The Youth Team came from behind to beat Walsall 4-1 on Tuesday afternoon, in poor weather conditions.
At a rain lashed Bower Fold, a double from Lewis Bradley and goals from Florian Yonsian and Fabio Tavares sealed the three league points for Dale, who dominated the second half after an evenly matches first period.
Florent Hoti had the first real opportunity of the game, when, after a well-worked move into the area, he flashed an effort narrowly wide of the upright on seven minutes.
The Saddlers were in on goal a couple of minutes later, Alex McMcSkeane, in one-on-one with Bradley Wade was kept out at the near post the Dale ‘keeper, who got down to stick out a foot and see away the danger.
Tom Leak sent a powerful header at goal from a corner, before Walsall opened the scoring in the 17th minute. A shot from the edge of the area took a wicked deflection off Joe Dunne, and the ball looped up and over Wade.
Shortly after the half hour, Dale had their best chance of the match so far, when Yonsian caused problems up the right to get to the byline and cut the ball back for Hoti, who struck over the bar.
But the equaliser came just sixty seconds later, courtesy of Bradley.
After the Saddlers had started the half brightly, it was Rochdale that finished it strongly.
Tavares had an effort turned around the post by the goalkeeper, while a shot was hit narrowly over the bar from the resulting corner.
Bradley’s 25-yard strike stung the palms of the ‘keeper with a minute of the half remaining.
HT | ROCHDALE 1-1 WALSALL
Rochdale dominated the second half, helped by two quick fire goals to turn the game on its head.
Yonsian turned home Matheson’s low ball across the face of goal from close range eight minutes after the restart to give Dale the lead.
Sixty seconds later, they added a third, as Bradley netted his second of the afternoon. He found the top corner of the net from the edge of the 18-yard box.
The fourth came on the hour mark. Bradley's cross was tapped in by Tavares at the far post.
With Dale in a comfortable lead, a triple substitution took place with 76 minutes on the clock. Dunne, Bradley and Tavares were replaced by Ben Martin, Musambya Kisimba & Morgan Moreland.
The changes didn’t detract from Rochdale’s dominant display, and they continued to cause problems for the Saddlers before the game was out.
After a ball into feet from Phillips, Yonsian turned and got a shot away, only to see it held by the 'keeper, who dived to his right to deny him.
Moreland tested the 'keeper from the edge of the area but his effort is well-held.
A minute from time, Phillips was kept out by the woodwork, after Matheson's low ball in from the right found its way through to him.
FT | Rochdale 4-1 Walsall