Rochdale started their League One campaign with two straight defeats – Peterborough United at Spotland (0-1) and Chesterfield at the Proact Stadium (2-1), but went on to secure their first points of the season with an emphatic 5-2 win over Crewe Alexandra at Gresty Road.
The team selection for the midweek fixture raised a few eye brows as Manager Keith Hill named an eleven with no recognised striker, but any fears over where the goals might come from were soon quashed as left-back Matty Done, who started the game in a forward role, went on to net a hat-trick and earn Dale their first victory of the campaign.
Crewe had taken the lead ten minutes into the game through Marcus Haber, but Dale drew level just after the half hour mark through Ian Henderson after great work from Jamie Allen. Done put Rochdale ahead just before the break with a tap-in from a Henderson low cross, before he made it three after the break, pouncing on a Crewe mistake. Haber headed a goal back for the home-side, but Peter Vincenti restored the two goal lead with a drive from the edge of the area. Done completed his hat-trick and Dale's scoring with a powerful fifth after linking up with Henderson again, to round off a fantastic team performance.
You can watch the goals from Dale’s win over Crewe Alex HERE.
A 1-1 draw with promotion favourites Bristol City followed. A first half goal from the Robins’ Luke Freeman and Ian Henderson's second half equaliser saw the two sides share the points in a thrilling encounter at Spotland. It was a valuable point for Dale, but deep in stoppage they came within a finger-tip save of securing all three points. Rhys Bennett's early ball from the right hand side had looped off the out-stretched leg of a Bristol City defender, towards Henderson, who sent a diving header goal-wards. His contact was clean and the ball was heading across 'keeper Frank Fielding and into the bottom corner, but somehow the Robins stopper managed to change direction and get down low to tip the ball round the post and rescue a point for his team.
August ended with a 2-0 defeat at home to Bradford City. Two goals in six second half minutes proved to be the difference between the two sides as the clinical Bantams claimed the points, despite a strong showing from Keith Hill’s side.