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

KEITH Hill’s de­lib­er­at­ing paid div­i­dends as Rochdale climbed into fifth place in League One.

The Dale boss ad­mit­ted he had thought long and hard about who to in­clude on the sub­sti­tutes’ bench ahead of their game against strug­gling Scun­thorpe, even­tu­ally opt­ing for Joe Bun­ney over Nathaniel Men­dez-Laing.

And the rookie striker came on in the sec­ond half to fire his side ahead and though the visi­tors hit back to level through Mur­ray Wal­lace’s header, Peter Vin­centi met a ball at the back post five min­utes from time to win it. “I prob­a­bly spent 24 hours, plus a few min­utes, de­cid­ing my sub­sti­tutes line-up,” ad­mit­ted Hill. “Nathaniel Men­dez-Laing has been do­ing re­ally well and Joe has had a lit­tle bit of com­pas­sion­ate leave.

“I still couldn’t make my mind up with re­spect to who was go­ing to be re­ally im­por-

tant for us in terms of com­ing on to maybe se­cure a game or win it.

“But I think we’ve got a very good squad – and we proved it. It looked like we were head­ing for a 1-0 de­feat at half-time but we got the break­through goal and then we looked set­tled.

“We gave a goal away from a cor­ner, but we got away with it by get­ting the sec­ond goal; some­thing which we haven’t done in the last two weeks.”

Nei­ther side had mus­tered much in the way of ef­forts on goal be­fore Bun­ney broke the dead­lock in the 67th minute.

Paddy Mad­den had hit the bar for Scun­thorpe not long af­ter half-time and the Iron had looked the like­lier scor­ers hav­ing sti­fled their hosts for long pe­ri­ods.

Bun­ney’s strike, hit from the edge of the box, kick­started what proved to be an ac­tion-packed fi­nal 20 min­utes.

Nine min­utes af­ter Dale had gone ahead, de­fender Wal­lace rose high­est in the penalty area to nod in Gary McSh­ef­frey’s cor­ner to make it 1-1.

A draw would prob­a­bly have been about fair, but five min­utes from the end Vin­centi led a posse of play­ers charg­ing in at the far post to ap­ply a sim­ple fin­ish to full-back Tom Kennedy’s invit­ing cross.

“There wasn’t a great deal be­tween the two sides but we con­ceded two re­ally poor goals,” groaned vis­it­ing boss Mark Robins. “The first may have gone through a ruck of bod­ies, but we should be do­ing bet­ter than that. We’ve got to stand up and be counted. With the sec­ond we should have stopped the cross.

“It was dis­ap­point­ing; be­cause I thought we’d done all right and de­fended pretty well against a side that moves the ball pretty well.”


TI Rochda


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