We were far from convincing in a lifeless first 40 minutes, riding our luck at times at the back, before Gary Madine struck two minutes from the break as he nodded home following an excellent run and cross from man-of-the-match Miguel Llera.
Llera then grabbed the all-important second goal on 67 minutes, heading home at the near post from a pinpoint free kick by sub Keith Treacy and then another sub – Ryan Lowe – scored with his frst touch on 80 minutes, meeting Treacy’s cross at the far post to seal the points.
Manager Dave Jones said afterwards: “I have nothing but admiration for the players, they were absolutely magnificent and certainly earned their corn today.
“We have had two really hard games in three days and those lads gave absolutely everything until they have dropped.”
He added: “It wasn’t the most fluent performance but geting the three points was all that mattered today.”
Lewis Buxton was subbed at half-time as a precautionary measure after taking a heavy knock just before the interval.
We now hope that struggling Rochdale can spring a surprise when they entertain Sheff U on Tuesday evening while leaders Charlton kept the eight-point gap on us with an unconvincing 1-0 home win over Walsall on Monday.