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Blackpool 0-2 Rochdale: Report

15 August 2015

Dale ran out 2-0 winners at Bloomfield Road to make it two out of two at the start of the season for the first time in sixteen years.
The first half was a quiet affair, but kicked into life after the break when Donal McDermott struck just before the hour mark.
Ian Henderson made sure of all three points late on after capitalising on a defensive error to finish calmly.
Keith Hill stuck with the same side that started the game against Coventry City in midweek. Josh Lillis was in goal, with Joe Rafferty, Oliver Lancashire, Jimmy McNulty and Tom Kennedy across the defence. Jamie Allen, Callum Camps and Donal McDermott were the three in midfield, with Peter Vincenti and Joe Bunney wide. Ian Henderson was on his own up front.
Dale fans travelled in strong numbers, selling out the away allocation with more being turned away. They were in fine voice too, despite a quiet first half on the pitch in which Dale made most of the running.
Henderson had the first effort of the game after a pull back from McDermott, with Kyle Letheren tipping round the post.
Kennedy had to be taken off early on after picking up a knock in a challenge with former Dale man Jack Redshaw. Michael Rose came on to replace him.
Keith Hill’s men looked the most likely to trouble the scoreline in a first half that lacked the excitement of Tuesday night’s cup victory. Bunney shot into the side netting from a Camps clip over the top, while McDermott had an effort from range that was straight at Letheren.
Only half chances for Dale, whilst Blackpool tried to build up a head of steam but were being rebuffed by Dale’s strong defence.
McDermott found the side netting after a flick from Bunney, as Dale kept on trying to force the initiative. 
They had to be alert at the back though, especially as the half opened up towards the interval. A good run from Mark Cullen saw him one-on-one with Lillis, but the Dale stopper was out quick to make a good save.
The second half was also a slow burner, but Dale soon moved up a gear to take the game to the hosts. Bunney turned into space and ran at the defence, before forcing Letheren into a tip round the post with a drive from distance.
The travelling fans didn’t have to wait long to see their side take the lead though, and it came from new fan favourite McDermott. He latched onto a ball over the top and finished with a crisp strike under the body of the home goalkeeper to send the Dale fans behind that goal into raptures.
Rhys Bennet was being readied before the goal, and he replaced Camps straight away much to the delight of the Dale fans after a spell on the sideline with a broken arm.
The change saw Allen move forward as Bennett sat deep, allowing Dale to stroke the ball about confidently and control the tempo.
David Ferguson and Brad Potts had efforts from distance well wide of the target for the home side, whilst Vincenti had an effort cleared off the line from a corner at the other end.
McDermott’s set pieces are another great asset to Dale’s play, and his wicked free-kick evaded everyone but the goalkeeper who did well to keep the ball out.
Then came Blackpool’s best chance of the game with ten minutes remaining. Henry Cameron’s cross from the right found the head of Potts who was steaming in, but he headed wide of Lillis’ right post when he should have scored.
It was a let off from Dale, but one they duly made the home side pay for. Lillis’ long kick was poorly dealt with by Lloyd Jones, allowing Henderson to steal in. The Dale forward took a touch and calmly lifted the ball over the onrushing Letheren to seal the game for Dale.
It capped another great performance from Dale, who had Lillis to thank for keeping their clean sheet intact when he saved well from Potts’ late effort.
Dale held on comfortably to seal victory and keep going their 100% record. We welcome Walsall on Tuesday night at Spotland. We hope to see 

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