A second half goal from Shay McCarten separated the two sides as Accrington Stanley emerged as 1-0 winners over Dale in a pre-season friendly on Tuesday evening.
Manager Keith Hill made nine changes to the side that started against Huddersfield Town on Saturday – Josh Lillis and Ashley Eastham were the only two who lined up against the Terriers to be named in the eleven at the Store First Stadium.
Clear cut opportunities were at premium during the first half, with the two sides limited to one real chance each.
Two minutes into the game, Donal McDermott forced Ross Etheridge into an excellent save. The forward’s effort from around 30-yards was turned round the upright by the ‘keeper, who saved to his right.
Nine minutes later and Stanley were denied by the woodwork. A Josh Windass free-kick was met by Tom Davies, who could only watch on his effort came crashing back off the cross bar.
The rest of the half was limited to set-piece and speculative efforts and the teams went into the interval yet to break the dead-lock.
HT: Accrington Stanley 0-0 Rochale
The second half produced a high tempo affair and the home-side had several opportunities during the opening exchanges.
Two minutes after the re-start Windass sent a shot-come-cross across the face of goal. It was a dangerous ball, but it evaded everyone and ran out of play on the opposite side.
Moments later, Dale’s McDermott fired over the bar from the edge of the area, before Lillis kept out Windass, who was sent through on goal by Terry Gornell.
In the 53rd minute, Eastham was on hand to provide an important and timely block as he closed down a powerful Matt Crooks effort from inside the area.
Shortly before the hour mark Stanley made five changes and substitute Billy Kee was immediately involved as he threw a diving header at goal with his first touch of the game. It was sent narrowly wide of the upright, but should he have found the target, it wouldn’t have counted as the flag was up against off-side.
Joe Bunney then sent an effort into the side netting after getting on the end of a Scott Tanser cross, but it was the home-side who deservedly opened the scoring minutes later.
Lillis had parried away an initial shot from Piero Mingoia, who had charged up the right hand side, but couldn’t keep out Shay McCarten who fired an excellent follow up strike into the back of the net.
GOAL: Accrington Stanley 1-0 Rochdale (McCarten, 65)
Three minutes after the goal, substitute goalkeeper Jason Mooney tipped a McDermott free-kick over the bar.
In the dying moments of the game, Henderson pressured the ‘keeper who did well to block a close range turn and shot from Hendo.
FT: Accrington Stanley 1-0 Rochdale
Dale XI v Accrington Stanley: Lillis, Cannon, Eastham, Lancashire, McNulty, Tanser, Allen, McDermott, Vincenti, Bunney, Henderson.
Subs: Alessandra, RNL, Rose, Bell, BHC, Hooper, Camps, Collis, Kennedy