Rochdale vs Southend United: Match Report
Blues; Bentley, White(c)(Worrall), Barrett, Thompson, Coker, Wordsworth, Kamara (McQueen), Deegan, Hurst (Loza), Payne, Barnett
Blues Subs; Worrall, Weston, Atkinson, McLaughlin, McQueen, Loza, O'Neill
Southend slumped to a 3-1 away defeat at the hands of Rochdale in the Sky Bet League 1. The blues were looking to build on their win at Barnsley and their 1-1 draw with Gillingham. But facing a Rochdale side that had won five of their six, took its toll. Blues took the lead when Jack Payne lifted the ball over Josh Lillis.
But Dale proved their class, with a turn around consisting of goals from Holt, Rafferty, Allen and Bunney to give the home side all three points.
First attempt came for the home side on 4 minutes when Donal McDermott found himself some space to unleash a shot from range that Adam Barrett threw his body in front of to block the attempt.
Donal McDermott proved to be a handful for the Southend defence weaving his way into the box and goes down under a challenge from Thompson, only to see his penalty appeals waved away by the referee.
Half chance from the blues as a ball is crossed in on the right by Kevan Hurst, but Tyrone Barnett mistimes his header and Dale keeper Josh Lillis comfortably saves.
Straight up the other end Blues Keeper Dan Bentley was called into action to come out and catch Michael Rose's dangerous cross.
Neat play from Glen Kamara on 16 minutes who plays the ball into Wordsworth but was blocked before the return ball reached him, the referee however waves away the protests.
The deadlock was broken on 28 minutes when Anthony Wordsworth slipped the ball through to Jack Payne who lifted the ball over the oncoming Josh Lillis to give Southend a 0-1 lead.
Donal McDermott had another chance on goal this time from a free kick from 25 yards that Bentley was on hand to keep out of danger.
The scores were back level on 41 minutes however after Michael Rose's cross on the left found its way to Grant Holt who was on hand to steer the ball home from close range.
The Dale's confidence grew further from the equalising goal with Michael Rose struck from range and forced Bentley into a diving save.
Half Time: Rochdale 1-1 Southend United
Straight from the restart Rochdale came flying out of the traps, Grant Holt charged down the left side and put a low ball into the path of Mendez-Laing who was denied by the crossbar. But just two minutes later Dale found themselves in front when the ball was again cut back from the left, this time by McDermott and found Joe Rafferty who curled his shot past Dan Bentley to make it 2-1 to the hosts.
Anthony Wordsworth had an effort to pull a goal back for the blues with a free-kick from 20 yards on 54 minutes that was comfortably saved by Josh Lillis.
Rochdale added a 3rd on 61 minutes when captain Jamie Allen picked the ball up on the edge of the box courtesy of a cut back from McDermott and thundered a strike into the bottom left corner past an outstretched Bentley.
Rochdale came close to making it four when sub Peter Vincenti's superbly half volley from 20 yards hit the post.
Southend had a chance to pull one back in the 81st minute when Jack Payne crossed in from the left to find Adam Barrett on the penalty spot, but he blazed his shot over the bar.
87th minutes saw Allen have another chance to shoot from 20 yards for Dale, but a slight deflection from a Southend body sent the ball narrowly wide of the target.
Rochdale added their fourth when Joe Bunney netted in a rebound past Bentley who couldn't react quick enough.