Pools Lose Final Checkatrade Trophy Tie
Craig Hignett's side lost their third and final game of the competition as Rochdale won 2-1 on a cold night at The Northern Gas and Power Stadium.
The first chance of the game fell to Matthew Gillam who got on the end of Scott Tanser cross into the box but he sent his header over the bar.
With Rochdale on top in this first half, the visitors enjoyed the greater share of possession and got their reward on 21 minutes.
Reuben Noble Lazarus got into the box from left to send a neat finish past Adam Bartlett and give his side a 1-0 lead.
The visitors upped their pressure after the goal and Gillam had another good chance to score but he sent his effort high under pressure from Jordan Richards.
Bartlett held a strike from Joseph Rafferty from the edge of the box, while Richards got in the way again to block a Gillam cross into the box.
At the other end a couple of crosses from Richards on the right went untested in the middle, while a good ball from Billy Paynter was flicked on by Jake Orrell but landed just ahead of Nicky Deverdics and the chance passed.
Andrew Cannon should have doubled Rochdale’s lead just before the break but he sent his volley wide of the post.
Pools saw more of the ball in the second half and while they looked neat and tidy in possession, Rochdale looked comfortable and offered a bigger threat on the break.
Liam Donnelly blasted one of Pools’ best efforts of the evening in with power from the edge of the box but Joshua Lillis blocked the shot.
And Rochdale broke straight upfield following the effort to grab their second: Mendez-Laing sent a good cross into the box from the right which was finished by Matt Gillam from close range.
Donnelly had another couple of tries to get a goal for his side, both from distance, as the Northern Irishman offered the biggest threat on goal so far for Pools.
Rhys Oates was denied by Lillis who made a good save to deny the Pools striker a goal just before the 80th minute.
Gillam should have made it 3-0 late in the game but his header from less than a yard out hit the crossbar before being cleared by Pools.
Pools pulled a goal back on 85 minutes when good work from Jake Orrell saw the striker play the ball in for sub Rhys Oates who ran through to make it 2-1.
There were further chances for Orrell and Oates as Hignett's side finished the game strongly but it was too late to change the result and the game finished in defeat as Pools exit the Checkatrade Trophy.
Full Time: Pools 1 Rochdale 2
Booked: Donnelly (28)
Attendance: 380 (30 Rochdale)
Pools: Bartlett, Richards, Bates (Wise 46), Harrison, Martin (Pollock 73), Donnelly, Woods, Walker, Orrell, Paynter, Deverdics (Oates 64).
Subs Not Used: Dudzinski, Richardson, Hawkins, Laurent.
Rochdale: Lillis, Rafferty, Tanser, McNulty, McGahey, Gillam, Rathbone, Thompson (Barry-Murphy 56 (Bunney 77)), Noble-Lazarus, Cannon (Mendez-Laing 60), Morley.
Subs Not Used: Diba, Hollins, McCormack