It was goals galore at Spotland on Tuesday evening as Rochdale’s under 18 side progressed to the second round of the FA Youth Cup with a resounding 9-0 win over Nantwich Town.
Billy Hasler-Cregg netted four in the victory, while Nyal Bell bagged a hat-trick. Dominic Reid and Tyler Berry also got their name on the score sheet.
Dale were on top from the start and took the lead after just 12 minutes through Nyal Bell. Bell, who made his first team debut in September, headed beyond Andy Emerton after getting on the end of a James Hooper cross.
Dale had already had the ball in the back of the net two minutes before that, but it didn't count as the flag went up against off side.
Momentum continued in Rochdale’s favour and a minute after taking the lead, Dom Reid sent a diving header narrowly wide of the upright, before Dale doubled their advantage in the 22nd minute after continuing to apply pressure on the Dabbers’ goal from a corner. Nantwich Town’s Jordan Long cleared the corner ball as far as Hasler-Cregg, who turned excellently, before striking beyond the ‘keeper.
Rochdale continued to dominate, with Johny Diba not having a save to make, and they went on to extend their lead further with 40 minutes on the clock. A great bit of composure from Hasler-Cregg saw him lift the ball over the on rushing 'keeper and into the back of the net.
The end of the second half was overshadowed by a head injury sustained by Connor Cowan-Thompson. After taking a boot to the face, he required ten minutes of treatment before being stretchered off and replaced by Tyler Berry.
HT: ROCHDALE 3-0 NANTWICH TOWN
Nantwich Town started the half brightly and forced Diba into an excellent save with his legs on 53 minutes. But as the half wore on, Dale were rampant, netting six.
Shortly after the hour mark Bell was denied by the woodwork, before Hasler-Cregg netted his hat-trick two minutes later in the 65th minute. The Dabbers had failed to deal with a corner ball and Hasler-Cregg got on the end of a Hooper ball from close range.
There was a double substitution in the 68th minute as Brandon Smalley and Harry Pratt replaced Abayomi Akinwale-Samuels and James Hooper. And Less than a minute after the change, Rochdale netted their fifth of the evening as Bell slotted the ball beyond Emerton after being allowed to drift through on goal.
Rochdale were confident and comfortable, and they went on to score another four in the space of just eight minutes.
In the 79th minute, Dom Reid made it six as he fired a left footed shot into the top corner of the net, before Bell bagged his hat-trick two minutes later after latching onto the end of a Dale corner ball, which had been cleared only as far the forward.
Hasler-Cregg took his tally to four moments later and Tyler Berry rounded off proceedings three minutes before the end.
FT: ROCHDALE 9-0 NANTWICH TOWN
Dale XI: Diba, Akinwale-Samuels (Smalley 68) Sinclair, Coyne, Schorah, Kisimba, Cowan-Thompson (Berry 45), Hooper (Pratt 68), Reid, Hasler-Cregg, Bell. Subs: Lovett, Stewart.
Hasler-Cregg – 22, 40, 65, 84
Bell – 12, 69,
Reid – 79, 81
Berry - 87
Dale face Coventry City at Spotland in the second round of the competition - a date has yet to be set.