Rochdale fell to their second league defeat of the season on Saturday, losing 6-0 against Peterborough United at the Weston Homes Stadium.
Ivan Toney netted a hattrick for Posh in the victory, while Marcus Maddison grabbed a brace and Mo Eisa scored the other.
A clinical Peterborough took a 3-0 Dale lead into the break, despite Dale enjoying the lion’s share of possession and playing the better of the football in the first half.
The home side started brightly and within the opening two minutes Toney glanced a header wide of the far post, while a minute later Marcus Maddison tried an ambitious effort from his own half in an attempt to catch Robert Sanchez off his line, but his strike dropped well over the bar.
It was then all Dale for a 15-minute period. The home side, however, defended resolutely and they went on to open the scoring, against the run of play, with 18 minutes on the clock. After Jim McNulty passed the ball back to Robert Sanchez, the Rochdale goalkeeper took too long to see it clear and he was closed down by Toney who turned the ball over the line from a yard out.
Soon after, Mohamed Eisa had a shot from inside the area beaten away by Sanchez.
Dale again continued to enjoy plenty of the ball but they couldn’t carve out any opportunities and the hosts doubled their advantage in the 34th minute. Joe Ward clipped a cross towards Eisa and he rose highest to nod in off the post.
Four minutes later, Sanchez was called into action, when he pulled off a one-handed save to push a Maddison effort round the upright.
But Posh extended their lead further just before half time, as Toney netted his second of the afternoon.
The Peterborough forward latched onto a fine defence splitting pass from Maddison which sent him through one-on-one with Sanchez, and after rounding the ‘keeper, he tapped the ball into an empty net.
HT | PETERBOROUGH UNITED 3-0 ROCHDALE
Six minutes after the restart, the home side added a fourth. Sanchez’s clearance was intercepted by Maddison, and with the Spaniard off his line, the Peterborough forward lobbed him.
Rochdale’s first substitution of the match followed, as Ollie Rathbone replaced Aaron Morley.
In the 56th minute, Ian Henderson’s speculative shot from distance rose over the bar.
And after Norrington-Davies had been booked for going down inside the area, despite it looking like he had been upended with a late challenge, Posh extended their lead less than sixty seconds later.
A ball forward could only be headed up and behind the Dale defence by McNulty, inadvertently playing in Toney, who slotted beyond Sanchez for his hattrick.
And shortly after the hour mark Maddison made it 6-0 from the penalty spot after it was adjudged that had been brought down.
Substitutions followed in quick succession, as Rekeil Pyke was firstly replaced by Jimmy Ryan, while Calvin Andrew was introduced in place of Henderson.
As the game meandered to its conclusion, the most notable effort saw Eisa head wide from a ball in from the left.
FT | PETERBOROUGH UNITED 6-0 ROCHDALE