The Youth Team began 2018 with an emphatic 4-0 victory over local rivals Bury in the EFL Youth Alliance Cup.
First-half goals from Florian Yonsian and Lewis Bradley, followed by goals from Fabio Tavares and Musambya Kisimba after the break, ensured they picked up where they left off before the Christmas break.
Dale started strongly and took a deserved lead in the 17th minute. Nathaniel Appiah’s cross was laid off by Tavares into the path of Dan Adshead, who saw his shot from the edge of the area saved by Scott Moloney.
However, the Bury stopper couldn’t hold on to the effort, allowing Yonsian to turn home the loose ball.
Adshead was inches away from doubling the lead shortly afterwards, after good interplay between himself and Tavares led to a low effort from just inside the area which flew the wrong side of the post.
The lead was doubled in the 22nd minute thanks to a fine strike from Bradley. Good team play led to Bradley receiving the ball on the right side.
He drove forward before letting fly, with his dipping effort cannoning in off the inside of the far post.
Florent Hoti struck the woodwork with a fine effort from 25-yards just before the half hour mark, the ball thudding off the top of the crossbar.
Adshead forced the Bury stopper into another save just before the break, saving a low shot with his legs after Tavares had fed a through ball to the midfielder.
Hoti saw an effort deflected just wide after the break, whilst Tavares fired wide from 12-yards out when he should have hit the target.
However, he wasn’t to be denied five minutes later, when he grabbed Dale’s third. A drove into the area, committed the goalkeeper who he rounded, before slotting home from ten-yards.
Dale ended the game with five under-16’s on the pitch after Morgan Piper, Sam Kilner, Charley Leech and Kisimba had been brought on, along with first-year scholar Louis White.
There was time for another just five minutes before the end, through substitute Kisimba who nodded in a poacher’s effort at the back post.
Tavares was denied in the final minute when he saw an effort tipped on to the upright, as Dale saw out their four-goal lead to claim a convincing victory.
Dale XI: Wade (Piper), Appiah, Neild (Kilner), Renner, Hamzat (Leech), Morley, Hoti (White), Adshead, Bradley, Yonsian (Kisimba), Tavares.
Subs: Piper, Kilner, Leech, White, Kisimba.