Former winners Crewe Alexandra’s interest in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy was swiftly ended by Rochdale at Gresty Road.
The visitors emerged as comfortable winners against them for the second time in a fortnight courtesy of goals from Matty Done, Peter Vincenti and substitute Calvin Andrew.
Done – who scored a hat-trick in the previous 5-2 encounter – earned his side the lead when heading in from close-range just before the break.
Peter Vincenti was then left unmarked and nodded another following the interval before Andrew rolled in a late third goal when goalkeeper Scott Shearer misplaced a pass.
Shearer had earlier produced a fine save to block from Stephen Dawson but his colleagues failed to create much in return.
Rochdale’s on loan goalkeeper Conrad Logan was though finally called into action early in the second-half when turning over from Billy Waters before Anthony Grant struck an upright on the end of a surging break – with Waters unable to force in the rebound.
The Railwaymen now have a ten-day break from the action ahead of facing fierce rivals Port Vale.
Crewe Alexandra: Shearer, Tootle, Dugdale, Guthrie, Grant, Nolan, Atkinson (Audel 46), Turton, Waters, Oliver (Saunders 87), Inman (Cooper 71)
subs (unused): Garratt, Molyneux
Rochdale: Logan, O’Connell, Rafferty, Tanser, Eastham, Dawson, Hery (Bennett 82), Vincenti, Allen, Fenelon (Camps 51), Done (Andrew 70)
subs (unused): Musangu, Rose
Goals: Done (42), Vincenti (64), Andrew (88)
Ref: S. Duncan
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