Rochdale cruise into play-off positions after easing past Walsall
Rochdale cruised into the League One play-off positions with a comfortable 4-0 win against Walsall at the Crown Oil Arena.
Goals from Oliver Rathbone, Reuben Noble-Lazarus and a Steven Davies brace saw off the sorry Saddlers as Dale made it back to back 4-0 victories following their weekend victory over Swindon.
Walsall defended well for the opening half hour with the home side asking most of the questions.
The breakthrough came in the 32nd minute when Joe Thompson teed up Rathbone on the right-hand corner of the six-yard box. The former Manchester United trainee's low drive ran between goalkeeper Neil Etheridge's legs at the near post to hand Dale the lead.
Rathbone was close to a second soon after but saw his angled header saved by Etheridge, but the goalkeeper was beaten again in the 41st minute when Noble-Lazarus slammed home at the far post.
Substitute Davies converted a 74th-minute spot kick after Mendez-Laing was brought down by Etheridge. Davies then latched on to a misplaced back pass in time added on before rounding the goalkeeper and finding the empty net from distance.