Ten man Rochdale were forced to settle for a point against Dagenham and Redbridge at Spotland on Saturday afternoon.
Dale had taken a comfortable two goal lead into the interval following goals from Dele Adebola and Bobby Grant but conceded twice after the break after going down to ten men following a Kevin McIntyre sending off.
Josh Scott netted from the spot before Dwight Gayle ensured a share of the spoils.
There was just one change to the Dale starting eleven from Tuesday evening as George Donnelly was given the nod ahead of Ashley Grimes.
The visitors had the livelier of the starts and despite having plenty of early possession in the final third, they were unable to really test goalkeeper Josh Lillis due to strong defending from the Dale back four.
With the Daggers failing to make an impact on the match in the opening period, Rochdale settled into the game and began to cause problems of their own for John Still’s men.
On 9 minutes, Ashley Grimes, whose work rate was again impressive, was quick thinking as he thread a menacing diagonal ball through for the onrunning Bobby Grant which cut open the Dagenham and Redbridge defence in a speedy Dale attack. The pass allowed Grant to get to the by-line before cutting inside, only a fine piece of defending denied the frontman getting his shot away.
Just three minutes later and Ryan Edwards, who had a fantastic half, came inches from netting his first goal for the club but was denied by the woodwork. The on-loan Blackburn youngster’s fine volley from the edge of the area smashed off the underside of the and back down into play before the visitors managed to scramble the ball away from danger.
The momentum continued in Dale’s favour and just minutes later Ryan Edwards was again involved in the thick of the action this time sending a header over the bar.
Dagenham then had two opportunities in quick succession as Josh Scott toe poked an effort goalward from inside the six yard box. Lillis did well to get down and smother the ball at his post.
This was before Elito managed to get a header onto a cross into the box. He flicked it down across the face of the goal but despite looking set for the back of the net the effort was found to be offside.
Elito’s effort was the last clear cut chance for Daggers during the half as Rochdale took control of the game.
Grimes was the first to test goalkeeper Chris Lewington during a prolonged spell of pressure. He turning shot on 25 minutes was however collected by the ‘keeper who got down low.
Two minutes later and Ryan Edwards who was in fine form again forced Lewington into action as he hit a half volley on the turn from inside the 18 yard box. The stopper had to pounce to his near post to keep the defender out.
Rochdale were on top and as the fast attacking football continued and broke the deadlock on 33 minutes through a fantastic goal from Dele Adebola.
The towering frontman collected a pass from Grimes with his back to goal before turning to curl the ball round Lewington and into the bottom left hand corner of the net from just outside the area.
After taking a deserved lead, it didn’t take long for Rochdale to double their advantage as Grant got his name on the scoresheet to make it three goals in three games for himself and Adebola.
His goal on 38 minutes was identical to his strike partner Adebola, and gave Dale a well-earned lead heading into the interval.
There was one change for Dale at the break as George Donnelly replaced Adebola.
Rochdale started the second half as they left off in the first and continued on top.
Grimes looked on as his free-kick took a deflection off the Daggers wall and over the bar on 50 mimutes, before substitute Donnelly sent an effort just inches wide of the upright after breaking free from two markers to get a shot away.
But as in recent weeks, there was yet another talking point in the game. It was however Dale who were at the wrong end of a penalty and sending off.
On 59 minutes Josh Scott rounded the Lillis, but appeared to be brushed off the ball by Kevin McIntyre. The referee however adjudged that McIntyre had felled Scott inside the area and pointed to the spot. He also showed the left full back the red card reducing Dale to ten men with half an hour of the match remaining.
Micky Spillane stepped up to take the resulting penalty and slotted it past Lillis and into the net to give the visitors a life line in the match.
With Rochdale a man down, Coleman was forced to shuffle his pack and introduced Matt Pearson onto the field of play to cover in the left back position at the expense of Grimes.
Dagenham certainly made the most of the extra man and on 64 minutes they came close to bagging an equaliser. Scott who was involved in the penalty incident, was through one on one with Lillis, and with Lillis coming off his line to close him down, he got the shot away and sent it inches past the upright.
Two minutes later and Abu Ogogo should have made it two a piece but failed to turn the ball into the net. All he had to do was get a touch on the ball which had been flicked across the face of goal from the edge of the six yard box.
With the Daggers coming knocking an equaliser always looked likely and the goal eventually came on 68 minutes. Sam Williams’ long range effort rattled off the underside of the cross bar and over the line to make it 2-2 at Spotland.
It was the end to end but despite all efforts to try and find the winner, Dale were unable to make the pressure count in the final third.
And it was Dagenham who came closest to netting the winner on 86 minutes in a breath taking end to the match.
Substitute Dwight Gayle lifted the ball over Lillis, and what looked like almost slow motion, it rebounded off the back post before making its along the line before being hooked away by Rafferty who had got tracked to back.
With just seconds on the clock remaining Rochdale were awarded a free-kick in a dangerous position. The ball was whipped into the area by Jason Kennedy and fell for Phil Edwards who hit over the bar from six yards out.
It finished Rochdale 2, Dagenham and Redbridge 2.