Midfielder Danny Pugh was sent-off and Kjell Knops was stretchered off as Vale suffered yet another away defeat on Tuesday evening.
Michael Brown named an unchanged side and after a quiet start, the match exploded into life on 21 minutes when Danny Pugh was shown a straight red card for bringing down a Rochdale player when through on goal. The home side missed the resulting free-kick but took the lead just ten minutes later when Matthew Lund bundled the ball home from close range. To add to Vale’s woes, defender Kjell Knops was stretchered off.
After a lengthy delay when Knops was taken off, Vale soon conceded their second goal when McDermott scored Dale’s second. Then the match was wrapped up on the eve of half-time as Rochdale were awarded a penalty which Henderson converted.
In the second period, Ryan Taylor forced a save from Conrad Logan from a free-kick but it was already too late for the Valiants.
It was not only a poor result for the Valiants but they also lost the services of two players as they continue to be threatened with the prospect of the drop.