Jack Redshaw opened the scoring against the run of play shortly after the hour mark, before Scott Hogan responded two minutes later to send Dale level. Ian Henderson ensured the home side took maximum points as he struck beyond Barry Roche in the 72nd minute.
Manager Keith Hill named an unchanged eleven for the game against the Shrimps. There were three changes on the bench, however, as Peter Cavanagh and Olly Lancashire returned from injury to replace Callum Camps and Rhys Bennett, while Reece Gray, who is back at Spotland following his loan spell at Halifax Town, replaced Joe Bunney.
It was a cold and wet day in Rochdale, but praise must once again go to the ground staff who ensured the game went ahead, despite torrential rain overnight on Friday and into Saturday morning.
The pitch held up well during the game and had dried out well before kick-off, allowing both teams to get the ball down and play football.
Morecambe kicked the game off and had their first opportunity of the match seconds later as the ball was played long to Kevin Ellison, who out jumped Joe Rafferty, to flick a header into the path of Jack Redshaw. The former Dale loanee found Andy Fleming, who could only fire wide of the upright from the edge of the area.
Four minutes later and Redshaw sent a headed effort off target.
The home side had started brightly, but Dale were more than matching their early enthusiasm, and Keith Hill’s side went on to have the best opportunities of the half so far as they applied the pressure in quick succession. In the tenth minute Ashley Eastham split open the Shrimps defence with a long diagonal ball, picking out Joe Rafferty on the right hand flank. Rafferty controlled the ball impeccably on his chest, before sending the ball across the face of goal. Jamie Allen attempted a volley, but his effort was cleared.
It went as far as Ellison, who thought he had done enough to clear the danger, but young Rafferty should great desire to win the ball back, and again send a cross into the area.
He found Allen, who pulled the ball back into the path of Hogan, but Dale’s top goal scorer couldn’t make a clean connection with the ball, and he sent an effort over the bar.
In the 16th minute Dale had shouts for a penalty turned down after Ian Henderson was upended inside the 18 yard box. Dale had hit the Shrimps on the counter attack, leaving the Morecambe defence scrambling to get back, and only able to put in a last ditch challenge to deny Hendo.
Rochdale remained in control and shortly before the half hour mark another quick move forward from Dale saw Matty Lund feed Done into the action with a perfect through ball. The left full back took the ball round the back of his defender in order to find the space needed to clip a ball in across the face of goal. Hogan was waiting inside the six yard box, but Done’s final ball was just too high for the stretching striker.
And it was in the 33nd minute that Morecambe opened the scoring against the run of play.
The Shrimps delivered a ball over the top, which was held up in the wind, and it fell for Redshaw who only had to tap it beyond Josh Lillis.
GOAL: ROCHDALE 0-1 MORECAMBE
It was a harsh blow for Rochdale, who had been top for the majority of the half, but they responded just two minutes later through Hogan.
Rose found the 21-year-old with a long ball forward, and Hogan controlled the pass before rifling a shot past Barry Roche, leaving him with no chance of a save.
GOAL: ROCHDALE 1-1 MORECAMBE (Hogan, 35 mins)
The teams went in level at the interval.
HT: ROCHDALE 1-1 MORECAMBE
Manager Keith Hill made no changes at the interval as he stayed as was for the second half.
It was end to end during the opening exchanges, but it was Rochdale who again had the better of the opportunities.
And in the 54th minute Henderson was denied by the legs of Roche after a neat flick from Allen sent him through one on one with the ‘keeper.
Two minutes later and Dale were awarded a free-kick on the edge of the area after Rose was brought to the ground. Rose took the set piece, attempting to curl the effort round the wall and in at the post, but the Shrimps did their job and blocked the effort.
On the hour mark, Lund fired over from 22 yards following another Dale free-kick, before Morecambe had their best opportunity of the half at the other end.
Jamie Devitt delivered a cross to the back post, but despite Ellison attempting to get on the end of it with a diving header, he was unable to make a connection and the ball and it skipped past the upright.
Dale’s first substitution of the half soon followed as Jason Kennedy made way for Peter Vincenti.
It was relatively even for a spell, as Morecame began to show more of a threat, and in the 69th minute Devit again sent a menacing ball across the face of goal, but unbelievably there was no-one there to turn the ball into the net.
And a minute later, Done cleared a Devitt free-kick off the line.
It was end to end action and in the 71st minute, Hogan had a golden opportunity but could only send his effort wide of the upright following a fantastic break forward from Dale.
And a minute later Rochdale took the lead.
Done, who was excellent throughout, skipped inside the area, before finding Henderson inside a packed 18 yard box, and he struck low past Roche.
GOAL: ROCHDALE 2-1 MORECAMBE (Henderson, 72 minutes)
Gray made his first appearance for Rochdale this season as he was introduced onto the field of play on the 84th minute, replacing Allen.
Rochdale frustrated Morecambe during the remaining minutes of the match, while the visitors looked to hit Dale on the break. Rochdale stood strong, though, while keeping possession, and it finished Rochdale 2, Morecambe 1.