I’M PROUD TO BE ABOVE ‘CHEATS’ - HILL
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.
BREAKTHROUGH: Rhys Bennett nets Dale’s first Inset: Jack O’Connell celebrates scoring the second