Macclesfield Town 3 Rochdale 0

Macclesfield captain Matthew Tipton fired his side into third position in League Two with a clinical hat-trick in a 3-0 win over play-off hopefuls Rochdale at Moss Rose.

His opening goal came in the eighth minute as he hit a neat chest down from strike partner John Parkin with a powerful first time volley that was still rising as it hit the back of the net.

His second came only four minutes later as he sprang the offside trap before trying to pick out Parkin at the far post. However, the ball rebounded off Gareth Griffiths giving him time and space to slot home from six yards.

He might have added his hat-trick goal in the 18th minute as he took a precise reverse pass from Neil Mackenzie on the wide right, but his shot from a narrow angle was brilliantly blocked by Matthew Gilks.

Rochdale tried to battle back and, in the 31st minute, new signing Rickie Lambert saw a powerful 25-yard drive go inches past the far post, while skipper Gary Jones was even more unlucky on the stroke of half-time as a speculative 25-yard volley shaved the woodwork.

Macclesfield's defence were tested after the break, but sweeper Matthew Carragher and centre back David Morley stood firm making a succession of telling interceptions.

Macclesfield could have added a third in the 68th minute when a turn and shot from Parkin hit the advertising hoardings and they went even closer a minute later as Morley strode out of defence to hammer a 30-yard shot that was acrobatically tipped wide by Gilks.

Grant Holt then showed why he is Dale's top scorer with a half volley on the turn that hit the side netting.

Macclesfield dominated the closing stages with Miles and Parkin both going close before Tipton earned the match ball as he converted a Paul Harsley pass with a rasping drive that Gilks could only deflect into the top corner.