Football - Hill happy as Dale back up cup joy

Keith Hill cut a delighted figure after his Rochdale side ensured their was no slip in standards as they triumphed 3-0 at Hartlepool.

PA Sport Report

Seven days after beating Leeds in the FA Cup, Dale enjoyed a controlled win at Victoria Park to climb up to fourth place in League Two.

Dale made the headlines after their cup heroics but Hill ensured his players remained grounded in readiness for a return to league action.

Three second-half goals earned the points after a drab opening period in which neither side took control.

Substitute George Donnelly opened the scoring and Dale added a superb second through Peter Cavanagh before the rout was completed late on by Graham Cummins.

"I'm delighted with the result," said Hill. "There was a concern after we beat Leeds because all the talk has been about Leeds - we played well that day and deserved the win and people half expected us to slip up here and I half understood why.

"We used to do a lot of statistical output on energy levels after playing Championship sides and it can drain you for a week.

"You need a lot of rest and we had to get the balance right during the week. This was a massive wrestle between two sides, but it's all about results.

"The players had that hunger. The home side had the first chance of the game when they hit the bar from a free-kick, but that was our own fault because we lost possession and conceded a free-kick.

"It was an even first half and then we stepped up and got our rewards. We are going to get more difficult games during the season like this one."

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