Rochdale 2 Exeter City 3 - full time report
Exeter City moved back into the play-off places with a 3-2 win over Rochdale on Saturday.
City raced into a 3-0 half-time lead thanks to two goals John O'Flynn and a fourth-career goal from Pat Baldwin.
Baldwin gave City the lead in the 26th minute when he prodded the ball home from close range following a free-kick on the left. It was 2-0 three minutes later as Jamie Cureton raced down the left and squared a ball to the waiting O'Flynn, who side footed past Josh Lillis from the edge of the six yard box.
Rochdale fans complained that the Cureton was offside when he received the through ball from Liam Sercombe, but the flag stayed down allowing the former Reading striker to set up O'Flynn.
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Cureton was at the heart of the action for the third goal as he attempted to get a foot to Jimmy Keohane's left-wing cross. He didn't manage to do so, but it did enough to put off Lillis, who let the ball bounce through to O'Flynn who side footed home once more.
Rochdale, who were 3-0 down at half-time against York City in their last outing, were jeered off by their own supporters at the break.
The Dale were better after the interval, but it needed a deflected shot from Terry Gornell to get them back in the match midway through the half.
Exeter boss Paul Tisdale then brought on Aaron Dawson and Arron Davies in a bid to sure up the midfield. Well aware that City threw away a 2-0 lead in their last visit to Spotland, Tisdale changed to a 4-5-1 formation to see out the match.
It worked as the home side were forced to try long range efforts at goal. Gornell did score again in time added on when he nodded in at the near post, but by then Rochdale were running out of time.
To make matters worse Gornell was sent-off moments later for kicking out at Kevin Amankwaah. Rochdale fans vented their frustrations at the player as he exited down the tunnel. The Dale"s under pressure manager John Coleman was treated to the same treatment at the full-time whistle.