IAN Long praised his players following last night’s emphatic 4-1 victory over Romulus at The Beeches. 

The match was subject to an afternoon inspection before referee Eddie Smart gave The Beeches’ playing surface the green light after the postponement of Saturday’s game against Goole AFC.

Jordan Archer opened the scoring after just 12 minutes with a neat finish only for Luke Keen to equalise for The Roms to level the score at half-time.

But three second half goals for the home side, including a second of the night for Archer and solitary efforts from substitutes Karl Edwards and Nigel Penney bagged another three points for ‘Dale, who moved up two places to eleventh in the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League Division One South table.

And Long was impressed with his players’ attitude having given away their early lead.

He said “It was a great victory for us. The pitch was very slick and we got the early lead through Jordan but then we lost concentration, started giving the ball away cheaply in dangerous areas and they got their equaliser through Keen.

“After the break, I felt our ball retention was much better, we managed to get back in front and looked in control thereon.

“Romulus were probably having their best period of the game when Jordan got his second goal and we all know that goals change games. I believe that is the first time we’ve scored four goals in a league game at this level and that’s an achievement in itself.”

Former Tipton boss Long was also impressed by debutant Jamie King, who replaced Sam Williams with 20 minutes to play and the former AFC Wulfrunians winger provided two late assists for both Karl Edwards and Nigel Penney.

“Jamie was excellent when he came on. I said last week when he joined the club that he’s got a good delivery in the final third of the field.

“But it’s still early days for Jamie, he’s very young and needs time to adapt to the instensity and physicality at this level of football. His first touch that led to our third goal from Karl shows the ability the lad has got.”

Tivi ended the game with ten men following the dismissal of Danny Ashton with one minute of normal time to play for two bookable offences and Long is disappointed he will be losing the versatile former Tipton Town ace to suspension.

“It’s certainly a blow to us that Danny will be suspended, but we have the squad to deal with it. I didn’t get a great view of the second challenge so it would be unfair of me to comment as to whether it was the correct decision or not, really.”