Kairo Mitchell’s ninth goal of the season earned Dale all three points at home to Aldershot Town on Saturday.
The visitors took a first-half lead through Jack Barnham, but Jimmy Keohane’s equaliser three minutes before the break levelled matters.
Dale put in a dominant display after the break and Mitchell’s 79th minute goal earned a deserved win for Jimmy McNulty’s men.
The Head Coach made two changes from last weekend’s game at Wealdstone. Cameron John returned to the side after being an unused substitute last weekend, following his spell on the sideline. He replaced Kwaku Oduroh, with Jimmy Keohane switching to right-back. Jesurun Uchegbulam replaced Ian Henderson on the left for Dale.
Goalkeeper Louie Moulden was called into action inside the first minute, turning Josh Stokes’ effort behind for a corner.
On loan Fleetwood Town man Cian Hayes was looking dangerous on the right side and after driving into the area on one occasion, his block on a clearance almost resulted in the opener, with Shots goalkeeper Jordi Van Stappershoef having to claw the ball away.
Stokes headed a cross wide of Moulden’s goal before Keohane had two efforts from 20-yards, seeing the first blocked and firing the follow up wide of the far post.
The visitors opened the scoring in the 37th minute when Jack Barham received a low ball in the area, turned and finished into the bottom corner.
However, their lead didn’t last long, as Keohane levelled five minutes later. Uchegbulam saw a shot saved by the goalkeeper, the rebound of which hit Mitchell who did superbly to keep the ball alive, backheeling back into a central position, where Keohane was on hand to turn home via a deflection.
After the break, Dale were in complete control. Uchegbulam and Ryan East fired efforts off target from the edge of the area, before a well-worked free-kick saw Clayton play a short pass to Mitchell that caught the Aldershot defence by surprise, but his shot was well saved by Van Steppershoef.
The resulting corner was cleared as far as Keohane, who hit a well-struck volley that flashed wide.
With just over ten minutes remaining, Dale grabbed the goal they deserved, through another training ground set piece routine.
A corner was played short into substitute Devante Rodney, who laid it back to Clayton. He clipped it to the back post, where Mitchell stooped to head home clinically.
The visitors did put some pressure on the Dale defence in added time, with Harvey Gilmour putting in an incredibly brave block on a shot inside the area, which helped Dale hold on to all three points.
Dale XI | Moulden, John, East (77’ Rodney), Ebanks-Landell, Clayton, Mitchell (89’ Henderson), Uchegbulam (84’ Taylor), Keohane, Nevett, Hayes, Gilmour.
Unused subs | Oduroh, Afuye.