Hen­der­son magic is cru­cial for Hill’s men

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE - By Josh Ni­cholls

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

RSON Rochda

le

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