Goals from Ian Henderson and Harvey Gilmour as well as a brace from Tyrese Sinclair sealed the three points for Dale as they beat Barnet 4-2.
A brace from Tyrese Sinclair in the first-half, followed by goals from Harvey Gilmour and Ian Henderson in the second period, secured the three points for Dale in a dominant display.
Jimmy McNulty made two changes from last weekend’s 1-1 draw with Kidderminster Harriers, as Jesurun Uchegbulam and Jimmy Keohane came into the starting eleven.
This game marked Uchegbulam’s home debut as he made his first appearance at the Crown Oil Arena for the club.
Dale started the game brightly with Ryan East finding Sinclair twice in the opening ten minutes. His efforts were defended well and deflected over the bar retrospectively.
East and Sinclair combined well again shortly after from a well-worked free-kick routine. The midfielder delivered a ball to the back post where Dale’s number seven was lurking. However, his effort travelled inches wide and into the side netting.
Barnet’s first opening came as Dale Gorman headed over the bar, following some good defending from Keohane and East, who defended away a couple of balls into the box.
Louie Moulden sent a long ball over the top for Sinclair to chase, the forward allowed the ball to bounce before lifting it up and over Laurie Walker to give Dale the lead in the 23rd minute.
Barnet responded quickly, equalising just three minutes after Dale’s opener. Nicke Kabamba headed into the far corner following a cross from the right-hand side to level up the game.
The goal didn’t seem to affect Dale as they continued on the front foot. A well-worked Dale move led to Uchegbulam receiving the ball down the right-hand side before finding Sinclair at the back post, who swept home to put Dale back ahead before the break.
Five minutes after the restart, Dale extended their advantage. Uchegbulam was involved once again. He found Adam Clayton, who delivered a dangerous ball into the area towards Harvey Gilmour, who turned the ball home from close range.
Kabamba grabbed a second from himself and for Barnet in the 67th minute, tapping home from close range after the ball was played back to him inside the six-yard box.
As Dale adjusted to their change in shape, Reece Hall-Johnson, for the visitors, saw an opportunity cleared off the line by Cameron John.
Jimmy Keohane had a chance deflected over the bar as he tried his luck from the edge of the area in the 84th minute.
As Dale looked to keep Barnet out late on, they saw the opportunity to spring a counter-attack. John intercepted a loose Barnet ball, releasing Sinclair down Dale’s left-hand side in doing so. The winger then found substitute Ian Henderson, who stayed onside before finishing calmly from just outside of the area, beating the Barnet ‘Keeper.
Dale saw out the final few minutes, claiming the three points and a 4-2 win over Barnet, who started the day as the league leaders.
Dale XI | Moulden, John, East, Ebanks-Landell ©, Sinclair, Clayton, Mitchell, Uchegbulam (64’ Ferguson), Keohane, Nevett, Gilmour (75’ Henderson).
Unused subs | McDermott, Oduroh, Conway.