Manager Keith Hill said it was proud moment for him after seeing his side secure a 1-0 victory over play-off hopefuls Peterborough United.
Ian Henderson scored the winning goal after 16 minutes, before being sent-off six minutes into the second-half.
Dale defended with their backs against the wall for the remainder of the game, and secured what could be a crucial three points.
“It’s a great three points, there’s no question about that,” said Hill.
“There’s plenty of spirit, plenty of courage and plenty of fight from the players, so I’m pleased with that.
“It could have derailed us [Hendo getting sent off], but even if we’d have been beaten, looking at the performance and the heart and desire, which was shared with the supporters, I would have been reasonably pleased.
“It’s difficult to design success when players are getting sent off, but it’s equally as difficult to design success when officials are making some of the strange decisions that they've made today.
“I feel sorry for the officials today because it was a real test for them, and I’m not too sure that they were 100-percent convincing with what they did.
“I don’t how we weren’t given a penalty in the first-half when Mark Kitching was given a yellow card, and in the second-half when Joey Thompson goes through – he’s pushed and tripped.
“But I’m stood here as a successful manager having won against Peterborough. They’re a marvellous side going forward.
“We rode a little bit of luck in the second half, but when they were prepared to shoot from distance and we had three central defenders on the pitch, then I'm reasonably happy with the stature of our defenders against the stature of their forwards.
“I thought it was a real proud moment for me as a manager to stand there having won that football match and listening to the supporters.”
Josh Lillis produced a stunning save in the final minute of injury time, clawing away a Danny Lloyd header to seal the three points for Rochdale, and Hill praised the goalkeeper.
“That save reminds me of Bristol Rovers away during our promotion season where we basically secured promotion back to League One.
“It was a courageous save and a match winning save, and it gives us three points instead of one.”
Hill says the club will review the footage of Henderson’s sending off before deciding whether to appeal the decision or not.
“Hendo is honest, he’s all in and he's committed. He’s trying to stop the opponent, trying to do a professional foul, and I don’t know whether he’s got it wrong.
“My philosophy is stay on your feet and be prepared to run. He’s miles away from goal, so the impact is on us in the next three games without him.
“I’ve not seen it, I’ll have a look again, and if it’s worth trying to get it rescinded because there’s a serious error of judgement from the officials then we will, but I’m not too sure whether there is.”
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