Rochdale made it two wins from two in pre-season so far, after recording a 2-0 victory over Stockport County at Edgeley Park.
Second half goals from Matty Lund and Kwadwo Baah secured the win in the entertaining encounter, on a day that Dale were denied by the woodwork on three occasions.
Rochdale dominated and Brian Barry-Murphy’s side were in on goal first, after four minutes. Matty Done broke away to latch onto a through ball and squared to Fabio Tavares, who had a shot blocked.
Three minutes later, Alex Newby was denied by the upright, when he struck a follow up effort from Done’s blocked shot off the foot of the far post.
Two former Dale players combined a short while later up the other end, as Jordan Williams delivered from the left to Nyal Bell, who failed to meet the dangerous cross.
Newby was brought to ground 35-yards from goal with 13 minutes on the clock and dusted himself down to take the resulting free-kick. The set-piece swerved and dipped before cannoning off the top of the cross bar.
Shortly after the half hour, Done curled an effort past the far post from outside the area, while Jimmy Ryan had a 25-yard strike turned round the upright.
In the last of the action, Lund picked out Tavares with a clipped ball into the area, but the Dale Academy graduate poked his first-time effort wide after leaving the County goalkeeper rooted to the spot.
HT | STOCKPORT COUNTY 0-0 ROCHDALE
There were six Rochdale changes for the start of the second half. Eoghan O’Connell, Aaron Morley, A Trialist, Kacper Mialkowski, Ethan Brierley and Kwawdo Baah, replaced Ryan McLaughlin, Paul McShane, Jimmy Ryan, Ollie Rathbone, Alex Newby and Matty Done.
The first chance of the second period was in favour of Dale, as Mialkowski fired just inches wide of the far post from the edge of the area after Baah had a shot blocked.
The breakthrough finally came in the 59th minute, when Lund put Barry-Murphy’s side ahead. Mialkowski found Baah with a lovely through ball, and after stepping inside his man, the young forward saw his shot well saved, but Lund managed to get a toe to the rebound, doing enough to see the ball squirm over the line.
Substitutions followed, as Harrison Hopper replaced Lund, and Tavares and Jim McNulty made way for Dooley and Mulvey a short time later.
In the 71st minute, Rochdale were denied by the woodwork for a third time. Keohane’s looping header from a diagonal cross saw the goalkeeper back pedalling, but in the end, he was kept out by the bar.
Jay Lynch was forced into his first real save of the game two minutes later, after getting down to hold Alex Reid’s effort.
Baah, who had caused problems for the County defence since his introduction, showed great feet to find space to get a shot away, but he was kept out by the ‘keeper.
There were two great blocks by the Dale defence to deny the hosts, as Morley first of all kept out Reid, and O’Connell blocked Bennett from close range.
Mialkowski had a shot held, as Rochdale continued their search for a second, which finally came in stoppage time, as Baah got the goal he deserved.
Dooley played a short corner to Baah on the edge of the area, and he took a touch before unleashing a rocket in at the near post, leaving the goalkeeper with no chance.
FT | STOCKPORT COUNTY 0-2 ROCHDALE
Dale XI | Lynch, McLaughlin, McShane, McNulty, Keohane, Ryan, Lund, Rathbone, Newby, Done, Tavares. Subs | Trialist, O’Connell, Dooley, Morley, Baah, Hopper, Brierley, Mulvey, Mialkowski