Dale suffered a 3-0 defeat on the road at Altrincham on Saturday afternoon.
Justin Amaluzor’s close range finish separated the sides at half-time, before a quickfire second half double from Regan Linney and Chris Conn-Clarke ensured Altrincham picked up all three points.
Jimmy McNulty made three changes to the starting eleven after last weekend’s defeat to Dagenham & Redbridge, with a second debut for Cian Hayes. George Nevett returned from injury and Kairo Mitchell also started, in place of Kyle Ferguson, Jimmy Keohane and Ian Henderson. Adam Clayton returned to the matchday squad after a nine week layoff.
Dale started proceedings on the front foot with D’Mani Mellor having the first attempt of the game, just shy of one minute played. He was slotted in by Harvey Gilmour but the eventual effort was deflected into Matthew Gould’s path in the Altrincham goal.
Five minutes later, Gilmour had a strike of his own from the edge of the area, but it was superbly diverted over by an Altrincham head. From the resulting corner Kairo Mitchell had a big chance to edge Dale ahead, but his header at the back stick could only find the side netting.
Tyrese Sinclair then had a strike cutting in from the left, but his low drive was well met by Gould at his near post.
Altrincham began to grow into the game and would’ve taken the lead if it wasn’t for a superb triple save from Tiernan Brooks. Conn-Clarke’s shot was saved by Brooks into the path of Amaluzor but his attempt was also halted by the on loan stopper. The ball did fall to Linney from, but his header was gathered by Brooks.
Just over half an hour gone and the Robins looked dangerous again down the left as former Dale man Alex Newby picked out Elliot Osborne, who saw his shot diverted wide well by Nevett.
42 minutes on the clock and the hosts were piling the pressure on, when Conn-Clarke cut in onto his right and his low effort was repelled by Brooks for a corner which saw Cooper’s resulting goal bound header vitally cleared away by Ebanks-Landell.
Despite Dale’s early attempts it would be the home side that took the lead a minute before the interval. Full-back Eddy Jones found space down the left and it opened up for a strike which came back off the near post, and Amaluzor was there quickest to the ball to give the Robins the advantage going into half-time.
Ten minutes into the second 45, Sinclair was picked up by East’s floated set piece and the Dale winger’s header flew narrowly over. Cian Hayes then had a couple of sighters from the left which was well met.
However, it would be Altrincham to double their lead with 66 minutes played. Marriott did well to win possession back and as he played it to Conn-Clarke, the attacking midfielder’s perfect through ball split the defence and Linney was there to slot past Brooks.
And within a minute after the restart, it was three. The ball was won back in midfield and Isaac Marriott’s ball in from the right was slammed home by Conn-Clarke.
Dale did think they got one back with just over 20 minutes to go when Nevett looked destined to get off the mark as his header came off the inside of the post and despite claims of the ball going over the line as Gould made a flying save, it wasn’t awarded.
Substitute Jesurun Uchegbulam and Harvey Gilmour both had shots held by Gould. Tyrese Sinclair curled an effort target in added time, in what would be the final action of the game.
Dale XI | Brooks, Gordon, John, East (59’ Clayton), Ebanks-Landell, Sinclair, Mitchell (77’ Henderson, Mellor, Nevett, Hayes (76’ Uchegbulam), Gilmour
Unused subs | Keohane, Ferguson.