The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE - By An­drew Gib­ney

KEITH Hill was forced to ad­mit Rochdale were the ar­chi­tects of their own down­fall as they left Bra­mall Lane empty handed.

A first-half dou­ble from Che Adams twice gave the home side the lead.

The Dale’s Peter Vin­centi grabbed his sev­enth of the sea­son with a firsthalf penalty and Lewis Alessan­dra lev­elled the scores with 18 min­utes left, but Neill Collins’ tow­er­ing header mo­ments later sealed the win.

Blades boss Nigel Ad­kins showed his faith in Adams af­ter he scored against Notts County in mid­week and the 19-year-old re­paid him with a su­perb per­for­mance.

Just be­fore the half-hour mark, al­most out of noth­ing, it was the young­ster who gave Sheffield United the lead. Jose Bax­ter had the vi­sion and abil­ity to play a per­fectly weighted pass in­side the Rochdale de­fence and Adams was able to open up his body and place his shot un­der Josh Lil­lis.

The lead only lasted eight min­utes af­ter Nathaniel Men­dez-Laing was brought down in the box by Matt Done. Rochdale’s top marks­man Vin­centi stepped up to score.

Four min­utes later, Joe Raf­ferty mis­judged the flight of Billy Sharp’s won­der­ful cross-field ball. Adams brought it down with his first touch, cut in­side the de­fender and fin­ished su­perbly to give the home side a half­time lead.

“Che Adams, what a mas­sive threat he looks,” beamed Ad­kins af­ter the match.

“It was a su­per run from Billy Sharp down the right-hand side, and what a di­ag­o­nal ball he’s put in there.

“But the way Che’s taken the ball, re­ceived it, gone through and scores – he could have had a hat-trick.”

Af­ter the break both sides had chances to find the net, but it was Alessan­dra that forced his way through. Slipped in by Men­dez-Laing, the striker’s shot looked to be go­ing over Matt Howard’s head, but the goal­keeper – on his 100th ap­pear­ance – got a hand to the ball but couldn’t stop it find­ing the far cor­ner.

“We played well in patches,” said Rochdale boss Hill.

“We didn’t de­fend well from the front.You look at the goals and ar­guably blame the de­fend­ers, but as a col­lec­tive unit, our front five de­fend first.

“I have sym­pa­thy some­times for de­fend­ers, but a goal starts some­where and I don’t think our of­fen­sive play­ers helped for the first two goals.

“We were down on num­bers, but I am more than happy with the set up of the team and the plan that we had, but again it comes down to per­sonal re­spon­si­bil­ity.

“We are still work­ing on things in train­ing, but there is a lit­tle bit of anx­i­ety, there’s too many mis­takes out on the pitch.

“We have to re­set, we have to re-find our­selves as play­ers, be­cause it’s tragic to come here and score two goals and not get any­thing from the game.”

Par­ity was short lived when Collins rose high­est to head in Bax­ter’s cor­ner. The lit­tle midfielder was in­volved in ev­ery­thing United did well and the cen­tre-back was best po­si­tioned to power in the win­ner.

“There’s a long, long way to go,” con­tin­ued Ad­kins.

“As I think ev­ery­one knows and ap­pre­ci­ates. It’s about stay­ing in the race. Stay in the race, get to Christ­mas and then put your­self in a po­si­tion to win it.

“We need to score goals, and for me we have the ca­pa­bil­ity to go and do it.

“We got five in mid­week and three again on Satur­day, so we are a threat and we have peo­ple who can score goals.”

PIC­TURES: Ac­tion Im­ages

BLADE OF GLORY: Sheffield United’s Kieran Wal­lace bat­tles with Rochdale’s Reuben NobleLazarus, while the Blades’ Neill Collins cel­e­brates scor­ing their third, inset

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