A late strike from Andrew Tutte secured a point for Rochdale at Vale Park on Tuesday night as Dale came from two goals behind against Port Vale.
Tom Pope had put the home side two nil up, but goals from Bobby Grant and Andrew Tutte turned the match on its head to seal a point in a 2-2 draw.
Manager John Coleman named an unchanged starting eleven for the trip.
There was very little action in the opening 20 minutes of the match at Vale Park as both teams struggled to take get a foot hold on a game which really failed to get going during that time.
In what was a scrappy opening period, opportunities on goal were few and far between as the two sides failed to test the ‘keeper at each end.
On two minutes, the Valiants Ashley Vincent sent a low shot in on goal but in the end it was an easy save for Josh Lillis who got down low to collect.
Six minutes later and George Donnelly opted for a wayward shot rather than picking out the onrunning Bobby Grant after breaking forward from midfield after a shot Port Vale free-kick was played into his feet. The decision to go it alone put an end to the Dale attack as it went wide of the target.
Action in front of goal was rare, but when called into action the Dale defence stood strong. On 17 minutes Jennison Myrie Williams bombed up the flank but was stopped in his tracks as he tempted to cut inside by Rhys Bennett who charged him down.
After a quiet start, the game suddenly sprang into life which brought about end to end football for a spell.
Just a minute after Bennett’s clearance, Bobby Grant had tested goalkeeper Chris Neal at the other end as he fired a left footed strike from 25 yards in on goal forcing the ‘keeper into a low save.
On 21 minutes a fantastic reaction save on the line from Dale’s Lillis kept the game on level terms as he kept out a Vincent header from inside the six yard box.
Just moments later and Jason Kennedy got enough on the ball to steer a menacing cross away from goal, before Clayton McDonald sent a fizzy shot narrowly wide of the upright.
Andrew Tutte tested Neal from distance with a low dipping effort on 26 minutes from 30 yards out but the strike was comfortably saved by the ‘keeper.
With the play looking livelier a goal was never going to be far away and it was the home side who opened the scoring on 27 minutes. Lillis did well to keep out Tom Pope’s initial shot, but could do little to stop his re-bound effort after the division’s top scorer fired home from close range.
Both teams continued to play end to end football but it was Lillis who was called into action on 35 minutes as he pulled off another fantastic save, this time keeping out Pope who sent a volley in on goal at the near post.
Two minutes later and Donnelly drove the ball low towards the Port Vale goal, but his effort was collected by Neal.
With Dale continuing to search for the equaliser it looked as though the break through had finally come in stoppage time, but as seen on Saturday, the woodwork was to yet again to deny Bobby Grant. His thundering effort from 25 yards coming off the bar.
There were no Dale substitutions at half time as Manager John Coleman continued as was for the start of the second half.
After the interval it was Port Vale who started the brightest and twice came close within as many minutes. Myrie Williams sent a curling effort round the upright from the edge of the area, before Ben Williamson curled a shot on the turn round the same post.
On 54 minutes Williamson was allowed to get a head on a Myrie Williams cross inside the box which went narrowly over the bar.
The Valiants continued to look threatening going forward and their second of the night came shortly after the hour mark.
Pope controlled the ball with his back to goal inside the box before firing a shot on the turn into the top corner of the net to make it fifteen for the season so far.
Despite going 2-0 ahead, it was Rochdale who took control of the game.
Donnelly dragged a shot wide of the target, before Tutte’s effort from distance also went wide of the upright. With 66 minutes on the clock Grant should have done better after going through one on one with the goalkeeper, but he could only drag his shot well wide of the post.
Two minutes later and Port Vale found themselves down to ten men after Sam Morsey was shown red for a high tackle on Kennedy. Dale certainly used the extra man to their advantage and the equaliser came on 73 minutes.
Grant headed home from six yards from a set piece to give Dale a lifeline in the final 20 minutes of the match.
On 83 minutes substitute Ashley Grimes sent a fine through ball into the path of Donnelly after a free kick. Donnelly sent a low cross across the face of goal but agonisingly for Dale there was no-one there to turn it into the back of the net.
With four minutes of the 90 remaining, Manager John Coleman through everything at the game as he introduced Ray Putterill onto the field of play in place of Kevin McIntyre. And with Dale giving their all, Tutte fired home on 88 minutes to rescue a deserved point for Rochdale.
It finished Port Vale 2, Rochdale 2.