Four star Rochdale sink Southend
Rochdale moved to within two points of the Sky Bet League One play-offs with a 4-1 win against Southend at Spotland.
In an evenly contested first period the visitors took the lead in the 28th minute when Donal McDermott was robbed of possession on the edge of the area by Anthony Wordsworth and his neat flick set Jack Payne free to clip the ball over Josh Lillis as the goalkeeper went to ground.
Rochdale equalised four minutes before the interval when Michael Rose's cross from the left was helped into the six yard area by Callum Camps and Grant Holt fired into the roof of the net from close range.
The home side steped up a gear after the break and quickly pulled clear of the visitors. Nathaniel Mendez-Laing struck the underside of the crossbar with a rising drive before Joe Rafferty scored in the 49th minute, side-footing McDermott's cross wide of Dan Bentley in the Southend goal.
And Rochdale scored a third in the 62nd minute when Jim McNulty picked out Jamie Allen to smash home a low drive from 20 yards.
Substitute Peter Vincenti tested Bentley with a stinging 30-yard piledriver while Adam Barrett wasted Southend's best opportunity of the half, firing Payne's delivery wide.
Joe Bunney completed the scoring in the 91st minute, slotting home from close range after Bentley had saved his initial effort.