Rochdale reached the 30 point mark on Boxing Day with a 2-1 win over Blackpool, as the side recorded back-to-back league win for the first time this season.
Rochdale dominated the second half, putting Blackpool under the cosh for long spells, and deservedly found the back of the net a minute from time to secure three points.
Manager Keith Hill named an unchanged eleven for the match, with the same side that started in the win over Southend United retaining their places in the line-up.
The first real opportunity of the match went the Seasiders’ way. An initial effort across goal from Liam Feeney was pushed away by Brendan Moore, and as the ball fell to Armand Gnanduillet six-yards from goal, he could only strike his effort into the ground and wide of the target without troubling.
Minutes later and the Blackpool forward again should have done better from a ball in from the right, but he hit his shot high over the bar.
But it was Rochdale who opened the scoring in the 20th minute through Ollie Rathbone.
The midfielder started Dale’s attack with a ball over the top for Hendo to run onto, and from his squared pass, Matty Gillam was denied by the legs of Mark Howard. On the follow-up, Rathbone made no mistake as he drove home a low powerful effort into the bottom corner of the net.
Within two minutes of Rochdale breaking the deadlock, Blackpool’s Jordan Thompson was kept out by the post, and it was Thompson who saw red on the half hour mark after an alleged head-butt on Callum Camps, reducing the visitors to ten men.
But despite their numerical disadvantage, they found an equaliser seven minutes later. Gnanduillet burst into the area and pulled the ball back for Nottingham to fire home first time into the far corner.
Rathbone came close to doubling his and Dale’s tally soon after, as his effort from the edge of the area squirmed under Howard, but the Blackpool goalkeeper recovered to keep him out.
Before the half was out, Henderson had a shot spilled by the ‘keeper, while Ryan Delaney sent a speculative shot over the bar from distance, and Williams, who had a half-chance from a Henderson knockdown could only snatch at the ball as it came to him quickly and he hit over the bar.
HT | ROCHDALE 1-1 BLACKPOOL
Kgosi Ntlhe replaced Matty Gillam at the break, in Rochdale’s first change of the afternoon.
Dale dominated the second half and Matty Done, who moved up front following the substitution, curled an effort just wide shortly after the restart. Ryan Delaney also came close, heading narrowly past the upright from a corner ball.
Blackpool’s first, and only one of two, sights on goal in the second half came in the 57th minute when Gnanduillet had an effort held at the near post.
Two minutes later and Dale were in on goal again, but this time Howard pulled off a tremendous one-handed save to deny Camps.
Done then had an effort held by Howard, before a double switch followed in the 65th minute. Daniel Adshead and Williams were replaced by Bradden Inman and Calvin Andrew, respectively.
Ntlhe headed narrowly wide from a corner, while MJ Williams had an effort saved from a corner a short time later, with Done having a shot on the follow up blocked behind during an onslaught of pressure.
And as Dale continued to turn the screw on their opponents, Camps had a fierce shot kept out by the legs of Nottingham, as the Seasiders threw their bodies on the line to keep Rochdale at bay.
The midfielder came close again in the 83rd minute, with his shot from just outside the area deflected narrowly wide of the upright.
Ntlhe’s dipping effort which left Howard rooted to his spot dropped just over the bar, as Dale continued to dominate.
And it was in the 89th minute that Rochdale finally got their just reward and the goal they deserved. Henderson beat the offside trap to latch on the end of an Inman through ball and he fired beyond Howard from close range.
Dale almost added a third almost instantly, but Inman saw a shot spilled by Howard, with the ball being cleared away before Done could turn it over the line from close range.
Deep in stoppage time, Gnanduillet tried a spectacular overhead kick from a set-piece that fell kindly for him, but it flew narrowly wide.
FT | ROCHDALE 2-1 BLACKPOOL