Calvin Andrew scored a second half equaliser to earn Dale a point at the Ricoh Arena.
Dominic Samuel gave the home side the lead midway through the first half, before Callum Camps scored a cool curling effort to equalise three minutes after the half hour mark.
Sanmi Odelusi gave Coventry the lead just four minutes later, but Andrew headed home midway through the second half to earn Dale a point.
Keith Hill made one change from the side that started Monday’s FA Cup defeat to Stoke City. Matt Done missed out due to a knock which saw him subbed in that game, with Jamie Allen coming in to replace him. This meant Callum Camps moved into the central role up top.
The home side had the first effort through right winger Sanmi Odelusi, but his 20 yard effort was straight at Josh Lillis who held well. Odelusi then went close with a header, but it was both just wide of the post and from an offside position.
Dale had good spells of possession in the opening stages but couldn’t create a clear opportunity, whilst Coventry went close on a couple of occasions before opening the scoring in the 24th minute.
Jim O’Brien latched onto a through ball and found himself one-on-one with Lillis, who did superbly to punch the ball away from his feet. However, it fell straight to Samuel who fired home into the empty net.
It was unfortunate for Lillis who did well to stop O’Brien from rounding him, but Dale would have to come from behind to get anything from the game, and do that without Rhys Bennett who was forced to come off with a knock three minutes after the goal.
He looked to have picked up a knock early on and couldn’t run it off, meaning Calvin Andrew came on with Camps dropping back into midfield.
And it was from that midfield role that Camps would bring Dale back on level terms in the 33rd minute. He drove forward and sprayed a ball out to Joe Rafferty on the right side. The right back beat his man and laid the ball off to Camps on the edge of the area who calmly curled first time past home goalkeeper Jamie Jones and into the bottom corner.
However, Dale’s lead was short-lived as the home side went 2-1 up four minutes later. Peter Vincenti gave the ball away cheaply and it fell to Odelusi, who worked it onto his right foot and curled a low one past Lillis into the far corner.
Both sides had chances to score again before the break. Camps curled one just over for Dale whilst Nouble was inches away from tapping in Samuel’s low cross.
Dale made a second substitution at half-time, as Rafferty was withdrawn for Reuben Noble-Lazarus, with Ian Henderson slotting into the unfamiliar right back position.
The change allowed Noble-Lazarus to come in off the right side, leaving room for Henderson to run into and he spent the opening stages high up the pitch as Dale forced a couple of corners.
Lillis had to be alert just before the hour mark to turn a Nouble effort round the post, but it was Dale who would grab the next goal to level up matters.
A stinging Camps effort was turned over the bar for a Dale corner, from which Andrew would equalise. Ashley Eastham headed back across goal from the far post and Andrew placed his header past Jones for his fifth of the season.
The equaliser put Dale in the ascendency and the home side on the back foot, but Eastham, after playing his part in the goal, saved an almost certain goal at the other end, when he made a fantastic last ditch challenge on Odelusi as he was about to strike at goal.
There was a huge moment of controversy with 17 minutes left on the clock. A Coventry defender appeared to slip, allowing Dawson to pick up the ball and run clear on goal. However, the referee gave a free-kick to the home side as he deemed the Dale midfielder to have fouled the defender. Dawson was booked for his protests towards the man in the middle.
Dawson was one-on-one with the ‘keeper and his reaction suggested he didn’t make any contact with the home defender. Vincenti had a half chance with a back post header moments later but couldn’t get enough power on it to beat Jones.
With ten minutes remaining Michael Rose replaced Camps in midfield.
Lillis had to be at his best with five minutes left to deny Aaron Martin’s header from a corner kick.
Three minutes of added time couldn’t separate the sides, but the 474 Dale fans who made the trip would go home happy with a point after trailing at the break, with Leyton Orient coming to town next weekend.