BRADFORD City hit back from successive defeats to claim victory at Spotland.
Two goals in two minutes after the break effectively settled the game in City’s favour after the sides had gone in level at 1-1.
City manager Phil Parkinson made four changes from the side beaten 2-0 at Colchester in midweek, giving left winger Kyel Reid an immediate start after signing on loan from Preston, who he joined from the Bantams last season.
Target man James Hanson was dropped as Devante Cole and Andrew Davies led the attack and Gary Liddle replaced Billy Knott in midfield with Ben Williams taking over from axed goalkeeper Brad Jones and Rory McArdle returning in central defence after a stomach upset.
The first half was littered with free-kicks but City took a 34th minute lead after Cole cut inside and earned a free-kick 22 yards out. Tony McMahon fired into the wall and appealed for hands by Jamie Allen but it was a call that did not need answering as the ball broke for Lee Evans to convert from close range.
Rochdale were level in the 42nd minute, however, when Callum Camps scuffed a shot from outside the area only to see Peter Vincenti race in and convert at the far post.
City, however, struck the vital blows in the 59th and 61st minute.
Davies did well to wrest possession near the line and Joe Rafferty almost turned the low cross into his own net. Josh Lillis did well to keep it out but Cole was on hand to bundle the ball home.
Then Evans cross from the left and Oliver Lancashire outjumped Cole but could only flick his header into his own net.
Calvin Andrew then blazed over the bar after Williams had dropped a cross and though Keith Hill brought on three replacements in the 68th minute as Hanson took over from Davies, City held on after a few alarms, though Evans forced a fine save from Lillis.
Cole and Reid were replaced by Luke James and Mark Marshall in the closing stages.
Williams also produced a flying save from Matthew Lund’s stoppage-time free-kick.
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