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League Two

Keith Hill proud of Rochdale promotion

26 April 2014

Rochdale boss Keith Hill spoke of his pride after becoming the first manager in the club's history to achieve a second promotion following their 2-0 win against Cheltenham Town.

Hill guided Dale to League 1 in 2010 and repeated the feat in his first full season back at the club he returned to in January 2013 following a spell at Barnsley.

First half goals from Peter Vincenti and Ian Henderson wrapped up the win at Spotland and, with Fleetwood Town only drawing at home against Southend United, the result was enough to secure Dale an automatic promotion place.

"There is a great sense inside of emotional achievement," said Hill. "These players are special to me and this club is special to me and to be the first manager in this club's history to to get promoted twice gives me a sense of pride on achieving it for the supporters.

"I saw a belief among the players in our pre-season training camp in Tenerife and in the plan I had for the players to deliver promotion - and they they have done. There has been no fear from the players. Arguably, the two games we lost against Mansfield and Southend recently could have derailed us mentally and I am so pleased that we have given back our place in League 1 to the supporters."

The home side took the lead 11 minutes in when Henderson collected George Donnelly's pass down the left flank, cut into the Robins area and delivered a precise pass for Vincenti to side-foot home from 10 yards.

The advantage was doubled five minutes later when Bastien Hery and Donnelly combined to set up Henderson, who forced the ball home from close range.

It could have been worse for Cheltenham Town had Craig Braham-Barrett not cleared Donnelly's shot off the line.

Though the visitors shored things up defensively after that dreadful opening, they barely tested Dale goalkeeper Josh Lillis, who made comfortable saves to keep out a Jamie Cureton header and Byron Harrison's backheeled effort.

Cheltenham boss Mark Yates said his side paid for that poor start which saw their gameplan fall by the wayside.

"They proved what a decent side they are on the day, and it was all about them," he said. "They started really well and we had no answers to them. We were probably guilty of not starting as well as we should have and they ran out comfortable winners in the end.

"It was an awful start. We thought we might just be able to frustrate them but it was powder puff play from us down the middle of the pitch for the two goals we conceded. They broke through us too many times and the first couple of times they made us pay. In the end they won at a canter."

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