Rochdale 0-2 Fleetwood TownIt was December delight again for Mark Roberts at Spotland as he scored one and created the other as Fleetwood won 2-0 against Rochdale.
The Cod Army took the lead in the 17th minute as the skipper headed in a Stephen Dobbie free-kick on the left flank after Josh Morris, who scored the second, had been fouled.
Roberts, who got the winner in Town’s 2-1 win in last season’s visit to Spotland rose higher than anyone else to nod Dobbie’s back post cross past Josh Lillis.
Town extended their lead in the 38th minute as Roberts turned from scorer to provider laying the ball across the face of goal for Blackburn Rover loanee Morris to slide in for his second goal of the season.
Ian Henderson could have halved Fleetwood’s lead in the 52nd minute after Conor McLaughlin pulled Oliver Lancashire to ground in the penalty area. However, the crossbar came to the rescue as Henderson failed to convert.
Going into the game Town made two changes following the Boxing Day defeat to Bradford, both forced by injury.
Danny Andrew made way for Stephen Crainey while Antoni Sarcevic was replaced by Tom Hitchcock. There was also a place on the bench for the recalled Matty Blair after a loan spell at Cambridge United.
Despite taking the lead, the hosts had the first chance in the opening moments as Matt Done was found inside the Town box before Chris Maxwell was alert to the danger smothering his effort.
Though Keith Hill’s side starter the brighter Roberts’ goal calmed Fleetwood down and as the half went on edged closer to extending the lead.
Seven minutes before the break the Cod Army’s pressure paid. Evans kept alive a left wing corner by Dobbie finding Roberts inside in the Dale area who kept his composure to set up Morris.
On the stroke of half-time Maxwell ensured Fleetwood kept their two goal buffer as a free-kick ricocheted into the path Ian Henderson who was denied at point blank range.
Dale heaped on the pressure after the break and could have had one back but Henderson rattled the bar from 12 yards.
Alexander, looking to get on the front foot once more, took Hitchcock off on the hour mark bringing Matty Hughes on in his place.
Hill also made changes bringing on Calvin Andrew and Callum Camps on for Ashley Eastham and Bastien Hery respectively but despite the best efforts of Peter Vincenti and Henderson Maxwell and co remained resolute.
Steven Schumacher and Tyler Forbes were also brought on for Dobbie and Morris as Town looked to close the game up though fellow substitute Matty Hughes almost made it three only to be denied by Lillis.
Fleetwood held strong, with the help of some tireless running by Proctor upfront and another close range save by Maxwell from Henderson, to ensure a second win in four away matches.
The win moves Town back into the top half of the table with the next game being second place Swindon Town at Highbury on the 3rd of January.