Rochdale progressed to Round Two of the Carabao Cup, with a 2-0 win over Grimsby Town.
Ollie Rathbone scored both goals in the victory at Blundell Park.
He opened the scoring in the first half, latching onto a Harrison McGahey ball over the top and coolly finishing across goal and beyond James McKeown in the Mariners net. He doubled Dale’s advantaged in the second half, firing a powerful snapshot from distance into the bottom corner.
Manager Keith Hill made five changes to the side that lined-up against Peterborough United at the weekend.
Rochdale took a 1-0 lead into the break thanks to Rathbone’s goal six minutes before the interval, but the hosts also had opportunities in an entertaining first half.
Dale dominated the opening exchanges, penning the hosts into their own half, but after Andy Cannon had hit wide of the target on 21 minutes, the home side grew into the game and came within inches of taking the lead a short time later. Alex Whitmore sent a looping header at goal from a corner ball, but the deflected effort came off the outside of the post. Mariner skipper John Welsh then flashed a strike wide of the upright.
His counterpart, Ian Henderson, was denied by the legs of McKeown at the near post soon after the half hour, while Kgosi Ntlhe hit an effort, which was always rising, over the bar.
And before the half was out, Rochdale went ahead. Rathbone beat the offside trap to latch onto the end of a Harrison McGahey ball over the top, and after running in on goal, he finished across McKeown and into the bottom-left corner of the net.
In stoppage time, there were shouts for a handball inside the area as Henderson’s shot from a Joe Rafferty delivery came off, what looked like, the arm of a Grimsby player, but there was nothing given.
HT | GRIMSBY TOWN 0-1 ROCHDALE
After the break, Rochdale started brightly, setting the tone for the rest of the half, and had three opportunities within the opening five minutes.
Cannon had a shot held by McKeown, while Rathbone came close to doubling his tally for the evening, going for goal from a Rochdale free-kick on the corner of the 18-yard box. His effort, aimed for the top corner, dropped just over the cross bar. Ntlhe then rose highest to meet a Henderson delivery to the back post but couldn’t keep his header on target.
Calvin Andrew was denied by the woodwork a short time later. He got on the end of a Rafferty free-kick, but saw his effort come off the upright before being scrambled away.
The hosts did have an opportunity, though, and McGahey was in the right place at the right time to clear away Whitmore’s headed effort from a Hessenthaler set-piece, which look destined for the back of the net, on the line.
The first substitutions of the game followed, as Matty Done and Aaron Wilbraham replaced Cannon and Andrew.
And Wilbraham was involved in Dale’s second of the evening. From his lay-off, Rathbone struck a powerful snapshot from 22-yards into the bottom corner of the net.
Before the half was out Danny Collins hit over on the half volley, but that was it for the game, and Rochdale were deserved 2-0 winners.