Goals from Ian Henderson and then George Donnelly against his former employees put Dale on track for an important win.
After Andy Mangan saw his spot-kick saved and then defender Nathan Pond was sent off for his involvement in a touchline altercation Jason Kennedy rubbed salt into wounds late on to delight Hill.
He said: “I see a squad buying into the way the game can be played and we can be successful.
“There have been a lot of fights along the way, with the players to prove I’m right. As pleasing as we were on the eye, we were equally good off the ball.
“We’ve got the balance right at the minute. I’m pleased for the players, they’ve worked hard. They’re being rewarded now.
“If we carry on with that hard work and energy we can deliver back to the football club and supporters what we achieved over our first four and a half years.”
Antonio Conte took the opportunity to compliment a rare talent after Lionel Messi masterminded Barcelona's Champions League defeat of Chelsea.
Wigan boss Paul Cook is happy to be heading into their FA Cup quarter-final with Southampton on the back of a morale-boosting league win.
Arsene Wenger has called on his Arsenal side to put on the sort of displays that will have stay-away fans returning to the Emirates Stadium.
Michael Jacobs struck in stoppage time as Wigan got their League One promotion bid back on track with a 1-0 win at Bradford.