Rochdale 0 Fleetwood 2

Tom Hitchcock starts for Town
Tom Hitchcock starts for Town

Skipper Mark Roberts led by example as Fleetwood Town pulled off a composed win at Rochdale.

Fleetwood survived a first minute scare when Matthew Done raced between Conor McLaughlin and Mark Roberts - Conor McLaughlin with a superb sliding save - to take control of the game.

And unlike in recent weeks they were able to take advantage.

Stephen Dobbie had already been denied once when he sent a free kick in to the back post, skipper Mark Roberts rising to head Fleetwood into the lead.

And their advantage was doubled just after the half hour, Roberts again involved, picked out by Stephen Crainey and sliding the ball across for Josh Morris to bundle the ball home.

Town were good value for their 2-0 half time lead, Chris Maxwell only called into action one before the interval, sliding again to deny Done after Fleetwood switched off to a Dale free kick.

The home side were handed a lifeline eight minutes after the break, Conor McLaughlin judged to have held Oliver Lancashire, Ian Henderson stepping up but rattling the woodwork.

Dale piled on the pressure but in doing so created gaps for Fleetwood to exploid.

Sub Matty Hughes nearly did just that, breaking free but unable to lift the ball over the sliding Josh Lillis.

Henderson tried one last throw of the dice, slamming a shot into the body of Chris Maxwell.

But Fleetwood’s victory was never really in doubt, a belated Merry Christmas in the frost at Spotland.