Hill’s not aim­ing at play-offs just yet

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE - By Jon Wal­dron

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

RSON Rochda

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