Manager Brian Barry-Murphy was proud of his Rochdale side as they claimed their first away victory of the Sky Bet League One season with a narrow 1-0 win at fellow early-season strugglers Burton.
A 49th-minute header from former Albion midfielder Matty Lund, who steered home Aaron Morley’s free-kick, was all that separated two evenly-matched sides with the goal sending Lund’s former side to the foot of the table.
The Dale boss reflected on a good win for his side which was missing several key players after a hectic start to the campaign.
“I am delighted for the lads,” he said.
“It’s been a great couple of weeks for us in terms of our performances and being really stretched in terms of our squad and trying to get through without some established members of the team so to come here and put on a performance like that is something that makes us all hugely proud.
“We started off the first half on the front foot and had some good chances and to persist with that in the early stages of the second half was really encouraging because I thought we should have been in front at half-time.
“We scored at a good time and then had to defend resolutely. Our defensive characteristics were superb and we limited Burton to very few chances and protected (goalkeeper) Gavin (Bazunu) really well.
“It was great to get the goal so early in the second half to give us that belief and the reward for our efforts.”
For Burton boss Jake Buxton it was a missed opportunity to build on their first away point with the first of back-to-back home games.
The former defender – in his first season as a manager – was left disappointed by the level of performance from some of his senior players as he watched his side drop to the bottom of the league.
“We did OK in periods of the first half,” Buxton said. “We created a couple of opportunities from getting the ball out wide and getting crosses into the box.
“Kane Hemmings hit the post – but it is a case of small margins again.
“We gave far too many free-kicks away, particularly in the second half and we conceded from a set play which is disappointing.
“We have got too many players underperforming at the minute.
“The work we put in Saturday and the structure of the team and what we wanted, I thought we would carry that on into today and take steps forward and we didn’t do that.
“We had a lot of senior players out there on the pitch who have played a lot of games and I expected the performance levels to be a bit better than what they were instead of not stepping up and performing.”