COLEMAN: JUST LIKE WATCHING BARCA
BRADFORD ........2 ROCHDALE ........4
ROCHDALE boss John Coleman likened his side to a League Two Barcelona after they bagged four goals in a first-half blitz to see off Bradford and move within three points of the League Two play-off places.
Terry Gornell fired Rochdale ahead after just six minutes but Alan Connell levelled from the spot, only for Andrew Tutte to give the visitors the lead again.
Ashley Grimes gave Rochdale a two-goal advantage but another Connell penalty reduced the arrears before Gornell headed his side’s fourth of a breathtaking first half.
A goalless second-half saw Rochdale take the points, but Coleman insists his side do not get enough credit.
Coleman said:“Obviously we’re not going to play to the same level as Barcelona but you can still aspire to have the same passing mentality in your game.
“I don’t think League Two football gets the praise it deserves. If that had been Barcelona playing the football we did in the first half people would’ve been purring about it. I think when we pass the ball like we did we’re up there with the best sides in the league.
“Everybody knows about our defensive frailties. But when we play like that going forward we can beat anybody.
“Terry Gornell was absolutely fantastic, he crawled off the pitch. Joe Rafferty as well – I know the crowd think he’s time wasting but he couldn’t walk out there.”
Gornell gave Rochdale the lead from a tight angle but Bradford drew level when Ryan Edwards pushed Connell over in the area and the striker slotted home.
Dale struck twice in five minutes through Tutte’s drive and Grimes’ volley to take control just after the half-hour.
Connell added his second penalty after Tutte handled James Meredith’s cross though Gornell grabbed another five minutes before the break. Connell almost completed his hat-trick in the 54th minute but headed Meredith’s cross just wide, and Bradford boss Phil Parkinson took the blame for the defeat.
He said:“I have to hold my hand up and say the balance of the team wasn’t right, we were second best to Rochdale, they played very well.
“We’ve got to accept teams are going to come to Bradford and it’s a big game for them and, especially after we beat Arsenal, it’s a feather in their cap to win here.
“We knew Rochdale score goals but they do concede them as well. I tried to pick a team I felt was strong enough to deal with what they had going forward but also create them problems as well. Unfortunately we didn’t do that and, while I look at myself, equally the lads know that physically we were second best out there.”
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