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Harrogate hit back to seal emphatic win at Rochdale

Luke Armstrong scored twice for Harrogate (Zac Goodwin/PA).
Luke Armstrong scored twice for Harrogate (Zac Goodwin/PA).

Harrogate gave themselves a boost in the fight for Football League survival with a comprehensive 4-1 victory at fellow strugglers Rochdale.

The home side took the lead in the eighth minute, Cameron John’s corner to the near post turned into the roof of the net by James Ball.

The visitors levelled in the 14th minute with a strike of real quality from 35 yards by George Thomson.

Dale finished the first half strongly. Abraham Odoh forced a good save from Pete Jameson, while Ian Henderson saw a glancing header graze the crossbar just before the interval.

But Harrogate cut loose after the break.

Luke Armstrong handed them the lead in the 53rd minute, calmly gathering Josh Coley’s delivery from the left and slotting wide of goalkeeper Richard O’Donnell.

Four minutes later Armstrong netted his second, prodding home from close range after Thomson and Jaheim Headley combined from a well-worked free-kick.

Sam Folarin grabbed the visitors’ fourth after 70 minutes, pouncing to score after Dale defender Femi Seriki had struck the ball against the foot of a post.