The Youth Team kicked off pre-season in fine style, with a 3-1 victory over Rotherham United.
Goals from Neil Kuemo, Florian Yonsian and Elliott Murray sealed a deserved victory for Chris Brown’s side, who had fallen behind midway through the first half.
The opening to the game was a scrappy affair, as both sides settled into their first fixture of the pre-season campaign.
Dale created the first chance of the game, when Harrison Hopper’s close-range volley was turned over by The Millers’ goalkeeper.
From the resulting corner, Yonsian headed goalwards from a central position, but didn’t connect properly and the save was comfortable.
Kuemo shot wide of the far post shortly after, but just before the half hour mark Dale fell behind.
An excellent cross from the right wing was headed into the top corner to break the deadlock, leaving Dale stopper Bradley Wade with no chance.
Just a minute later the visitors had a great chance to double their lead, when a deep cross was turned goal-wards at the back post. However, Wade showed great reactions to save with his legs from point blank range.
It proved to be an important save, as Dale equalised five minutes later through Kuemo.
A deflected shot from Murray fell to Kuemo, who struck first time with his left foot, bending his effort inside the far post from just inside the area.
From that moment on, Dale were on top. Murray fired a couple of efforts wide before the break, before Fabio Tavares came inches away from a tap-in at the beginning of the second half.
Kuemo did superbly down the right side to beat his man before playing a delicious ball across the six-yard box, but Tavares, agonisingly, was inches away from making contact for what would have been a certain goal.
Kuemo, who was having a fine game, forced the visiting goalkeeper into a save when his curling effort was comfortably held, before Tavares found himself one-on-one with the stopper. He broke behind the Rotherham back line and attempted to chip the goalkeeper from the edge of the area, but his effort dropped the wrong side of the post.
Murray was replaced by Farhan Subhani with 20 minutes remaining, and just two minutes later Dale edged ahead.
James Neild picked up on a loose ball and drove out to the right side, where he delivered a cross which was met by the diving Yonsian, who despatched a superb glancing header into the bottom corner.
Academy players Charlie Leech and Luke Adderly replaced Juwan Hamzat and Yonsian shortly after the second goal, whilst Murray also returned the action, replacing Hopper.
Murray made an almost instant impact on his return to the fray, as he netted Dale’s third to seal the victory.
He shifted the ball past a Rotherham defender onto his left foot, and struck a powerful effort into the bottom right corner from 25 yards.
It put the gloss on a strong Dale performance, which sees them kick-off pre-season in fine fashion.
Dale XI: Wade, Appiah, Hamzat, Neild, Ward, Renner, Kuemo, Hopper, Tavares, Murray, Yonsian.
Subs: Leech, Adderly, Subhani.