Henderson magic is crucial for Hill’s men
KEITH HILL believes Rochdale are on the verge of something special after victory over Scunthorpe kept them in touch with the League One play-off places.
A Michael Rose freekick gave the hosts the lead at half-time, before a Kevin van Veen equaliser was cancelled out almost immediately by Ian Henderson.
Peter Vincenti added a third for Dale late on.
It was their fourth win in five matches and Hill could not hide his delight.
“Everyone can see we’ve got half an opportunity here to create something special,” he said.
“While there is an opportunity, we can’t grasp at it, we can’t fear it, but we’ve earned the right to feel the pressure of the last ten games.
“All the players are playing well. They are earning their stripes.
“I believe we’re safe from relegation, which is an achievement in itself.”
Dale took the lead in the 22nd minute.
Rose curled in a freekick from the right byline that evaded the ruck of bodies inside the box and found its way into the far corner of the Scunthorpe net.
On the hour, van Veen, who went close with two first-half free-kicks, then found the net.
He elegantly plucked an aerial ball out of the air, before adjusting his feet and slotting the ball into the bottom corner under Jamie Jones’ dive.
However, Scunthorpe were level for barely a minute.
Rhys Bennett lashed an effort against the crossbar and, as the ball cannoned back out into play, Andrew Boyce comically struck his clearance into the back of Henderson who – despite knowing little about it – deflected the ball into the net.
And Dale made the game safe with six minutes to go.
Henderson bamboozled Boyce near the left corner flag with a series of step-overs before cutting back on to his right foot and floating in a cross which Vincenti nodded in from close range.
Henderson, who tormented the Iron all afternoon, now has 18 for the season and Scunthorpe boss Mark Robins bemoaned the forward’s influence afterwards.
“Up front we were ran ragged by Henderson,” he said.
“Don’t get me wrong, he is a decent player, but we’ve got big, ugly centre-halves at 6ft 4in who should be dominating the proceedings against them.
“The goals we concede are poor and the goals we score we have to work our socks off for.
“We were wasteful in front of goal and we’ve conceded too many chances to the opposition.”
STAR MAN IAN HENDE