Ian Henderson scored his 100th goal for Rochdale to help his side to a narrow FA Cup first round win against Gateshead at the Crown Oil Arena.
Jon Mellish scored at both ends, his first inadvertently as he turned in Bradden Inman’s cross as Dale took the lead midway through the first half through an own goal, Henderson doubling the lead moments later.
More pleasing for Mellish was his effort at the same end after the break, halving the deficit for the National League side, but failing to alter the final outcome.
Dale crucially came out of the blocks quickly with Inman playing a key role in helping the hosts to race into a two-goal lead.
The opening 20 minutes had seen little in the way of goalmouth action but when Inman broke to the byline down the left side of the area in the 21st, his low cross caused havoc with Mellish unfortunately converting beyond his own goalkeeper, Aynsley Pears.
Keith Hill’s men doubled their lead just two minutes later via the same route, as Inman took up the same inside left position and crossed expertly for Henderson to tape home at the back post his landmark strike.
Scott Boden went close before the break, curling just wide from 20 yards, in acres of space from a Gateshead counter, although he did play a part in pulling one back for his side following the interval.
Indeed, Mellish went was a villain turned hero four minutes into the second half, exchanging passes with Boden on his way into the Dale area and although his initial strike was straight at Brendan Moore, an unconvincing flap from the home ‘keeper could only take it into the top right corner.
However, that was not enough to spakr a turnaround for the non-league outift, with Dale now awaiting the second round draw on Monday evening, hoping they can reach the third round once after a famous run last season took them to face Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley.