Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

ROCHDALE DELIVER A KNOCK-OUT BLOW ; Three Goals in First 15 Minutes Enough to Secure Tense Win for Hill's Men L

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

ROCHDALE DELIVER A KNOCK-OUT BLOW ; Three Goals in First 15 Minutes Enough to Secure Tense Win for Hill's Men L

Article excerpt

ROCHDALE ....................... 3 SHREWSBURY .................2 Richard Partington sport@men-news.co.uk KEITH Hill said three early knock-out punches paved the way for Rochdale to return to the League One play-off spots after holding on for victory at Spotland.

The home side caught Shrewsbury cold, storming into a 3-0 lead inside the first 15 minutes.

But the Shrews scored twice before the interval to set up a tense second period.

"It was a rollercoaster in the first half, the second half probably belonged to Shrewsbury," said Hill.

"I thought we defended their runs and their penetration quite well in the second half - there was a lot of drama, but it was psychological drama and I had to reassure the players at half-time.

"We had delivered three knockout punches in the first round and at the end of the day we still won it on points.

"I had to remind the players at half-time that, in effect, we were winning 1-0. "It was a difficult game - Shrewsbury caused us more problems going forward than any other team this season.

"I got the start that we asked for, that we'd planned for - it's just the middle ground that we have to improve on." Peter Vincenti opened the scoring in the fourth minute and Ian Henderson doubled the lead from the penalty spot soon after following a foul on Vincenti by Mark Ellis.

Jamie Allen made it 3-0 in the 15th minute and it looked like a cakewalk for Dale.

But Shrewsbury sprung into life midway through the first half. Dale stopper Josh Lillis denied James Collins when the striker went through on goal but he was left flat-footed when Sullay Kaikai's corner was headed home by former Dale favourite Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro on 35 minutes.

And the Shrews scored again when Andy Cannon fouled Akpa Akpro and Collins converted the resulting spot kick four minutes before the interval. …

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