VIDEO: Plymouth Argyle hold on for narrow 1-0 win against Rochdale at Home Park
PLYMOUTH ARGYLE 1 ROCHDALE 0
ARGYLE clinched a second consecutive victory in League Two, but it was far from easy for them.
The Pilgrims dominated the first half and could easily have led by more than one goal at the interval.
Reuben Reid scored a penalty in the 25th minute after a foul on strike partner Marvin Morgan.
But it was a different story after the break, with Rochdale having most of the possession and forcing Argyle to defend deep.
However, centre-back Guy Branston was superb in air as the Pilgrims held onto their slender lead until full-time.
Argyle's starting line-up was the same as for the 3-1 win away to Cheltenham Town last Saturday.
Luke McCormick was the goalkeeper despite Jake Cole recovering from an ankle injury.
The Pilgrims had an early opportunity to take the lead when Morgan got on the end of a corner from midfielder Lewis Alessandra inside the first minute.
Morgan got plenty of power on his header but Rochdale 'keeper Josh Lillis pushed it over the crossbar.
Lillis was then forced into a diving save to his left after a shot on the turn from Morgan inside the 18-yard area.
Reid had a chance in the 19th minute following a long throw-in from centre-back Curtis Nelson.
Lillis tried to catch the throw-in but the ball slipped through his grasp and Reid could not steer it on target from a tight angle.
However, Reid did open the scoring for Argyle from the penalty spot in the 25th minute.
Referee Brendan Malone ruled there had been contact when Morgan pushed a loose ball past Lillis and tumbled over, although the Rochdale 'keeper protested his innocence.
Reid stepped up to take the spot kick and scored with a cool finish to the left of Lillis.
Morgan continued to be an attacking threat for Argyle, with his firm header from a Conor Hourihane free-kick turned away by Lillis.
Then, in the 39th minute, Hourihane beat Lillis with a curling 20-yard shot but the ball smacked against the bar.
It remained 1-0 until half-time with Rochdale failing to trouble McCormick apart from a couple of crosses.
McCormick was called into action at the start of the second period, though, when he had to push away a header from midfielder Matt Lund.
Argyle struggled to get into their stride after the interval and Rochdale had plenty of the possession.
Midfielder Ian Henderson fired the ball over the bar from 20 yards in the 49th minute.
Argyle also conceded some cheap free-kicks inside their own territory and that allowed Rochdale to build up pressure.
Midfielder Peter Vincenti headed wide at the far post for the visitors after a deep corner in the 60th minute.
Morgan, who had been so effective before half-time, was starved of any decent service as Rochdale pushed higher and higher up the pitch.
An injured Reid was replaced by Andres Gurrieri in the 73rd minute.
Alessandra was moved into the Pilgrims' attack with Morgan while Gurrieri played on the right of midfield.
There was another substitution in the 81st minute with Boco making way for Andre Blackman.
Argyle went to a 4-1-4-1 formation with Dominic Blizzard playing in front of Branston and Nelson.
Blizzard was then replaced by Luke Young in the 86th minute as the Pilgrims clung onto their slender lead.
Rochdale had one late chance to equalise but a glancing header from substitute Joe Bunney in stoppage time went wide of the far post.
It had been a struggle for Argyle in the second half but at least they had their first Home Park win of the season.
ARGYLE: Luke McCormick; Curtis Nelson, Guy Branston, Durrell Berry; Lewis Alessandra, Dominic Blizzard (Luke Young 86 mins), Conor Hourihane, Rommy Boco (Andre Blackman 81 mins); Reuben Reid (Andres Gurrieri 73 mins), Marvin Morgan.
Substitutes (not used): Jake Cole, Maxime Blanchard, Tyler Harvey, Jamie Richards.
ROCHDALE: Josh Lillis; Javan Vidal, Olly Lancashire, Jack O'Connell, Michael Rose; Andrew Tutte (Bastien Hery 69 mins), Matt Lund; Peter Vincenti, Matt Done (Joe Bunney 54 mins), Ian Henderson; Scott Hogan.
Substitutes (not used): Joe Rafferty, Rhys Bennett, Ashley Eastham, Reece Gray, Robbie Thomson.
REFEREE: Brendan Malone (Wiltshire)
ATTENDANCE: 6,978 (148)
GOAL – Argyle: Reid (pen) 25 mins