Rochdale are on the brink of being safe in League One after a remarkable turn around in form, coupled with a 1-0 win at Bristol Rovers on Easter Monday, meant that they only need a single point from their last two games to be sure of avoiding the drop.
The win at the Memorial Ground capped a run of results, since the sacking of Keith Hill, which has seen the club go from five points adrift of safety to five points clear of the relegation zone in a matter of weeks.
This time manager Brian Barry-Murphy had Ethan Hamilton to thank for putting Dale in front with just eight minutes of the game left.
It was a Rochdale performance which deserved the three points against a Pirates side who could still get sucked into the relegation dog fight with only a couple of games left.
In a game of few chances, Hamilton’s name sake, Ethan Ebanks-Landell showed why he’s highly regarded at the Crown Oil Arena with a stellar performance at the heart of Dale’s defence.
At the other end veteran striker Aaron Wilbraham caused problems in the air but his only chances came from distance and were handled comfortably by Bristol’s back line.
It left the stage clear for Hamilton to have an impact and he did just that, controlling a back cut from captain Ian Henderson before chipping in a precise finish.
In truth the win was nothing more than Rochdale deserved and credit for not settling for a draw.
The win leaves Dale 14th in the League One table, five points above the bottom four with two games left.
Next up is a visit from South End United for their final home game of the season on Saturday (27th April).