Rochdale secured a point from a six-goal thriller at the Crown Oil Arena on Tuesday night, with Dale and Millwall sharing the spoils from the 3-3 draw.
Lee Gregory opened the scoring from the penalty spot early in the first half and Aiden O’Brien doubled the visitors’ advantage 11 minutes later. Nathan Mendez-Laing halved the deficit before Ian Henderson put Dale back on level terms going into the break. Callum Camps fired Rochdale ahead 10 minutes into the second half but the Lions clawed back a goal to claim a point from the entertaining encounter.
There was one change to the side that lined-up against Gillingham at the weekend as Peter Vincenti replaced Matty Lund, who was away on international duty.
Rochdale enjoyed plenty of the ball during the opening exchanges and had the better of the opportunities, with Dale being denied on three occasions within the first 10 minutes of the match.
Nathaniel Mendez-Laing tested first, with goalkeeper Jordan Archer keeping the Rochdale forward out with his legs.
Calvin Andrew came close a few minutes later after latching on to a delivery to the back post from Mendez-Laing, but saw his header defended just inches wide of the post.
Mendez-Laing was involved again a short-time later, this time firing a ball across the face of goal only to see it evade everyone inside the packed six-yard box.
Millwall opened the scoring on 14 minutes, very much against the run of play, when they were awarded a contentious penalty. Conrad Logan looked to have been fouled after he turned a Millwall free-kick onto the post, but a spot-kick was awarded in the opposite direction. Lee Gregory sent his penalty down the centre of the goal, before riling the fans in the Sandy Lane with his celebration in front of the Dale supporters.
The goal gave the visitor impetus and they doubled their lead 11 minutes later, after Steve Morison capitalised on a defensive mistake. He squared the ball to O’Brien, who finished from close range after getting in one on one with Logan.
There were huge shouts for a Dale penalty on the half hour mark as Andrew was brought down inside the area, but the referee was quick to wave away the appeals.
Soon after, the Lions hit Keith Hill’s side on the break and Jed Wallace was kept out by the legs of Logan.
Despite being two goals down, Dale looked far from out the game and the levelled the scoring in the 34th minute through Mendez-Laing who struck low into the bottom corner of the net and past an outstretching Archer.
Minutes later, Henderson tried an audacious overhead kick from the edge of the area, which would have been special if he been able to pull it off. Sadly, the effort was just wide of the post.
Dale’s second of the match did follow before the end of the half, though, with Henderson making the most of a free-kick. Rochdale were awarded the set-piece just outside the area and after being played short to Mendez-Laing, he ran at goal and was denied by the legs of Archer. Henderson hit home on the rebound just before the stroke of half time.
HT: ROCHDALE 2-2 MILLWALL
Rochdale had two penalty claims turned down before going on to flip the game on its head and take the lead against the Lions.
Firstly, Bunney was bundled over inside the area, before Vincenti was shoved to the ground and Andrew was held as Henderson delivered a dangerous ball into the area during the same incident.
Dale stuck to task, though, and 10 minutes into the second half Camps fired Rochdale ahead from the edge of the area.
On the hour mark, Mendez-Laing forced Archer into a wonderful save as the goalkeeper dived at full stretch to his left to keep the curling effort out. Andrew was the first to react to the rebound and hit wide of the target before a late offside flag went up.
O’Brien had an effort from distance tipped round the post with the visitors’ first real chance of the half, and they went on to level the scoring, against the run of play, through Jed Wallace.
Millwall ended the half strongly but Dale held firm to secure a point from the entertaining fixture, with Logan denying Wallace and Gregory.
It finished Rochdale 3, Millwall 3.