Dale kicked off phase two of their pre-season programme on Sunday with a friendly against AFC Fylde.
A Coasters spot kick proved to be the only goal of the game at Kellamergh Park.
As announced by Manager Keith Hill earlier in the week, all available first team players featured in the match against the non-league side, and it was a game of two halves for Rochdale, with different elevens named for each half (see below).
Dale, who returned from the pre-season trip to Tenerife on Thursday, started brightly and in the opening five minutes had to two opportunities on goal.
With four minutes on the clock Peter Vincenti had a volley blocked on the line after a getting on the end of a cross to the back post from Reuben Noble-Lazarus.
A minute later and Dale had the ball in the back of the net, but it wouldn’t count. Calvin Andrew capitalised on a misplaced clearance from goalkeeper Ben Hinchliffe, flicking the ball into the path of Joe Rafferty, who finished past the ‘keeper. Unfortunately, it was ruled out for offside.
Keith Hill’s side were seeing plenty of the ball and another misplaced clearance from Hinchcliffe led to Hendo firing a shot goal-wards from distance. His looping effort dipped narrowly over the bar.
The home side were coping well with the Dale threat, but failed to cause too many problems during the opening exchanges.
As the half progressed, their most notable chances fell to Sean Williams, Joe Whittington and Matt Hughes.
Williams fired over the bar from distance, before Whittington flashed an effort narrowly wide of the upright from a free-kick.
Shortly after the half hour mark, Hughes had the Coasters’ best opportunity of the half. He used his quick feet and trickery to weave his way inside the area and unleashed a powerful effort, but was kept out by Lillis, who saved confidently to his right.
In the 40th minute, Rafferty who was heading through on goal at pace, curled an effort wide of the upright, before Dale were awarded a free-kick on the edge of the area moments later. Reuben Noble-Lazarus delivered into the area and while Vincenti and Andrew both got up for it, Fylde headed away.
The half came to an end shortly afterwards, with the teams going in level at the break.
HT: AFC FYLDE 0-0 ROCHDALE
It was all change for Dale at half time. All eleven players who started the game were substituted at the interval.
There was little in the way of clear cut opportunities during the opening exchanges of the second half, with Lewis Alessandra having the first sight on goal after closing in on the ‘keeper in the 55th minute. Under pressure from Dale’s summer signing, Hinchcliffe spilled a long ball, but he responded well and gathered before Alessandra could get a shot away.
Four minutes later, the Coasters’ Richie Baker headed wide after getting on the end of a cross into the box from Casper Hughes.
Shortly after the hour mark, Billy Hasler-Cregg sent a dangerous fizzing shot across the face of goal. Callum Camps came charging in, but was unable to get there and the ball bounced harmlessly out of play.
Moments later and Johny Diba was forced into a save by Dion Charles, who struck well.
In the 68th minute the home side were awarded a penalty for a pull on Danny Loyd. Richie Allen stepped up to take the spot kick and fired low into the bottom corner of the net to open the scoring.
GOAL: AFC FYLDE 1-0 ROCHDALE
The game had been fairly even before the penalty and it continued in the same manner for the rest of the half. There was plenty of huff and puff from both sides after the goal, with neither causing too much of a threat.
Nyal Bell struck a cross-come-shot into the side netting, before Charles made the most of catching Tom Kennedy in possession, as he travelled through one on one with Diba after pinching the ball off the centre-half. In the end, the Fylde forward could only send a weak effort at the ‘keeper, who saved comfortably.
As the half continued, Michael Rose curled a free-kick from 30-yards round the upright, before Bell saw an effort from a Dale corner ball cleared away from inside the six yard box in the dying minutes of the match.
FT: AFC Fylde 1-0 Rochdale
First half XI: Lillis, Rafferty, Lund, BBM, Tanser, Allen, RNL, Vincenti, Bunney, Andrew, Hendo.
Second half XI: Diba, Cannon, Lancashire, TK, Rose, McDermott, Camps, Alessandra, Hooper, Hasler-Cregg, Bell.