Record breakers: Dale achive best ever League 1 points total...
Rochdale finished the 2015-16 campaign with a 2-1 win over Colchester United at the Weston Homes Community Stadium.
Goals from Nathaniel Mendez-Laing and Calvin Andrew secured the three points, which saw Dale achieve their highest ever League 1 points total.
Mendez-Laing opened the scoring in the 18th minute, before Joe Edwards levelled the scoring early in the second half.
Calvin Andrew claimed the points for Rochdale with a wonderful strike in the 69th minute.
There were two changes to the side that lined up against Swindon Town last week. Niall Canavan and Michael Rose were replaced by Olly Lancashire and Matty Lund.
The home-side had the first opportunity of the game after just two minutes when Macauley Bonne beat the offside trap.
Going through one on one with Josh Lillis, he had time to pick his place, but instead waited before delivering across goal where Andy Cannon defended behind for a corner.
The U’s enjoyed plenty of the ball during the opening exchanges but Dale looked comfortable as they soaked up the pressure, limiting the home-side’s chances on goal.
Dale carved out their own opportunities, though, with their first chance of the match coming in the eighth minute - Joe Bunney had his scuffed effort blocked a couple of yards from the line.
Rochdale went on to dominate for a 25 minute spell, during which they opened the scoring.
In the 18th minute, Mendez-Laing won the ball in midfield, before playing a one-two with Ian Henderson and coolly slotting into the bottom corner of the net.
GOAL: COLCHESTER UNITED 0-1 ROCHDALE (Mendez-Laing, 18 minutes)
Shortly after the half hour mark, a long ball forward caught Lillis out and he was left stranded. Off his line, he raced to close down Bonne. But despite being left with an empty goal, he could only lob his effort into the top of the net.
Three minutes later, Donal McDermott forced James Bransgrove into a save as turned and sent a shot from 22-yards at goal. The ‘keeper dived to his left, getting a hand to the effort to deny him.
Soon after, the Irishman was replaced by Calvin Andrew, as Chris Beech made his first substitution of the game.
HT: COLCHESTER UNITED 0-1 ROCHDALE
Colchester started the second half brightly, and eight minutes after the re-start, they levelled the scoring through a fine finish by Joe Edwards.
After the goal, there was an urgency about Dale’s play and they went on to ask the majority of the questions.
In the 55th minute, Bransgrove denied Andrew, who powered a close range point blank header at goal after latching on the end of a Henderson delivery.
Seven minutes later, Mendez-Laing came agonisingly close as his effort, which he rifled across goal, curled wide of the upright at the last second.
Dale regained the lead in the 69th minute thanks to Andrew’s wonderful strike.
The forward had an initial effort blocked, but he worked exceptionally hard to win back possession before curling his strike into the top right hand corner of the net, leaving the goalkeeper with no chance.
GOAL: COLCHESTER UNITED 1-2 ROCHDALE (Andrew, 69 minutes)
Soon after the goal, Peter Vincenti replaced Mendez-Laing, and Dale went in search of a third.
Vincenti struck an effort from distance narrowly wide of the post, before Andy Cannon sent a powerful effort just over the bar. Camps then saw an effort flash wide of the target in stoppage time.
FT: COLCHESTER UNITED 1-2 ROCHDALE
Rochdale Football Club would like to thank the 209 Dale fans who made the trip for the match. Thanks for your support!