Dale's promotion bid dented
Rochdale's hopes of a top-three finish were dealt a severe blow as Darlington earned a 2-0 win.
Last Updated: 18/04/09 11:08pm
Rochdale's hopes of a top-three finish were dealt a severe blow as Darlington earned a 2-0 victory at Spotland.
The hosts looked dominant for long periods but were made to pay for wasting chances.
Jason Kennedy's fourth minute 30-yarder separated the teams at half-time. Collecting Pawel Abbott's flick, Kennedy took a touch before sending a dipping, swerving drive over Frank Fielding in the Rochdale goal.
The home side created a number of chances during the opening period, Chris Dagnall twice getting in behind the Darlington defence for gilt-edged chances. He fired the first over the top having brilliantly turned Alan White on the edge of the area, while Przemyslaw Kazimierczak saved the other.
Darlington also went close when Abbott had an early attempt saved by Fielding.
Rochdale started the second half brightly but conceded a goal and the points against the run of play in the 65th minute when Abbott's header came back off the bar and the rebound hit defender Rory McArdle before creeping into the net.