Rochdale trounced Northampton Town 3-0 to go top of League Two last night and won a new admirer in the process – Cobblers boss Chris Wilder.
Ian Henderson gave Dale a 6th minute lead, Matt Lund got his third goal in two games and the in-form Joe Bunney completed the rout.
Keith Hill’s side played the last 40 minutes with ten men after Lund was sent off following a second booking for celebrating his goal with the travelling Dale supporters, the ninth time a Rochdale player has received their marching orders this season.
Despite being a man down Dale saw the game out comfortably and Wilder, whose team were unbeaten in six matches prior to the match, sung Dale’s praises afterwards.
“Credit to the opposition (Rochdale) I thought they were excellent,” Wilder told BBC Radio Northampton. “The shape of their team was really good (and) their work ethic was really good.
“They made really good decisions and not just when they passed it, they turned us around as well. They hit big diagonals and got on the second ball.
“From my point of view, no complaints (about the result).”
The victory meant Dale leapfrogged title rivals Chesterfield and Scunthorpe United, with the former losing 2-1 to Plymouth Argyle on the night.
Dale are now a point clear of second place Chesterfield with a game in hand and perhaps more crucially are six points clear of fourth placed Fleetwood Town, who are just outside the automatic promotion spots.
Tuesday’s win at Sixfields Stadium was the eighth time this season Dale have won 3-0, demonstrating their potency once taking the lead which is something Wilder can certainly vouch for.
“With the shape that they play, with the sitting central midfield player and the pace that they have at the top end of the pitch, the first goal was really important,” he added.
“That gave them a massive a lift and a massive impetus to go on.
“We knew that going forward we had to be doubly careful as well because they are really good on the counter attack.”
Image courtesy of ntfc via YouTube, with thanks.