Rochdale’s unbeaten pre-season run continued on Saturday as Keith Hill's side recorded a 1-1 draw against League One’s Preston North End at Spotland.
A Scott Hogan goal on 52 minutes cancelled out a first half header from the Lillywhite's Tom Clarke.
Dale welcomed PNE for the penultimate friendly of the summer, and as seen so far during the pre-season fixtures, Manager Keith Hill threw in a surprise as a Matty Done started in the left back position.
The Lillywhites sent a strong squad for the encounter, with the likes of Kevin Davies, Chris Humphrey and David Buchanan named amongst the starting line-up.
It was a fiercely, but evenly contested, game with both teams starting the game strongly, in what quickly became the battle of the midfield.
Clear cut opportunities were at a premium for either side during the half, with much of the play taking place in the middle of the pitch. However mostly notably on six minutes, Preston’s Lee Holmes proved tricky for the Dale defence. His quick feet work on the right hand side broke open the play, allowing some neat passing between the Lillywhite’s forward line, before Ian Hume eventually sent a powerful shot over the bar.
Dale were resolute however and resisted any pressure that came their way, while at the same time keeping the visitor’s busy. They also employed the same pacey, fast, flowing football that has been on display during pre-season, and while the PNE defence stood strong, they had their work cut out as Dale pushed forward from back to front, utilising the effective midfield partnership.
On 14 minutes, George Donnelly had a shot blocked on the edge of the area, while Matty Lund and Peter Vincenti linked up well to do all the hard work to win the ball back, before Vincenti over run his through ball to the onrunning Scott Hogan.
The Lillywhite’s David Buchanan sent a powerful drive over the bar, before Donnelly smashed a close range effort into the hands of ‘keeper Declan Rudd.
On the stroke of half time the visitors took the lead through Tom Clarke. He headed home from a free-kick which Holmes had lofted into the box.
HT: ROCHDALE 0-1 PRESTON NORTH END
There were no changes for Dale at the interval as Manager Keith Hill stayed as was for the start of the second half.
The goal before the break was the first time Rochdale had gone behind in pre-season and they responded magnificently after the re-start.
With just over a minute played, Hogan sent a menacing cross into the box which was missed by Henderson, however Lund was quickest to it and his effort was blocked six yards from goal.
Dale remained in control and three minutes later some brilliant play from Donnelly saw him steal the ball from the feet of Clarke. He cut inside and delivered a ball across the face of goal for Hogan who could only swipe at it.
Momentum stayed with Rochdale and they got the equaliser they deserved on 52 minutes, with Hogan finally getting his just rewards. Donnelly, who dug deep, did well to force a ball across the face of goal from a corner, and Hogan smashed it into the back of the net.
Immediately after the goal, Manager Keith Hill made a triple substitution as the Hogan, Lancashire and Lund made way for Andrew Tutte, Ashley Eastham and Bastien Hery.
The game then petered out in terms of goalmouth action. The most notable chances saw Hery unleash a shot goalwards shortly after the hour mark which was kept out by Rudd, and Kevin Davies power a header over the bar with ten minutes left.
Dale did have the chance to seal a victory late in the game when Hery played in Bunney who went through one on one with the ‘keeper. His end effort was kept out by the legs of Rudd.
It finished Rochdale 1, Preston North End 1.