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Rochdale 4-0 Crewe Alex: Report

3 March 2015

Dale returned to winning ways with an emphatic and fully deserved 4-0 victory over Crewe Alexandra.

Two goals from the penalty spot for Ian Henderson and a brace for Joe Bunney gave Dale the three points on what was a cold and wet Tuesday night at Spotland.

Manager Keith Hill named an unchanged side from that which started against league leaders Bristol City at the weekend. Jamie Jones was handed his home debut in goal for the Dale after joining on loan from Preston last week. 

Dales best early chances arrived from two Michael Rose free kicks. His first effort from 35 yards required a smart stop from Rachubka to tip it around the post. His second from 10 yards closer had the Crewe goalkeeper scrambling across his line but the result was the same as he just about got across to tip the ball round the post with it destined for the bottom corner.

Rose obviously fancied his chances from distance as, this time from open play, he looked to loop a first time effort over the goalkeeper. Peter Vincenti lay the ball off to Rose on the edge of the box but he saw his shot swing wide of the post with the 'keeper beaten. 

However, Dale deservedly found the opener from the penalty spot after Joe Rafferty turned well to draw the foul from John Guthrie just inside the area. Henderson stepped up for the penalty and expertly found the bottom corner, well out of the reach of Rachubka who had guessed the right way. 

Dale came close to doubling their advantage shortly after, as Jack O'Connell saw his goal-bound header hooked off the line having risen well to get on the end of a Michael Rose corner.

 HALF TIME: Rochdale 1-0 Crewe Alexandra

Dale did double their advantage little over ten minutes into the second half as Joe Bunney lashed home confidently. Ian Henderson had seen his shot blocked on the edge of the box, but the ball fell kindly for Bunney who drilled a low, angled effort across goal which nestled into the bottom corner.

Another brilliant opportunity fell for Bunney after some tenacious work by Jamie Allen to win the ball in the Crewe box. Allen was eventually tackled but the ball broke to Bunney who looked to outmanoeuvre Rachubka but the goalkeeper got down well to smother the ball. 

Ian Henderson got himself another goal from the penalty spot after Bunney this time was clattered by Anthony Grant in the box. Henderson stepped up and confidently drilled the ball into the exact same spot as his first - low to the goalkeepers left. 

With ten minutes to go, Bunney joined Henderson on a brace as he showed great composure to slot home his second of the game. Allen drove at the Crewe defence and picked out Bunney's run into the box with a neat through ball. With just Rachubka to beat, Bunney stroked the ball past the sprawling goalkeeper and into the bottom corner. 

Henderson looked to find his hat-trick as he twisted and turned his way into the box from the left wing but his attempt to curl the ball into the far corner was just too close to Rachubka who caught the ball comfortably.

FULL TIME: Rochdale 4-0 Crewe Alexandra

Report by Rob Anderson

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