Hill’s not aiming at play-offs just yet
ROCHDALE lie just a win away from the play-off places after seeing off struggling Colchester United but boss Keith Hill told fans: just forget about the top five.
Goals from Rhys Bennett and skipper Ian Henderson gave Rochdale three points.
Chris Porter scored a consolation goal for Colchester but it did little to dampen Hill’s mood.
He said: “Everyone’s talking about the play-offs but forget about it – let’s just enjoy it.
“Let’s just enjoy the games that we’ve got left and the players that we’re developing for the future.
“Let’s hope it’s a League One future because that’s not secure yet.
“When you’re trying to salvage something from a game there’s no fear.
“We were trying to defend but we probably had opportunities to do better on the counter attack. But full credit to the players – they dug in and it’s all about getting points.”
Colchester remain two points adrift of safety, after falling to a third successive defeat.
And United boss Tony Humes said: “We’ve had a decent performance, played well, created opportunities and been well in the game but there were two defensive lapses.
“We’ve said it so often but they catch up with you and you can’t keep doing it and that’s what’s cost us.
“We’re a nearly side and that’s not going to keep us in the division. We have to be bigger, better and stronger and that firstly comes from dealing with your man when you’re asked to do a job.”
Rochdale went ahead in the sixth minute through Bennett, who headed home from close range after Joe Bunney had nodded on Michael Rose’s delivery into the area.
Henderson also went close but United improved after that, with Rochdale keeper Jamie Jones denying both Sammie Szmodics and Gavin Massey in quick succession.
Rose’s 30yard free-kick flew straight at keeper Sam Walker but Colchester threatened before halftime with Porter wastefully nodding over Massey’s cross from close range.
But Rochdale doubled their lead ten minutes into the second half when Henderson pounced on Jack O’Connell’s pass before smashing home at the near post.
Colchester reduced the deficit just after the hour through Porter, who scored from the spot after Massey had been fouled by Rose in the area.
Colchester substitute Macauley Bonne then forced Jones into a save, but Walker denied Rochdale substitute Reuben Noble-Lazarus late on, as the hosts recorded back-to-back wins.
STAR MAN IAN HENDE