comfortable, despite the two chances, and were employing their patient passing build up play as seen last season. The Latics were pressurising, but Keith Hill’s side continued to soak up any danger.
Shortly before the half hour, Ryan Jennings was played through on goal, one on one with Lillis, however Bennett did well to match the Latic player’s run and did just enough to force him into dragging his effort wide of the upright.
Rochdale always looked threatening as they attacked , and in the 36th minute Hery opened up a two goal advantage with a composed finish.
The young Frenchman won the ball after catching a Wigan player in possession, and after a one/two with Donnelly, he dropped his shoulder to round his marker, before slotting the ball coolly beyond Nicholls from inside the area.
GOAL: ROCHDALE 2-0 WIGAN ATHLETIC (Hery, 36 mins)
Latics responded shortly before the interval through James Tavernier, who smashed a powerful effort from 25-yards in off the underside of the bar.
GOAL: ROCHDALE 2-1 WIGAN ATHLETIC (Travernier, 44 mins)
It was the last opportunity of the half and Dale took a lead into the interval.
HT: ROCHDALE 2-1 WIGAN ATHLETIC
There were no changes for Rochdale at the interval, however Wigan made one substitution with Scott Carson replacing Lee Nicholls.
A selection of further changes soon followed for Wigan and Rochdale, with goal scorer Hery making way for trialist Cameron Park on 63 minutes.
In the 70th minute Thomas Rogne should have done better after getting a head on a Latics free-kick, but he could only steer his effort wide of the target.
A minute later, and a triple Dale substitution followed, with Joe Bunney, Callum Camps and Andy Cannon being given the nod in place of Donnelly, Henderson and Lund.
Camps almost made an immediate impact, as well as making it three goals from three pre-season games, as he forced Carson into a save. The youngster beat the offside trap, before attempting to lift the ball up and over the goalkeeper, who was off his line. Carson got a hand to it and sent it out for a corner.
From the resulting set play, Bunney sent a snap shot goal-wards, which was kept out by an excellent point blank save from the ‘keeper.
The half ebbed away, with Wigan going in search of an equaliser and Dale looking very comfortable.
It finished Rochdale 2, Wigan Athletic 1.