Rochdale earned a well deserved point on the road on Friday night with a 1-1 draw at Southend United’s Roots Hall.
Jamie Allen opened the scoring for Dale in the 13th minute, before Kevin Hurst levelled the scoring for the home side shortly before the interval.
There were five changes to the Dale eleven who lined up against Fleetwood Town last week – Joe Rafferty, Oliver Lancashire, Matty Lund, Jamie Allen and Graham Cummins started ahead of Rhys Bennett, Gary Dicker, Andrew Tutte, Peter Vincenti and Matty Done.
Southend United started the game brightly and enjoyed plenty of position during the first five minutes of the match, however they failed to test ‘keeper Josh Lillis, despite seeing plenty of the ball and keeping Rochdale in their own half.
And after the Blues failed to take advantage of their positive start, it was former Shrimpers loanee Matty Lund who had the first shot on goal. The Dale midfielder struck a curling effort from the edge of the area round the upright with six minutes on the clock.
After Lund’s effort the game evened out for a spell, but it was Dale who opened the scoring seven minutes later through Jamie Allen.
The youngster was first to react to a blocked Ian Henderson shot, and his effort went in off the underside of the bar.
GOAL: Southend United 0-1 Rochdale
The home side continued to make it difficult for Rochdale, but it was Dale who always looked the most threatening in the final third and shortly after the half hour mark had two opportunities blocked on the line by Luke Prosser.
Prosser was there to firstly block an angled shot from Scott Hogan, before denying Henderson, who had got on the end of the follow up effort. There was also an appeal for a handball in amongst the melee, but to no avail.
As the half continued, it was Rochdale who were on top but were they dealt a blow in the 44th minute, when the Blues levelled the scoring against the run of play.
The well struck powerful effort from Kevin Hurst left Lillis with no chance of a save as it nestled itself in the back of the net.
GOAL: Southend United 1-1 Rochdale
HT: Southend United 1-1 Rochdale
There were no changes for Dale at the interval as Manager Keith Hill stayed as was for the start of the second half.
The half was a hard fought affair, with clear cut opportunities at a premium for both teams, as the sides remained resolute.
Rochdale had began the second-half on top, but it was the home side who had an opportunity on the on the hour mark it.
A Hurst corner was met by the head of Rob Kiernan, but it went narrowly over the bar.
Shortly after, Lund sent a volley wide of the upright.
The defences stood strong and the best chance of the half fell to Southend’s Barry Corr in the 84th minute. He was denied by the cross bar after looping a header up and over ‘keeper Lillis.
The teams went in search of a winner, but with the defences in fine form, neither side were able to find a break through.
It finished Southend United, Rochdale