‘PROFESSIONAL’ DALE CRUISE IT
KEITH Hill praised his Rochdale side’s professionalism as they avoided a potential banana skin and booked their place in the FA Cup second round.
Brad Inman and Ian Henderson both scored twice as the League One side saw off Bromley at Spotland – and extended their unbeaten run to five games.
The league may well be the priority for Dale this season they are 19th in League One – but Hill was pleased to see his side progress.
He said: “It was a very professional performance. We could have been two goals up before we scored, probably at halftime, the scoreline should have been more.
“But we were very professional, I think the majority of it is because of the respect we give our opponents, we know what to expect.
“Fair credit to the opposition, they didn’t make it easy. We made it look easier than it was because we were willing to match the opponents with courage, running, commitment. We were very good with and without the ball and once we won that battle we deserved to score the goals.”
Rochdale took the lead after ten minutes when Inman finished well from a tight angle having been played in by Kgosi Ntlhe.
Ntlhe was a thorn in Bromley’s side all afternoon and almost got on the scoresheet himself, but his header from Henderson’s inviting cross bounced off the post.
Henderson doubled Rochdale’s lead from the penalty spot after Rafferty was brought down inside the box after 31 minutes.
Inman then added a third nine minutes after half-time, slotting in having been sent clear by Josh Lillis’ goal-kick.
Bromley nearly gave their travelling fans something to cheer about on 70 minutes, but Lillis saved superbly from Frankie Sutherland’s goalbound effort.
The visitors then had striker Brett Williams sent off for allegedly stamping on Dale midfielder Oliver Rathbone.
A miraculous goal-line clearance denied Calvin Andrew from making it four, but the visitors were powerless to stop Henderson once more, who added some gloss to the scoreline with five minutes to go.
Hill was also pleased that his side played with a high tempo and credited their fitness.
He added: “I believe that we are one of the fittest sides in the league and that was reflected.
“That is one of the reasons why we were able to play at such a high tempo and put the opposition on the back foot.”
For Bromley, they can go back to focusing on trying to win promotion from the National League South and boss Neil Smith said his players couldn’t have given any more.
He said: “I just wanted to get a goal for the supporters, I wanted to give them something as a thank you for all their great support but in the end it wasn’t to be.”
CRUNCH: Henderson is tackled EASY DOES IT: Ian Henderson of Rochdale is congratulated after making it 4-0