Rochdale progressed to the second round of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy on Tuesday evening with a comfortable 3-0 win over Crewe Alexandra.
Goals from Matty Done, Peter Vincenti and Calvin Andrew meant a second win in as many weeks for Dale over the Railwaymen.
There were three changes to the side that lined up against Bradford City on Saturday with Jack O’Connell, who arrived on loan from Blackburn Rovers on Monday, going straight into the eleven. Shamir Fenelon was handed his first start for the club, while Stephen Dawson completed the changes. They replaced Tom Kennedy, Rhys Bennett and Ian Henderson.
Matty Done was the hat-trick hero when Dale visited Gresty Road a fortnight ago in the league and he was on the score-sheet once again as he broke the deadlock shortly before the interval.
As Dale patiently worked to create an opening, they always looked a threat, and were the first to test.
With almost a quarter of an hour gone, an excellent movement forward saw Scott Tanser deliver a ball into the area for Fenelon, who fired over the bar, on the turn, from six yards.
Two minutes later, though, the home side’s Grant saw a deflected snap shot flash narrowly past the upright.
Dale continued to pressurise, and in the 23rd minute Stephen Dawson, who was playing the advanced midfield role, made a fantastic run forward to go through one on one with Scott Shearer. He only had the ‘keeper to beat, however Shearer stood strong before denying the Irish man with a superb save.
And it was shortly before the interval that Done opened the scoring. A ball from Dawson was knocked into the six yard box by Rafferty for the awaiting Done, who headed beyond the goalkeeper.
GOAL: CREWEW ALEX 0-1 ROCHDALE (Done, 42 mins)
Rochdale took the deserved lead into the break.
HT: CREWE ALEX 0-1 ROCHDALE
There were no changes for Dale at the start of the second half, however Callum Camps was introduced onto the field of play in the 51st minute, replacing Fenelon.
Crewe were much improved on their first half showing, and after a lively and promising start, they were denied by the woodwork on the hour mark following their best move of the game.
Anthony Grant, who had beaten Logan, was kept out by the foot of the post, before Billy Waters fired over the bar on the re-bound.
With the home side unable to make the opportunity count, they were punished moments later as an unmarked Vincenti headed in off the underside of the bar from a Jamie Allen corner to open up a two goal advantage.
GOAL: CREWE ALEX 0-2 ROCHDALE (Vincenti, 63 mins)
Dale’s second substitution of the evening soon followed, with Done making way for Calvin Andrew, who went on to net the side’s third and final goal of the tie.
He seized on an error from Shearer, and struck beyond him into an empty net from 20 yards with just minutes of the match remaining.
GOAL: CREWE ALEX 0-3 ROCHDALE (ANDREW, 88 mins)
It finished Crewe Alex 0, Rochdale 3.