There were goals galore in the Youth Team’s EFL Youth Alliance League fixture against Accrington Stanley at the weekend, as Dale ran out 5-4 winners.
Rochdale started brightly and had a chance inside the opening couple of minutes, with Peter Thomas having a header well-saved from a corner.
The deadlock was broken sixty seconds later through an own goal. A Stanley player headed a corner into their own net to gave Dale and early lead.
The side doubled their advantage soon after through Thomas, who pressured the ‘keeper and was rewarded for his efforts after dispossessing him and slotting home into an empty net.
Ben Kershaw then had a free-kick well-saved.
Accrington pulled a goal back shortly after the half hour, before Dale restored their two goal cushion moments later. Oscar Kelly struck the ball through the goalkeeper’s legs at the near post.
Before the break, the youngster - an U15s player - then came inches away from scoring his second of the game.
Stanley got back in the game nine minutes after the restart when a mix up mix up between Ellis Craven and Cameron Kyle resulted in the hosts finishing into an empty net.
They were denied by the woodwork shortly after the hour, seeing an effort come crashing off the bar, before going on to equalise a couple of minutes later.
Craven pulled off a big save with a quarter of an hour to go to keep the scores level, and Dale went on to regain sixty seconds later, thanks to a wonderful finish by Paul Kyffin, who struck into the far bottom corner from the edge of the area.
Rochdale added a fifth late on, when Jordan Scanlon smashed a powerful effort into the roof of the net from close range.
Accrington ensured a nervy finish to the game, though, as they pulled one back in stoppage time, but Dale held on for the victory.
Dale XI | Craven, Caldwell, Watts, Kyle, Sutton, Kershaw, Kyffin, Ehimamiegho, Scanlon, Thomas, Kelly. Subs - Cunningham, Maclorg, Greenwell, Jesus, Laurence, Lawless.