By Nick Park

“Performances have been very, very good in the last fixtures so long may that continue.”

These were the words of Crawley Town’s jubilant manager Scott Lindsey after a fourth consecutive fixture without defeat to give real hope of getting out of trouble.

Within seconds of this encounter igniting, Crawley’s Ashley Nadesan sped towards the box. His effort was tipped behind by Richard O’Donnell the Rochdale goalkeeper.

James Tilley was electrifying throughout and unfortunate when producing a fierce strike from a distance which floated over.

He can be a lethal weapon for the remainder of this campaign and deserved to be presented with man of the match honours.

Lindsey said: “He was brilliant. I thought he showed real flashes of quality in the final third. He worked extremely hard out of possession.”

Crawley’s goalkeeper Corey Addai was alert and reacted with a spectacular clearance when Rochdale’s Max Taylor tried his luck from close range.

When Ethan Brierley had a crack. Joel Lynch was in near proximity to slide in and thwart the danger.

Crawley stepped up a gear after the 20-minute mark.

Aramide Oteh saw his effort drift wide but Crawley were hungry and their first piece of magic appeared in the 35th minute.

Dom Telford received the ball prior to turning and sliding it past the opposition’s defence and over the goal line. Lindsey said he was “Really pleased for him to score that goal. It was a great goal to be fair. His back to the goal and he managed to swivel and finish it well.” Crawley extended their advantage when, from a corner, Dion Conroy leapt high at the far post.

The Crawley faithful were ecstatic, in full voice.

The killer blow nearly appeared prior to the interval.

Tilley’s tackle and Telford’s pass gifted Nadesan a chance and his curler ricocheted off the post. Following the break, Crawley pressed for a third goal.

There was a slight worry when Rochdale’s Ian Henderson grabbed the ball in the penalty area.

The tall and dynamic Addai needed to be alert once again, getting his hand to the ball, clearing it to safety. Tilley also supplied Tom Fellows in a dangerous spot. His execution nevertheless lacked energy and came to nothing.

In the dying moments Jack Powell had an opportunity on the edge of the box and forced O’Donnell into a diving save.

Lindsey said: “I’m really pleased. I thought we were very, very good today.

“We showed Rochdale that we meant business today. I thought players delivered that really well today, so really pleased.

“We’ve got nine games left. Stick with us. It’s going to be ups and downs still. We’re going to try and win every game.

“The players are going to work extremely hard for that to happen.”

Crawley: Addai, Gordon, Lynch, Conroy, Mazeed, Gladwin (Khaleel 72), Powell, Oteh (Johnson 73), Tilley (Fellows 72), Telford (Grant 61), Nadesan.