A stunning set-piece from Callum Camps saw Dale take the derby day spoils in a 1-0 victory over Bury.
Camps’ 35 yard free-kick in first half stoppage time was too powerful for Joe Murphy, and proved to be the only goal of a closely fought derby at Gigg Lane.
Keith Hill made three changes from Saturday’s match at Shrewsbury Town. Joe Bunney, Keith Keane and Jamie Allen returned the starting line-up, replacing Ollie Rathbone, Matthew Lund and Donal McDermott.
Bury’s leading scorer James Vaughan forced Conrad Logan into his first save of the game, doing well to get a shot on target whilst lying on the floor after his first attempt was blocked at source.
Nathaniel Mendez-Laing’s surging run into the area saw him pull the ball back to Calvin Andrew, whose shot from the edge of the six yard box was well blocked.
Shortly afterwards in the 15th minute, the whole ground rose as one to applaud Dale player and former Shaker Joe Thompson, in support of his battle against cancer.
The hosts best chance of the first half came shortly before the half hour mark, when Tom Pope headed Jacob Mellis’ corner goalwards, only to see it headed off the line by the perfectly placed Mendez-Laing.
And it was Mendez-Laing who forced Joe Murphy into his first save of the game shortly before the break. His deep cross was met by Henderson, whose blocked header fell to Bunney on the edge of the area. His shot was also blocked into the path of Mendez-Laing, who bamboozled Greg Leigh before seeing his powerful effort turned over the bar by Joe Murphy.
Murphy was beaten in stoppage time of the first half though, as he couldn’t keep out Camps’ stunning free-kick which broke the deadlock. Allen was fouled 35 yards from goal, and Camps stepped up with a sweetly struck drive which was too powerful for the Bury stopper, flying through his hands into the back of the net.
It was the last action of the first period, and Dale also started the second strongly. Bunney ghosted past Paul Caddis on the Dale left and pulled a ball back to Andrew, who got a feint touch on the ball as it flashed across the face of goal.
Reece Brown lashed an effort well over for the home side, before Pope headed a Mellis cross on to the roof of the net as they searched for a way back into the game, only to come up against a Dale defence determined not to let them through.
The Bunney to Andrew combination was inches away from yielding a goal when the latter was so close to getting on the end of a teasing cross.
Rafferty and Allen were replaced by Andy Cannon and Rathbone inside a final fifteen minutes which petered out as Dale held strong and were always comfortable defending any Bury attacks.
Camps sent a free-kick from a similar position goalwards, this time taking a deflection off the top of the wall and behind for a corner.
Steven Davies replaced Keane with the final substitution in four minutes of added time, which Dale saw out without any problems, holding on to a hard fought derby day victory.