Rochdale fell to their first loss in four games on Saturday following a 1-0 defeat at home to Barnsley.
A first goal from Peter Ramage separated the two sides.
Manager Keith Hill made three changes to the team that lined up against Leyton Orient last weekend. Joe Rafferty, who returned from suspension, replaced Rhys Bennett, while Captain Olly Lancashire was handed a start in place of the suspended Ashely Eastham. There was a return to the starting eleven for Matty Lund – his first appearance since August.
The game sparked into life after just 10 minutes as Barnsley opened the scoring from a corner. After some good defending by Allen on the edge of his box, the ball went out for a corner on the left-hand side. It was swung in by the left foot of Conor Hourihane and found the head of Ramage 8 yards out. The on-loan Barnsley man delivered a textbook downwards header past Logan and into the net.
This sparked an immediate response from Rochdale as Ian Henderson broke down the right wing. He delivered a dangerous low ball across the Barnsley six yard box but nobody could make contact to send the ball goalward and it went all the way through to Tanser on the left hand side. His cross found Henderson again at the back post who looked to drill a half volley back across goal but he got his angles wrong and the ball rolled wide.
Peter Vincenti tried his luck with a drive from the edge of the area in a central position as the ball fell to him after briefly bouncing around the edge of the Barnsley area. His resulting shot through a melee of bodies was saved by the legs of the unsighted Ross Turnbull.
Logan was on hand at the other end of the pitch to keep Barnsley out after Devante Cole did brilliantly to create space for himself. From the edge of the area, the Barnsley man showed quick feet to beat two defenders and break through on goal but the on-rushing Conrad Logan got down well to deny Cole's clip towards goal.
Dale's best chance of the half fell the way of Vincenti after he was played clean through by Ian Henderson. The ball was slipped into the path of Vincenti's diagonal run into the box and with just the goalkeeper to beat, he looked to place the ball past Turnbull but the Barnsley man produced an excellent save, diving to his left.
Vincenti once again found a chance at his feet as he was played into the area by Scott Tanser. The short ball came in from the left hand side to the feet of Vincenti just inside the area. He had the space to turn and looked to drive the ball towards the far top corner, but put too much into his shot and it rifled harmlessly over the bar.
Dawson was able to break away down the right of the pitch following a Barnsley attack and capitalised on a slip from the defender to deliver a deep cross towards Henderson at the back post. He put a too much into his cross however, and the ball fell to Vincenti on the left hand side. His touch fell back into the path of Henderson who looked to send the ball back across goal but his cross was blocked by the Barnsley defender.
HALF TIME: Rochdale 0-1 Barnsley
There were no changes for either side at the interval.
Rochdale were looking the most likely in the opening exchanges of the second half and with 56 minutes on the clock they piled the pressure on the Barnsley defence as quick fire shots came in from Vincenti, Henderson and Done. With Barnsley sitting deep, Dale were able to work the ball into the box Where Vincenti drilled a shot towards goal but his effort was blocked. This fell into the path of Henderson who saw his shot blocked and it finally fell to the feet of Done who, with space to set himself in the area, looked to drive the ball in at the near post but it was again blocked on the line.
Calvin Andrew, who had come on for Lund, showed great strength and composure to work his way to the by-line and clip a ball towards the back post. Vincenti was able to rise highest in the area, but at the top of his jump, he was unable to get any power onto his header and Ross Turnbull was able to drop onto the ball.
Barnsley found themselves looking to venture forward on the counter attack, and as Devante Cole was played into the box he looked set to be presented with an excellent chance but his heavy first touch allowed Logan to rush off his line to smother the ball at the feet of the attacker.
It was Rochdale quickly back into the front foot however, as Done saw his effort crash into the side netting. Tanser was quickly onto knock down from Calvin Andrew and burst forward into the box. As his run was blocked off by a red shirt, Done took over, swinging his left boot at the ball in an effort to catch the keeper out at his near post. His shot was narrowly wide and into the side netting however.
Sam Winnall found himself with a fantastic opportunity to double Barnsley's lead after some great work by the lively Devante Cole on the left wing. After beating Dawson for pace, Cole cut the ball back to Winnall 8 yards out but after he was able to turn, O'Connell superbly got his body in the way at full stretch to block the shot.
Henderson found himself with a chance to get Dale back into the game with a snap shot on goal after Calvin Andrew was able to knock down a long punt from Logan into his path. Hendo was forced wide by the resolute Barnsley defence, however, and saw his effort fly wide of the upright.
With the game into the second minute of added time, Barnsley were handed the chance to seal the win from the penalty spot after Devante Cole was brought down in the box by Lancashire as he led a lightning quick counter attack. Conor Hourihane stepped up to take the spot kick, looking to drive the ball high to the left of Logan but the Rochdale goalkeeper was equal to it with a brilliant save to tip the penalty over the bar - his second penalty save in the space of a week.
FULL TIME: Rochdale 0-1 Barnsley
Man of the Match: Jamie Allen
Report by Rob Anderson