I’M PROUD TO BE ABOVE ‘CHEATS’ - HILL

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE - By Chris Spit­tles

FIRED-UP Rochdale boss Keith Hill saw his side gate­crash the play-off places – and then hit out at the em­bar­rass­ing clubs try­ing to ‘cheat’ their way to pro­mo­tion.

Dale moved into sixth spot in the ta­ble af­ter sec­ond-half goals from Rhys Bennett and Jack O’Con­nell sealed all three points.

Yeovil slipped closer to rel­e­ga­tion de­spite pulling a goal back through James Hayter, who also saw a first-half penalty saved by home goal­keeper Jamie Jones.

And the two teams could be two di­vi­sions apart next sea­son if mod­est Dale main­tain their progress and achieve an un­likely pro­mo­tion to the Cham­pi­onship.

Hill said: “If you look at the teams we’re chal­leng­ing, the teams that are be­low us, it’s em­bar­rass­ing that some of them are be­hind.

“I know what they’re spend­ing and they all tried to make sign­ings on Thurs­day, loan sign­ings to cheat the sys­tem, and for me it gives me a mas­sive sense of pride to be above them.”

Now he wants his play­ers to go all out for pro­mo­tion to the Cham­pi­onship.

“Our play­ers have got to em­brace it, there’s no ques­tion about it,” he said. “And if we fail, we’ve got to take it on the chin.

“You can fear fail­ure, but you can’t fear the steps you have to take to be­come a bet­ter per­son, a suc­cess­ful per­son and a suc­cess­ful team.

Rochdale rode their luck in the first half, with Jones deny­ing Ajay Leitch-Smith with a bril­liant save as well as keep­ing out Hayter’s spot-kick.

Yeovil manager Terry Skiver­ton said: “We had some great chances in the first half, in­clud­ing the penalty, but failed to take them which has been the case all sea­son.

“Then at half-time we told the play­ers to stay solid and avoid what we’ve been do­ing re­cently, which is con­cede two goals in a short space of time. But then the mis­takes started and it’s in­di­vid­u­als that are mak­ing the mis­takes that cost us goals.

“For the first one some­one slipped at the far post and then the sec­ond one is a bit far­ci­cal when we just couldn’t clear the ball from in front of our own goal.

“Af­ter that I was pleased with the re­sponse. They could have given in but they kept go­ing and we pulled a goal back through James Hayter. In the end it wasn’t enough though and we have to take de­feat on the chin.”

Af­ter Town keeper Scott Loach kept out a well-struck free-kick from Michael Rose in the open­ing stages, Yeovil won a penalty on 19 min­utes.

Hayter seized on a poor back pass from Andy Can­non, only to be up­ended by Jones in­side the area. And keeper Jones saved his team-mate’s em­bar­rass­ment when he dived to his left to keep out Hayter’s penalty.

Sec­onds later, Jones was in ac­tion again, this time keep­ing out Leitch-Smith’s close-range shot by div­ing at the winger’s feet. Be­fore the break, Loach re­acted well to keep out an­other Rose free-kick, but early in the sec­ond half the home side woke up and took con­trol of the game.

On 51 min­utes, Rose’s de­liv­ery from the left found Bennett un­marked at the back post and he blasted the ball into the net from close range.

And just two min­utes later, Dale made it 20 as O’Con­nell's shot was de­flected past Loach by Yeovil mid­fielder Sam Fo­ley.

The scor­ing con­tin­ued as the Glovers re­duced the deficit on 56 min­utes, Hayter fin­ish­ing clin­i­cal- ly from 15 yards af­ter be­ing set up by Fo­ley.

But Yeovil couldn’t find an equaliser and it was Rochdale who came clos­est to a fur­ther goal, with Ian Hen­der­son some­how shoot­ing over from just three yards out when it was eas­ier to hit the tar­get than it was to miss en­tirely.

PIC­TURE: Ac­tion Images

BREAK­THROUGH: Rhys Bennett nets Dale’s first Inset: Jack O’Con­nell cel­e­brates scor­ing the sec­ond

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