Rochdale fell to defeat on the road on Saturday, with a 2-0 loss away at Bradford City.
Goals from Alex Gilliead and Andy Cook gave the Bantams the victory in a game where Dale were left to rue missed opportunities.
There were two changes from last weekend's game against Oldham Athletic, as Stephen Dooley and Abraham Odoh came in for George Broadbent and Alex Newby.
Inside the opening sixty seconds Corey O’Keeffe had a shot blocked after Dale had an an entry into the area. From an initial ball over the top to Jake Beesley, he in turn found Danny Cashman who sent a low ball across the face of goal. It came to the full-back who smashed a shot at goal, only to see it blocked by a couple of Bradford City players.
In what was an open first half, Joel Coleman got down to turn Charles Vernam’s low cross behind at the near post as a City player lurked, before the Bantams were in again a minute later. There was some superb defending from Captain Eoghan O’Connell who twice blocked efforts from Cook inside the six-yard box.
With 14 minutes on the clock, the hosts picked up on a loose ball midway inside the Dale half and broke away before sending a ball in from the left which was met by Cook at the back post, and he headed down and narrowly wide of the upright.
Soon after, Bradford were in on goal again. This time, Vernam’s shot was well blocked but it fell for Cook who saw his strike on the rebound kept out by Coleman. Levi Sutton then saw a powerful strike from a corner blocked behind.
Up the other end, Danny Cashman dragged an effort from 20-yards, before Dale created their best opportunity of the half. Aaron Morley found Cashman with a superb through ball and he pulled the ball back for Odoh who could only fire over from inside the area.
Two minutes later Bradford were in front. Sutton’s shot from outside the area was saved by Coleman, but Gilliead stroke home on the follow up from close range to give the Bantams the lead.
Four minutes before the break, Beesley got on the end of Morley’s free-kick and headed over the bar from six-yards, as Dale went in search of the equaliser.
And on the stroke of half-time, Jimmy Keohane met Cashman’s cross, forcing Richard O’Donnell to fly to his right and hold.
HT | BRADFORD CITY 1-0 ROCHDALE
Rochdale started the second half brightly and Sam Graham saw his goalward flick drop wide, four minutes after the re-start.
Morley then fired over the bar from range, before Odoh saw his low ball into the area defended away at Beesley looked to get on the end of it.
Shortly after the hour, Newby came on for Odoh, in the first Dale change of the game.
O’Connell got a good block on a Vernam strike, taking the sting out of it and allowing Coleman to scramble and get a hold of it as it trickled towards the goal line.
In the 65th minute, O’Keeffe sent a ball over the top for Cashman, and after latching onto the end of it, the on loan Coventry City forward raced into the area and stuck the side netting as the goal gaped before him.
Cashman was in on goal again minutes later as he combined with O’Keeffe again. The full-back’s ball came to him at the back post and he fired over.
A second substitution followed, as Dooley made way for Liam Kelly.
Up the other end, as Vernam got into the area, Coleman came off his line to twice deny him before Dale cleared away the danger.
But the Bantams doubled their advantage minutes later, as Cook converted from the spot after O’Connell was adjudged to have brought down Sutton inside the box. Coleman went the right way, but was unable to keep out the City forward, who thumped home his penalty.
A third and final Rochdale substitution followed in the 83rd minute, when Matty Done replaced Keohane.
Soon after, Newby stabbed an effort narrowly wide.
And in stoppage time, the substitute Theo Robinson struck a powerful low effort inches wide of the upright, before Coleman kept out Cook.
FT | BRADFORD CITY 2-0 ROCHDALE