On a night when Daniel Adshead became Dale’s youngest ever debutant, Rochdale secured three points from their opening Checkatrade Trophy group stage tie with a comprehensive 4-0 victory over Bury.
Joe Bunney opened the scoring early in the first half, and Bradden Inman netted twice to ensure Dale took a comfortable 3-0 lead into the interval. Ian Henderson added to Dale’s tally six minutes into the second half to round off the scoring.
Manager Keith Hill made six changes in total for the match at Gigg Lane. Academy midfielder Adshead, who celebrated his 16th birthday earlier this month, became the youngest ever player to play a competitive game for the club, at the age of 16 and years and 17 days, with Ian Henderson, who was returning from suspension, also named amongst those in the eleven.
Rochdale opened the scoring twelve minutes into the match, when left-back Joe Bunney sent a right-footed shot beyond Leo Fasan from 12-yards after a neat one-two with Bradden Inman.
Six minutes later, Inman turned from provider to goal scorer as he doubled Dale’s advantage. After an assist from Adshead, the on loan Peterborough United forward struck past Fasan with an excellent finish.
The goal sparked a couple of frantic minutes in the game, during which the home side had a few chances chances. Josh Lillis turned an effort from Tsun Dai round the upright, before Ryan Lowe’s powerful strike was kept out by the post.
Moments later, Neil Danns squandered a golden opportunity. After Lillis had initially kept out Mihai Dobre, the ball fell to Danns, who blasted over the bar.
Despite the short period of threat from the Shakers, it was Dale who went to net a third in the 35th minute, as Inman struck for a second time.
Joe Rafferty picked him out with a log ball over the top, and after latching onto the end of it, Inman powered past his marker and made no mistake as he put the ball past the Bury goalkeeper.
HT: BURY 0-3 ROCHDALE
Sustained pressure during the opening exchanges of the second half resulted in Dale adding a fourth to their tally.
Getting on the end of a through ball from M.J. Williams, Henderson ran up the left before cutting inside and placing his effort in off the post after finishing across goal.
Dale’s first substitution of the game followed soon after, as Henderson was replaced by Jordan Slew, who proved to be a handful for the Shakers, being brought down on two occasions on the edge of the area within minutes of his introduction.
Shortly after the hour mark, Lillis was called into action for the first time during the second half, as he tipped a ferocious set-piece strike from Dobre over the bar.
Bunney then sent a Dale free-kick straight through the Shakers wall, catching out Fasan who failed to hold, but despite initially spilling, he recovered quickly to prevent Slew getting a decisive touch to send the ball over the line.
Dale’s latest recruit tested the Bury goalkeeper again moments later, after running onto a long ball forward from Bunney, he forced Fasan into a save at his near post. From the resulting corner, Fasan parried away a M.J. Williams shot.
Inman was replaced by Andy Cannon, before M.J Williams made way for Oliver Rathbone a short-time later.
With the game out of sight, Rochdale were happy to keep possession and control the game, comfortably seeing the match out, and securing three points in their opening Checkatrade Trophy Group C match.
FT: BURY 0-4 ROCHDALE