Teenage star Callum Camps drew praise from assistant manager Chris Beech after Rochdale AFC swept aside Crawley Town in freezing conditions at Spotland Stadium on Saturday.
Dale triumphed 4-1 thanks to Ian Henderson’s double and strikes from Scott Tanser and Calvin Andrew, moving the club up to fifth in League One.
19-year-old Camps was instrumental in midfield, with his performance singled out by Rochdale’s former youth team coach.
Speaking to BBC Radio Manchester, Beech said: “Callum does things you can’t coach. He always has done from the age of 13 or 14.
“I think he’s been excellent in the last month and as he grows in stature and gets on that scoresheet, he’ll grow in confidence.
“He’s got to get the balance right because he’s always searching with his passing and that puts the ball at risk, but they’re the type of players we want to see – we want to see people playing on the front foot.”
Left back Tanser volleyed in his first goal for the club to open the scoring at a snowy Spotland, before Henderson’s tidy finish doubled the lead.
Lanre Oyebanjo brought done Matty Done ten minutes into the second half, but Rochdale’s top scorer saw his penalty saved by Lewis Price.
Crawley were handed a lifeline when Marvin Elliott forced the ball home with 15 minutes remaining, but Henderson made the game safe by grabbing his second late on.
Calvin Andrew’s injury time charge-down added some gloss to the scoreline, with Rochdale making it three successive wins since the turn of the year.
Dean Saunders’ Crawley are now winless in 11 league matches, and remain 23rd in the division.
Rochdale’s young squad are continuing to impress this season, with 23-year-old Rhys Bennett also making a name for himself having switched from right back to a central midfield role in recent games.
“He looked absolutely in control,” Beech said. “His physicality, his presence, his ability to get across the pitch is very good.
“We want to enhance that game changing ability that he’s got to drive forward with the ball.
“We also want him to get better at receiving and releasing the ball, and not putting the ball at risk, but he did all those elements really well today.”
The fixture was in jeopardy on the morning of the game due to heavy snowfall, but a concerted effort from a large group of volunteers before kick-off ensured the match went ahead.
— Rochdale AFC (@officiallydale) January 17, 2015
The covers where pulled back on following full-time as preparations begin for the visit of Stoke City in the fourth round of the FA Cup next week.
Main image courtesy of Official Rochdale AFC via YouTube, with thanks.