Rochdale beaten by “better” Bradford

Despite Rochdale being a number of points and places above their visitors to the Crown Oil Arena for the final game of 2018, any neutral at the ground wouldn’t have known Bradford were battling relegation.

The Bantams continued their turn around in form to move to within two points of climbing out of the bottom four in League One thanks to a comfortable 4-0 win over Dale.

It was a game David Hopkin’s men controlled for the first to last whistle and deservedly took a lead into the break, although Rochdale were lucky it was only 1-0.

Former Oldham Athletic striker, Eoin Doyle returned to the North West to cause havoc to Dale’s defence and it was his header which lead to the opening goal.

Jack Payne provided the cross for Doyle to head towards goal, Brendan Moore saved but could only parry it into the path of Nathaniel Knight-Percival who made no mistake.

After the break Bradford were quickly out of the blocks, just three minutes had passed when Payne made his way into the area before squaring for Anthony O’Connor to sweep home from six-yards out.

More was to come from Bradford and from Doyle, he raced into the penalty area only to be caught from behind by Ryan Delaney leaving the referee little option but to point to the spot.

Doyle picked himself up and despatched the penalty away with little fuss to extend the lead to 3-0 and put the game beyond Rochdale.

Bantams’ sub George Miller rounded the game off for the visitors with a stunning 25-yard drive on the verge of stoppage time to seal a very impressive win.

The defeat for Rochdale leaves them in 16th place in League One, six points above the relegation zone heading into the trip to Doncaster Rovers on New Year’s Day.

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