Updated: Saturday, 14th December 2019 @ 6:16pm

Rock-solid Rochdale cooking up a storm: Keith Hill crows over fifth consecutive clean sheet

Rock-solid Rochdale cooking up a storm: Keith Hill crows over fifth consecutive clean sheet

| By Josh Nicholls

Rochdale manager Keith Hill was once again left praising his defenders as Rochdale racked up their fifth consecutive clean sheet drawing 0-0 with York City on Saturday.

The stalemate kept Dale top of League Two and extended their unbeaten run to six matches.

It also meant Dale goalkeeper Josh Lillis has now gone over six hours without picking the ball out of his net.

The ‘keeper was a mere spectator for the bulk of Saturday’s clash at Spotland and Hill believes this was owed in no small part to the solidity of the Dale defence.

 “Josh (Lillis) didn’t have a save to make over the course of 90 minutes (and) that’s not disrespectful to the opposition but complementary of my defensive team,” Hill told reporters.

“Arguably we could have deserved more but I’m happy with a clean sheet. If you don’t concede you don’t lose football matches and I think that’s a great point against a good, resolute side.

“That’s our fifth clean sheet on the bounce so it’s a recipe for success for us.”

Despite keeping another clean sheet Dale have now failed to score in their last two games and will hope to find their shooting boots again soon with just five games of the season now remaining.

This quest for goals will be aided by top scorer Scott Hogan who returned from injury on Saturday, as a 63rd minute substitute, something which Hill was delighted about.

“It’s a big boost,” he said. “It’s a boost for the football club and for the players out on the pitch. I’m happy and Scotty Hogan’s happy.”

Another forward who came off the bench for Rochdale on Saturday has had a slightly less pleasant time of things recently.

Graham Cummins, who is on loan from Preston North End, was one of six players from his parent club to be arrested last Thursday amid allegations of spot-fixing.

Spot fixing relates to a player deliberately fixing a specific element of a match without influencing the final score, this can involve purposely getting booked or conceding a corner.

Cummins was bailed alongside the man he told MM earlier this season was his best friend in football, David Buchanan, as well as current Preston players John Welsh, Keith Keane, Bailey Wright and York City loanee Ben Davis.

A Preston North End spokesman said: "We are disappointed that individual player names are in the public domain given that none of these individuals have been charged with any offence.

“Until or unless the current situation changes it will be business as usual."

Main image courtesy of Official Rochdale AFC via YouTube, with thanks.