Rochdale 4 (Dagnall 19, Whaley 45, Buckley 80, Dawson 83) Hereford 1 (Pugh 23)
Date published: 26 September 2009
Photo: Jon Coluccio
Buckley celebrates his goal with Dawson.
Rochdale made it three wins in a row with a comprehensive win over Hereford. Goals from Chris Dagnall, Simon Whaley, Will Buckley and Craig Dawson made for a convincing scoreline after Dale dominated the game for large periods.
Hereford cancelled out Dagnall's strike through Marc Pugh, and at times threatened an equaliser in the second half after Whaley had restored Dale's advantage right on half time. But Dale went for one final push late on and goals for Buckley and Dawson, his first in the league for Dale, ensured there was to be no upset and the home outfit got the three points they deserved.
Rochdale probed early on, and Will Buckley made a lively start down the left, but there was nothing for either goalkeeper to consider in the opening quarter of an hour. Buckley and Chris O'Grady both hit the target with low drives but Adam Bartlett saved with ease.
Bartlett was helpless as Dale took the lead. Chris Dagnall was harried by two defenders in the Hereford box and Gary Jones seized possession with the Dale striker on the floor. The skipper looked square for Buckley to tap in but the ball was deflected back to Dagnall, who couldn't fail with the finish.
Dale had the wind their sails but a rare Hereford attack brought an instant leveller. Mark Marshall beat Tom Kennedy down the right wing and scampered into the box. His low cross bounced off a couple of players to land perfectly for Marc Pugh at the back post, who prodded home.
Having scored their goal the visitors kicked on as Dale began to lose their way towards the end of the half. Pugh forced Kenny Arthur to pluck out a shot destined for the top corner, while Craig King's angled drive narrowly evaded the far right post.
Somewhat against the run of the play Dale took the lead right on half time. They sprung the perfect counter attack after clearing a corner. Dagnall turned his man on half way and drove at the heart of the Hereford defence. Home debutant Simon Whaley made the perfect run and Dagnall laid the ball into the winger's path to provide a calm finish over the advancing Bartlett.
Dale dominated the possession after the break and went in search of a killer third. The best move of the game saw Dagnall beat two and link up with O'Grady. The Oldham man laid the ball off for a rampaging Jones, who played it across for Buckley, whose finish came back off the post.
Hereford were never out of it while their deficit remained at one and they offered a reminder that they were still in the game when James Walker stung the hands of Arthur.
The visitors enjoyed an extended spell on the ball as Dale began to sit deep and hold onto what they had. They didn't force Arthur into any real saves but it was enough to prompt Keith Hill to introduce Joe Thompson from the bench in place of the excellent Whaley, who received an ovation from the Dale faithful.
The change prompted Dale into another push forward and it brought the goals that sealed the win. Both came from corners as first Dagnall headed at goal, Bartlett saved, only for Buckley to rifle in the rebound from a yard out, and then Craig Dawson turned on Chris O'Grady's pass and rifled his finish.
It could have been five late on as Thompson and Dagnall both went clear but squandered their one on ones.
Hereford were reduced to ten men in injury time as Ryan Green collected a second yellow card for his barge on O'Grady.
Rochdale: Arthur, Wiseman, T. Kennedy, Stanton, Dawson, J. Kennedy, Jones, Whaley, Buckley, O'Grady, Dagnall.
Subs (not used): Edwards, Thompson, Holness, Spencer, Stevens, Flynn, Rundle.
Booked: J. Kennedy
Hereford: Bartlett, Green, Valentine, Lunt, Pugh (Done 73), Gwynne, Jones, King, Blanchett, Marshall, Walker.
Subs (not used): Rose, Lowe, Constantine, Sonko, Adamson, McCallum.
Booked: Jones, Green, Gwyne.
Sent Off: Green
Attempts (on target): Rochdale 19 (12) Hereford 8 (5)
Free kicks: Rochdale 22 Hereford 13
Offside: Rochdale 7 Hereford 1
Corners: Rochdale 5 Hereford 5
Referee: C Pawson.
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