Rochdale were 2-1 winners over Carlisle United at Radcliffe Borough on Tuesday afternoon. The goals from Harry Pratt and Jack Stewart earned Dale their first win of the league season.
Dale took a deserved lead into the interval after a dominant and comfortable first half.
Rochdale started the game with the same high tempo seen through-out the half, and after showing plenty of attacking intent during the opening exchanges, Jack Stewart had the first real opportunity on goal in the 12th minute. He curled his effort wide of the upright after travelling through one on one with the goalkeeper.
A goal always looked to be on the cards for the hard-working Dale side and it came with a quarter of an hour played. After sustained pressure inside the area, the ball eventually fell kindly for Pratt, who finished from close range to net a deserved opener.
A minute later, Jordan Prescott was denied on the line by the leg of the outstretching ‘keeper.
Dale had several opportunities at goal after the half hour mark, while limiting Carlisle United to one shot on goal via set pieces.
In the 32nd minute Brandon Smalley sent an effort just inches wide of the target, after sending a shot across the face of goal, before the visitors sent a free-kick narrowly over the cross bar.
Five minutes from half-time, Japhet Mata was through on goal, but he dragged his effort wide. A minute later Tyler Berry also sent a shot narrowly wide of the target.
HT: Rochdale 1-0 Carlisle United
The visitors were much improved after the break and had opportunities to draw level before netting an equaliser, albeit fortuitously, on the hour.
The Dale ‘keeper cleared a short back pass into the path of an opponent and could do nothing as the ball ricocheted off the Carlisle player and into the back of the net.
Rochdale kept probing, though, and dominated for the final 20-25 minutes of the match.
They also had a strong penalty appeal turned down in the 69th minute, despite Prescott being bundled over inside the area.
Rochdale had to be patient as they attempted to find a way past a resolute Carlisle defence, but the winning goal came five minutes from time when Jack Stewart finished low into the back of the net.
FT: Rochdale 2-1 Carlisle United