A stoppage time goal saw a determined 10-man Rochdale secure a deserved point against AFC Wimbledon on Saturday.
Dale were were trailing to a 12th minute goal, until Dons goalkeeper Clarke punched the ball into his own net from a corner with 95 minutes on the clock.
There were two changes to the side that lined-up against QPR midweek. Steven Davies made his first start for the club, while Nathaniel Mendez-Laing was also called into the eleven. They replaced Joe Rafferty and Joe Thompson, who were named on the bench.
It had been all Dale during the opening exchanges, as they started the game at a very high tempo. But it was the visitors who took the lead against the run of play with 12 minutes on the clock.
After the Dons broke from a Rochdale corner, Chris Whelpdale delivered into the area for Andy Barcham, who headed into the bottom corner of the net and past the outstretching Conrad Logan.
Six minutes later and Dale had their best chance of the half after Mendez-Laing split the AFC Wimbledon defence to pick out Davies. He was denied by the brave outrushing Ryan Clarke, who came to snatch the ball at his feet.
In truth, the Dons’ goal had taken the tempo out of the match, with the visitors content at sitting back and soaking up the pressure, while failing to register another shot on target in the half.
In turn, this meant clear cut opportunities were also at premium for Dale.
Shortly after the half hour, Davies, on the turn, struck a powerful effort wide of the upright from the edge of the area, while Andy Cannon fired high over the bar a few minutes later.
And AFC Wimbledon took their lead into the interval.
HT: ROCHDALE 0-1 AFC WIMBLEDON
Manager Keith Hill made one change at the break, as Callum Camps replaced Donal McDermott for the start of the second half.
Nine minutes after the re-start, Dale were in on goal, after Logan picked out Henderson with a precision ball forward. The skipper dinked past the out-rushing Clarke, but with the goal gaping, he could only chip the ball onto the roof of the net from a tight angle.
A second substitute followed soon after, with Calvin Andrew replacing Steven Davies.
After the hour, Lund headed across goal and narrowly wide of the upright from a Jamie Allen corner, before being replaced by Sanmi Odelusi in Dale’s third and final substitution.
Rochdale were enjoying plenty of the ball and in the 76th minute Clarke was called into action to keep out Henderson’s curling effort, which looked headed for the back of the net. The goalkeeper dived to his left to palm it away, sending the ball out to Odelusi, who had his shot on the rebound blocked.
Allen was then denied by the woodwork, as his powerful effort from 20-yards clipped the bar.
Dale were reduced to ten men a short time after, as substitute Camps picked up two bookings in a matter of minutes.
After big appeals from the Dale players for a handball inside the AFC Wimbledon box were waved away by the referee, Camps went in the book under the new rules for asking the question why. A minute later and he was booked again, this time for a time challenge.
As time ticked away, Rochdale were in the ascendancy and Andrew sent Clarke scrambling as he sent a header at goal. Agonisingly, he could only watch on as the effort went narrowly wide of the upright.
But deep in stoppage time, Dale found the equaliser they deserved after winning their twelfth corner of the game. After being put under pressure, Dons ‘keeper Clarke punched the delivery into the back of the net to see Keith Hill’s side secure a point.
FT: Rochdale 1, AFC Wimbledon 1.