Hill’s gang start with a bang as Dale cruise

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE TWO - By Thomas Han­nah To comment on this match go to http://boards.footy­mad.net/

KEITH Hill was left purring af­ter his new-look Rochdale ripped Hartle­pool United apart.

Dale, with five new play­ers in their start­ing XI, en­sured Colin Cooper suf­fered a mis­er­able open­ing match as Pools man­ager.

Pools were rel­e­gated last sea­son and seem to be still suf­fer­ing a hang­over, while Dale ap­pear to be build­ing on the progress Hill made in the last cam­paign.

“It’s the first game, we won 3-0 – it prob­a­bly doesn’t get any bet­ter than that,’’ re­flected Hill.“We dom­i­nated in cer­tain ar­eas of the game, and could have found our­selves one-down as they had the first chance.

“It could have been 1-1 at the start of the sec­ond-half as they had a glo­ri­ous chance to score.

“It could have un­der­mined the en­ergy and en­thu­si­asm and de­ter­mi­na­tion we showed.We want that in­tel­li­gent end to the game – we got it and I’m re­ally pleased.

“Look­ing at the game, it’s re­ally pleas­ing and we had five new play­ers in the team as well.’’

Pools could have gone ahead early when Antony Sweeney screwed a closerange header wide af­ter ad­vanc­ing in the area, be­fore keeper Josh Lil­lis made a save from Jon Franks.

But Scott Ho­gan opened up the Pools’ de­fence and con­fi­dently cracked a low fin­ish into the cor­ner of the net.

Peter Vin­centi caused plenty of prob­lems out

wide and he poked wide from close range af­ter a teas­ing Michael Rose free­kick was flicked on.

Two min­utes into the sec­ond-half and Sweeney again con­trived to miss a header from close range and Andy Monkhouse pushed the loose ball wide.

And within min­utes, Dale had the game clin­i­cally wrapped up.

Debu­tant defender Chris­tian Burgess fouled Matthew Lund in the area and Ge­orge Don­nelly drilled the penalty home in style.

Six min­utes later and it was three and game over. Striker Ian Hen­der­son was one on one with Sam Collins and skipped by the defender with ease be­fore clip­ping a delightful fin­ish over the ad­vanc­ing Scott Flin­ders. “It’s ter­ri­bly dis­ap­point­ing,’’ said Cooper, who was ap­pointed man­ager in the sum­mer af­ter John Hughes was sacked. “That isn’t what you want to hap­pen, so of course it’s dis­ap­point­ing.

“All I’ve said is be hon­est.We have made mis­takes at both ends of the field to­day and we move on.

“We had chances, and goals change games. It’s hap­pened and look­ing back isn’t good for any­one. In football ev­ery­one makes mis­takes in all ar­eas, it’s how you re­act af­ter a mis­take.”

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