Calvin Andrew’s 95th minute winner against Port Vale provided Rochdale boss Keith Hill with the best feeling he has experienced in management as his side kept their League One promotion dream alive.
Andrew’s header pinched a 1-0 victory for Dale at Spotland on Monday afternoon, consigning Port Vale to their sixth straight defeat and elevating the home side to just four points off the playoffs with a game in hand.
Hill highlighted such moments as career defining, and explained how the emotions produced by these games drive individuals on to achieve even greater success.
Speaking to BBC Radio Manchester, the Dale manager said: “Wow, you wait footballing careers for that type of feeling. As a manager, that’s probably the best feeling I’ve tasted.
“The emotion at the end, you can’t bottle it and it drives you forward because you’re always searching for a better moment than that. Football is a drug.
“Careers are made on moments, and that moment will stay with me for the rest of my career, no matter what happens in the remainder of the season.”
Operating on one of the tightest budgets and smallest squads in the division, Rochdale have outstripped even the most ambitious of pre-season expectations.
The win moves them up to seventh with only six games remaining in the campaign, and Hill will soon be welcoming key players back from injury.
Jamie Allen, Matty Lund, Olly Lancashire, Scott Tanser and Joe Bunney are all on the road to recovery, and the Dale boss has given up trying to keep everyone’s feet on the ground.
“We’re right back in it again. Your season all changes on that moment,” he said.
“We’ve still got an opportunity to challenge Chesterfield for that sixth spot. We’re back full throttle again.
“We’re looking healthier going into the last six games of the season, but 59 points, and 18 wins in League One – I’m really pleased with that.”
The win over Port Vale was much-needed for Rochdale having suffered a 1-0 defeat to Preston North End on Good Friday.
Jermaine Beckford’s first-half goal was enough to separate the two sides, with Rhys Bennett having an effort ruled out for offside.
However, next up for Hill’s men is a difficult away trip to Doncaster on Saturday and another win is required in order to bridge the gap to Chesterfield in sixth.
Main image courtesy of OfficialRochdaleAFC via YouTube, with thanks.