Two goals in six second half minutes proved enough at Spotland to top a magnificent week for Bradford with a second successive League One victory away from home.
Less than seventy two hours from victory over rivals Leeds in the League Cup, the hero of Wednesday James Hanson headed home an Alan Sheehan corner to seal the win against a stubborn Rochdale outfit.
Following the match, Hanson said of his and the side’s recent form: “We’ve got that winning mentality this year. Winning at a place like Rochdale is massive for us.”
The goal came just minutes after the Bantams ex-Dale midfielder Jason Kennedy comfortably tucked the ball home in the bottom corner to break the deadlock after some lovely build up play between Sheehan and Hanson.
The first half was a dull affair with chances very hard to come by for both Dale and City as the middle of the park saw the most action.
Rochdale did have the most of the efforts on goal but after Joe Rafferty dragged his effort wide prior to Peter Vincenti’s effort finding the car park and Rhys Bennett’s header finding the gloves of Jordan Pickford in the Bradford goal.
The visitors did have chances of their own in the opening forty five with both Mason Bennett & Kennedy putting opportunities to break the deadlock over Conrad Logan’s crossbar.
The second half saw the pendulum swing towards Phil Parkinson’s side as a solid backline kept the Dale strike force silent and the midfield diamond of Gary Liddle, Kennedy, Billy Knott and substitute Billy Clarke run the show up the pitch.
Hanson and Knott both put the ball wide in the opening five minutes of the second forty five with Sheehan and Clarke also firing wide either side of an easy save for Pickford from a Bennett free header.
Then came the two goals for the dominate outfit in white, but the second goal must of provided frustration to Rochdale manager Keith Hill who tried to get a double substitution on before the corner was taken.
But, following the game, Hill had praise for his former player and the opening goalscorer: “Jason Kennedy’s been absolutely marvellous for Rochdale and it looks as though he’s started the season brightly for Bradford. I wish him all the best.”
The final real chance of the game did fall to Hill’s side, but Ian Henderson dragged his free kick from the edge of the area wide of Pickford’s far post after putting in under the City wall.
The victory moves City up into fourth in the early League One standings ahead of a trip to Oldham in the JPT this Tuesday evening.
ROCHDALE: Logan; Rafferty (Donnelly 67), Eastham, Tanser, Kennedy; Bennett, Allen, Hery, Done (Fenelon 67); Henderson, Vincenti (Andrew 73). Subs Not Used: Musangu, Dawson, Rose, Camps.
CITY: Pickford; Darby, McArdle, Sheehan, Meredith; Liddle, Kennedy, Morais (Clarke 45), Knott (Dolan 82); Bennett (McLean 75), Hanson. Subs Not Used: Williams, Yeates, Routis, McBurnie.