Brendan O’Brien scored a thunderbolt, but Rochdale’s push for the league title gained more momentum with a 4-1 victory against Blackpool.
O’Brien’s strike had brought the hosts back into the game, after early goals from James Neild and Harrison Hopper gave Dale a two-goal cushion.
But Aaron Morley and Musambia Kisimba scored in the second-half to round off the result for the visitors.
Blackpool were without Rowan Roache (international duty), Dylan Sumner (injury) and Jack Newton (injury) for the fixture.
The first-half started with Blackpool on top, creating several chances in the opening couple of minutes. Bradley Wade was forced into a double save in just the second minute, as both Fin Sinclair-Smith and Will Dunne had efforts on goal.
From the ensuing corner, Tom Williams’ header clipped the top of the bar and went over. However, a minute later, Rochdale took the lead with their first meaningful attack. James Neild headed home from a corner kick to make it 1-0.
Brendan O’Brien then came close to equalising, just diverting Fin Sinclair-Smith’s corner over the bar, before Will Dunne headed over from another Sinclair-Smith ball into the box.
Again, though, Rochdale went down the other end and scored. Harrison Hopper got the second to give the visitors a two-goal lead inside the opening ten minutes.
After that, the visitors started seeing more of the ball, with Hopper hitting the bar from a thunderous strike as he looked for his second of the day. Neil Kuemo and Fabio Tavares also came close with chances.
On the half-hour mark, Blackpool got a goal back through Brendan O’Brien. The ball fell to the midfielder after Nathan Shaw had crossed in from the left, and he took a touch before firing his strike into the top corner of the goal, with Wade standing no chance.
Will Dunne had a header saved by the Rochdale ‘keeper soon after, as the hosts looked for the equaliser before the interval, but the teams went in at 2-1.
Half-Time: Blackpool 1 Rochdale 2
Blackpool started the second-half the better side, with Nathan Shaw almost getting the right touch on a Sinclair-Smith cross to equalise just moments after the break.
Neil Kuemo then went close again for the visitors. The ball came to him on the left side of the area, but he fired well over the bar from close range.
On the hour mark, both Will Dunne and Sam Maddox had efforts blocked, before the former was brought off, with Ewan Bange coming on to replace him up top.
Nana Adarkwa was a constant threat down the right for Blackpool, and after some good work from him which saw him get past two men, the ball fell to Emil Jaaskelainen, but the forward’s effort went just wide of the far post.
Minutes later, Rochdale made it 3-1. The assistant on the far side had raised the flag to signal for a throw-in, but got it wrong, as the ball was still in play. Rochdale took advantage, and Aaron Morley scored from just outside the area. Blackpool’s ‘keeper, Craig Thordarson, was booked for his protests after the goal.
With ten minutes to go, the hosts made a triple change to try and get back into the game. Harry Winstanley, Ryley Smith and Hayden Ravenscroft came on for Ben Jacobson, Sam Maddox and Nana Adarkwa.
Ravenscroft would go into the book for a cynical challenge as the clock hit 90, before Dale scored a fourth. Musambia Kisimba followed in to tap the ball home, after a shot had cannoned off the crossbar.
Full-Time: Blackpool 1 Rochdale 4
Team: Thordarson; Williams, Avon, Jacobson (c) (Winstanley 81’); Adarkwa (Ravenscroft 81’), O’Brien, Maddox (Smith 81’), Shaw; Jaaskelainen; Sinclair-Smith, Dunne (Bange 64’)