The Youth Team ran out convincing 4-0 winners over Port Vale in the EFL Youth Alliance League.
Two goals in each half sealed Dale’s second win of the League season in awful conditions. Lewis Bradley and Daniel Adshead scored in the first period, and goals from Neil Kuemo and Florian Yonsian in the second half sealed the victory.
Dale’s first came after just four minutes, when Bradley scored his second of the season, turning home Kuemo’s pull back from the left of the area.
The hosts attempted to hit back straight away, sending well execute volley just over the crossbar from 25 yards.
Aaron Morley fizzed a free-kick narrowly over the crossbar for Dale, shortly before Adshead almost doubled the lead. He picked up on a poor pass out from the Vale goalkeeper, who just got back in time to turn Adshead’s curling effort around the post.
Brad Wade turned a Vale effort around the post to keep Dale ahead, and it proved to be an important stop as they doubled the lead on the stroke of half-time.
A fine passing move in the final third led to Fabio Tavares finding Adshead, who calmly slotted beyond the goalkeeper.
The hosts had the opening chances of the second period, heading a free-kick wide and sending a long range effort well over, but ten minutes after the break Dale all but sealed the win.
Joe Renner slipped a great through ball into the path of Kuemo, who drove into the box and finished at the near post for Dale’s third.
Isaac Ward made a superb goalline clearance just after the hour mark, when a Vale man had beaten got past Wade and fired goalwards, but the Dale defender cleared from the under the crossbar with a diving header.
Wade was called into action at his near post, saving strongly from a one-on-one.
Floren Hoti, Louis White and Yonsian replaced Bradley, Harrison Hopper and Tavares in the final quarter of the game, and Yonsian bagged Dale’s fourth with 12 minutes remaining.
He received the ball to feet inside the area and dribbled past the goalkeeper, who brought him down. Yonsian stepped up to take the resulting penalty, sending the ‘keeper the wrong way.
Juwon Hamzat and James Neild replaced Keith Kearney and Nathaniel Appiah in the final ten minutes, as Dale saw out the game, holding on to the four-goal lead and clean sheet comfortably.