Dale ease past Alex: Match Review

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Top-of-the-table Rochdale returned to winning ways with a 2-0 victory over Crewe at Spotland.

Chris O'Grady, the Dale striker who missed a sitter from close range in the defeat to Bury last time out, made amends with a terrific goal just eight minutes into the game.

Strike partner Chris Dagnall saw a shot parried by Steve Phillips and O'Grady pounced on the loose ball, volleying it into the roof of the net from 10 yards.

Dagnall had a shot cleared off the line by Harry Worley, while Phillips produced good saves to deny O'Grady and Dagnall before the half was out.

Crewe had their own chances in an entertaining first 45 minutes, Steve Schumacher testing Frank Fielding with a long-range free-kick and Luke Murphy firing over the top after good approach play from John Brayford and Schumacher.

Dario Gradi's men also had good claims for a penalty turned away when Scott Wiseman challenged Byron Moore, but an own goal by Mark Tootle seconds after the interval all but wrapped up victory for Dale.

Phillips denied the hosts a third, saving Kallum Higginbotham's long-range effort and a diving header from Craig Dawson.

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Crewe Alexandra
Steve Phillips
Luke Murphy
Chris Dagnall
Scott Wiseman
John Brayford
Kallum Higginbotham
Craig Dawson
Chris O'Grady
Harry Worley
League Two
Byron Moore
Frank Fielding
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