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

TOUGH MAN Keith Hill re­vealed he turned into “a bit of a softy” af­ter his Rochdale side clinched au­to­matic pro­mo­tion with a home win over Chel­tenham.

First-half goals from Peter Vin­centi and Ian Hen­der­son were enough to take Dale top of the League Two ta­ble with one match re­main­ing and their place in the third tier next term is guar­an­teed.

Hill, who brought Rochdale their first pro­mo­tion in 41 years in 2010, said the bond be­tween his staff and play­ers was un­ri­valled.

“There were tears when I saw my own Mum and it means so much to my fam­ily, which makes me emo­tional,” Hill said.

“Phys­i­cal pain I can deal with, but emo­tional pain, wow, I’m a bit of a softy!

“We have achieved such a lot and the play­ers have been su­perb. It’s time for them to cel­e­brate now and they de­serve that op­por­tu­nity for the next few days.”

Hill now wants Dale to go on and take the ti­tle with a fi­nal day win over New­port County.

“We still want to achieve some­thing the club have never done and put a tro­phy in the cab­i­net,” he said. “That’s our dream and we might not do it, but we will do all we can to do it.The play­ers bring the best out of me, there’s a spe­cial re­la­tion­ship, with no egos or self­ish­ness.

“There is a deep re­spect for ev­ery­one and there is no line, but no­body over­steps any­thing. There is an un­be­liev­able mu­tual re­spect, al­most a kin­dred spirit be­tween us all, staff and play­ers. “You can reap mas­sive re­wards with those kinds of bonds.We are ed­u­ca­tors, want to pro­mote man­ners, fine young men to our com­mu­nity.”

Chel­tenham boss Mark Yates said it was ‘Rochdale’s day’ and he wants his side to em­u­late their achieve­ments next year af­ter a dis­ap­point­ing sea­son. “Rochdale proved what a de­cent side they are and it’s all about them,”Yates said.

“They started re­ally well and we had no an­swers.We were guilty of not start­ing as well as we’d have liked, but they ran out com­fort­able win­ners and these are the scenes we want to have at our place next year.

“That’s some­thing we can take from the game, this is what we are striv­ing for and we have to try and make it hap­pen next year.

“We thought we might frus­trate them, but they scored two goals, when we were pow­er­puff in the mid­dle of the park and they broke through us too many times.The first two times they did it told and they won it at a can­ter.”

The opener came af­ter a run from Hen­der­son and a low cross, which Matt Richards failed to cut out and Vin­centi fin­ished calmly past Scott Brown in the tenth minute.

Hen­der­son dou­bled the lead six min­utes later af­ter the out­stand­ing Bastien Hery fed Ge­orge Don­nelly, with Chel­tenham’s de­fence over­run.

Don­nelly saw an ef­fort cleared off the line by Craig Bra­ham-Bar­rett two min­utes later and while Joe Hanks smashed a shot wide, Rochdale pro­tected their ad­van­tage ex­pertly and the party could be­gin.

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