Rochdale claimed all three points from a highly entertaining game against Shrewsbury Town on Tuesday evening.
In the high tempo encounter, Dale opened up a three goal lead during a rampant 10 minute period during the first half, however, the visitors scored twice to get back into the game before the interval.
Peter Vincenti netted after just five minutes, before Ian Henderson netted from the penalty spot seven minutes later. Jamie Allen made it three in the fifteenth minute.
The visitors pulled one back shortly after the half hour mark through Nathaniel Knight-Percival, while James Collins’ penalty four minutes before the break made for a nail-biting second half.
Manager Keith Hill made three changes to the side that started in Saturday’s defeat to Millwall. Joe Rafferty, Donal McDermott and Calvin Andrew started ahead of Matty Lund, Michael Rose and Joe Bunney.
The Gaffer has asked his side to get back to basics after the loss at the Den and Dale started the game against the Shrews with an urgency. They were playing with the same appetite, energy and hunger that has been so prevalent throughout Keith Hill’s time at the football club, and from kick-off Rochdale looked a threat as they played excellent attacking football.
In the second minute Josh Lillis comfortably saved an effort from Collins after Larnell Cole had found him inside the area, but the opening exchanges belonged to Dale as they opened up a three goal advantage during a rampant 10-minute spell.
Rochdale opened the scoring with just five minutes on the clock after Andrew worked tirelessly to win the ball on the left hand side of play. He used his strength to carry on into the area, before sending a delivery to the back post for Peter Vincenti, who finished on the angle from close range.
GOAL: Rochdale 1-0 Shrewsbury Town (Vincenti, 5 minutes)
Seven minutes later and Dale doubled their advantage from the penalty spot.
Henderson stepped up to take the resultant spot kick, sending his effort from 12-yards beyond Mark Halstead.
GOAL: Rochdale 2-0 Shrewsbury Town (Henderson, 12 minutes)
And in the fifteenth minute Rochdale added another to their tally as Allen turned home a McDermott ball with a fine finish.
Rochdale were in control and had yet to be truly tested by the opposition but shortly before the half hour mark the Shrews had their best chance of the half so far after Akpa Akpro found Collins, who only had Lillis to beat. His tame effort was sent straight at the goalkeeper, however, and in the end it was a comfortable save for the Dale stopper.
Moments later and Andrew came close to making it four for Dale, as his looping header found the top netting.
And although Rochdale had been in charge, the visitors had been growing into the game and they pulled one back in the 35 minutes after Knight-Percival headed home from a corner ball.
The goal gave the visitors an impetus and they finished the half with a flurry. Two minutes after the goal the visitors came close to adding a second as Sullay KaiKai sent a looping header into the top netting, before Akpa Akpro saw an effort flash narrowly wide.
The visitors looked a different side to the one that had started the game and in the 41st minute they netted from the penalty spot. Collins fired his penalty into the bottom corner of the net.
Dale saw out the rest of the half to take a lead into the interval.
HT: Rochdale 3-2 Shrewsbury Town
The second half was as equally entertaining as the first, and it was end to end at Spotland for the majority of the half as the two teams battled it out during an evenly matched 45 minutes.
The best of the chances saw Joe Rafferty have an effort from distance deflected narrowly wide of the upright, while KaiKai’s drive from the edge area shortly after the hour mark was saved by Lillis.
There was plenty of attacking intent from both sides, however, the defences, who had much to do, stood strong, meaning clear cut opportunities were at a premium. Nonetheless, it was an entertaining display from the two teams during the high tempo encounter.
Manager Keith Hill opted for a double substitution in the 74th minute as Joe Bunney and Matty Lund were introduced to the action. They replaced McDermott and goal-scorer Allen.
Rochdale continued their search for the goal which would seal the win, while the visitors applied the pressure for the equaliser, but in the end it was Dale who secured all three points from the fixture.
FT: Rochdale 3-2 Shrewsbury Town