Match ends, Rochdale 3, Southend United 0.
Resurgent Rochdale made it five successive league wins with a comfortable victory against Southend at Spotland.
First-half goals from Niall Canavan and Calvin Andrew were supplemented by Nathaniel Mendez-Laing's late strike as Dale moved into the play-off places just a month after sitting bottom of League One without a win.
The home side were in charge from the start and made the breakthrough after 18 minutes.
Dale were awarded a free-kick on the right after Adam Barrett's attempt to wrestle Andrew to the ground and Joe Bunney's set-piece was perfect for defender Canavan, who sent a thumping header into the roof of Mark Oxley's net.
It was 2-0 after 27 minutes when Joe Rafferty's delivery was only partially cleared before both Mendez-Laing and Andrew had efforts blocked. But on the second occasion the loose ball ran for Rafferty and his cross was headed home by Andrew.
The Shrimpers offered nothing going forward in the opening half, and precious little after the break, with Dale goalkeeper Josh Lillis enjoying a trouble-free afternoon.
Aaron Morley, a 16-year-old making his league debut for the home side, went close to a third for Dale, his curling effort from 18 yards clipping the outside of Oxley's post.
Mendez-Laing netted the third in the 84th minute, racing onto Steven Davies' through ball and beating Oxley to wrap up a routine win.
Reports supplied by the Press Association.
- 28MorleySubstituted forRathboneat 70'minutes
- 19DaviesSubstituted forOdelusiat 90+2'minutes
- 15ThompsonSubstituted forMendez-Laingat 19'minutes
- 33InnissBooked at 60mins
- 7O'NeillBooked at 75mins
- 17McGlashanSubstituted forRangerat 51'minutes
- 9MooneySubstituted forFortunéat 34'minutes
- 11McLaughlinSubstituted forCoxat 70'minutes
- Darren England
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Rochdale 3, Southend United 0.
Substitution, Rochdale. Sanmi Odelusi replaces Steve Davies.
Attempt missed. Simon Cox (Southend United) right footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high.
Foul by Andrew Cannon (Rochdale).
Anthony Wordsworth (Southend United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Goal! Rochdale 3, Southend United 0. Nathaniel Mendez-Laing (Rochdale) right footed shot from the left side of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Steve Davies.
Keith Keane (Rochdale) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Marc-Antoine Fortuné (Southend United).
Ryan Inniss (Southend United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Steve Davies (Rochdale).
Attempt missed. Nile Ranger (Southend United) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right.
Luke O'Neill (Southend United) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Joe Bunney (Rochdale) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Luke O'Neill (Southend United).
Foul by Niall Canavan (Rochdale).
Ryan Leonard (Southend United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Substitution, Rochdale. Oliver Rathbone replaces Aaron Morley.
Substitution, Southend United. Simon Cox replaces Stephen McLaughlin.
Joe Bunney (Rochdale) wins a free kick on the right wing.