Cause for optimism despite Dale defeat
AN improved performance against play-off chasing Peterborough offered Rochdale boss Keith Hill some welcome cause for optimism.
Though Dale fell to their fourth successive League One defeat as they suffered a 2-1 loss, they at least avoided a heavy drubbing and contested this game at London Road, where United loanee Ethan Hamilton scored a late consolation on his debut for Hill’s side.
Peterborough dominated in a first half which saw Daniel Lafferty’s shot cleared off the line before an unmarked Ryan Tafazolli fluffed a free header.
But Rochdale posed more of an attacking threat in the second half as they were denied by a series of magnificent late saves from Aaron Chapman.
The Posh keeper twice saved from Dale substitute Brad Inman before spectacularly keeping out a thumping Jim McNulty strike at the second attempt.
Those contributions proved crucial as the home side doubled their lead when substitute George Cooper guided in a smart finish from a Marcus Maddison pass.
Chapman was powerless to prevent Hamilton marking his debut with a long-range shot in the 90th minute, but Posh held on in a nervy finish.
“We’ve been conceding a lot of goals and confidence is at a minimum but, hopefully, there will be a positive bounce now,” said Hill.
“I can galvanise and I can get something out of that game when I look at the players I’m getting in.
“Overall, I’m happy with the performance of some players and the way that the players are growing.
“We’re playing an 18-game season now and we’ve got to make sure that we come up with a battleplan like last season, which we have done.”