Crawley Town boosted their hopes of League Two survival with a comfortable 2-0 win over bottom side Rochdale to secure their third win in their last four games.
The win puts third-bottom Reds 10 points clear of Dale and four clear of the relegation zone, with a game in hand on second-bottom Hartlepool.
Crawley had the backing of a record attendance for a league game at Broadfield Stadium of 4,717 after tickets were reduced to £2, and boss Scott Lindsey urged the “brilliant” fans to “get behind the Reds in an important game for the club”.
The hosts took a firm lead on the game by scoring twice in the space of four minutes shortly before the interval.Embed from Getty Images
Dom Telford put them ahead by firing under keeper Richard O’Donnell from Mazeed Ogungbo’s assist after 35 minutes and then James Tilley’s cross set up Dion Conroy and his downward header beat O’Donnell into the far corner.
The Reds – on their best run of form since the end of October – almost opened the scoring in 15 seconds when Ashley Nadesan ran towards goal but O’Donnell managed to deflect his shot round the post.
Dale, without the injured Devante Rodney and Scott Quigley, threatened when Corey Addai denied Ian Henderson before Owen Dodgson blazed an angled shot wide.
Jimmy Keohane also shot over as Dale went down to a damaging defeat which leaves them with just two wins from their last 21 league matches.