Rochdale scored three goals before half time as they ended Plymouth Argyle’s long-standing unbeaten home record on Tuesday night
Goals from Jake Beesley, Aaron Morley, and Jimmy Keohane meant the away side were cruising to their fourth win of the season.
Beesley was stretched off the pitch later in the half following a collision with the Argyle goalkeeper which resulted in 19 minutes of stoppage time.
After the break, Stephen Humphrys’ ensured the three points with a well-placed header into the bottom corner.
The result sees Rochdale rise to the 17th in the table. Argyle drop to 13th and have now lost three league games in a row conceding 10 goals in the process. It was the first time they had lost at home since New Years Day.
Argyle started with the same side that had triumphed over Lincoln in the FA Cup but it was Rochdale who had the opportunity to score inside the first minute.
A long ball was flicked on to Humphrys who sweetly struck a half volley toward goal but found his effort blocked by Scott Wootton.
They weren’t to be denied for long though, as a minute later Dale found the back of the net. After winning possession back in midfield. Humphrys played a precise ball in behind the high line of Argyle’s defence to Beesley. The attacker had the composure to go round the goalkeeper and finish from a tight angle.
Beesley’s joy was short-lived however after being on the receiving end of a collision with Argyle goalkeeper Michael Cooper. After lengthy treatment, the attacker had to be stretchered off the pitch.
After the restart, it was Argyle who finally got into the game and instantly had three chances to equalise. Joe Edwards worked the ball to Frank Nouble who had his shot saved, the rebound fell to Luke Jephcott who could only find the post. The ball then ricocheted to George Cooper who saw his tame effort cleared off the line.
It was an end-to-end fixture and in the 22nd minute, Rochdale had doubled their lead. After a scrappy build-up, the ball looked to go out of play for a goal kick but it wasn’t given. The Pilgrims defence (not playing to the whistle) stopped as the ball came to Morley who powered home a firm shot from just outside the area into the top left corner of the goal.
Rochdale added a third goal in the 12th minute of the 19 added on at the end of the of first-half, again due to poor defending from the home side. Dale attacked down the right and chipped the ball to the back post for Jimmy Keohane.
The left-back softly headed the ball toward the goal for what should have been a routine clearance for the defence. But neither Scott Wootton nor Cooper acted as the ball trickled into the bottom corner.
As expected Argyle manager Ryan Lowe made three changes at halftime, Joe Edwards, Niall Canavan, and Wootton made way for Jerome Opoku, Will Aimson, and Ryan Hardie as the Pilgrims chased an unlikely comeback.
They started the second half the better of the two sides Moore, now playing on the right side, found space and time to whip in a dangerous cross onto the head of Nouble but the target man couldn’t divert his header goalbound in the 48th minute.
Despite having more possession Argyle again lacked creativity without Danny Mayor who was still sidelined by illness and even when they could create half chances they lacked the clinical edge to get themselves on the scoresheet.
On the hour mark, Jephcott spurned Argyle’s greatest chance of a way back into the match. Kelland Watts delivered a cross to Nouble. He flicked onto Hardie who unselfishly pulled the ball back to Jephcott. But the striker just six yards out from the goal couldn’t make the contact needed with the ball to reduce the deficit.
With the home side pushing for a way back into the match, it was always likely that there’d be space at the back for Rochdale to get into.
The visitors made the most of this in the 72nd minute when Humphrys capped off a productive display with a goal of his own.
The ball was worked well to find Stephen Dooley on the right side of the area. The midfielder dinked the ball across goal and Humphrys got ahead of Aimson to flick the ball into the far corner to put the game beyond doubt.
Argyle face up to Ipswich Town on Saturday at Home Park and will be spectated by 1,808 members of the Green Army, the perfect opportunity to turn their recent league form around.