Rochdale maintained their unbeaten start to the season with a hard-fought point from a goalless draw away at Shrewsbury Town on Saturday.
There was a controversial end to the game, though, as Callum Camps, after much deliberation between the officials, had a goal ruled out in the 88th minute.
Ollie Rathbone replaced Aaron Morley in the starting eleven, while Matty Done started ahead of Rekeil Pyke who missed the match through injury.
Rochdale enjoyed the lion’s share of possession in the first half, but the number of opportunities created were relatively even.
Ollie Rathbone had the first chance of the game, driving a fizzing effort narrowly over the bar from 25-yards after just three minutes, while former Dale loanee Ethan Ebanks-Landell, now at the Shrews, had a header tipped over the bar by Robert Sanchez 10 minutes later.
Matty Done could only drag an effort wide of the upright after a good move down the right, and Rathbone, after powering in on goal, cut inside but couldn’t quite get any power on his shot and Max O’Leary held.
Shortly before the half hour mark, Luke McCormick saw a well-struck volley blocked by the legs of Jim McNulty, while Sanchez pulled off a fine save to deny Steve Morison from close range.
In the last of the action, Aaron Pierre’s audacious overhead kick dropped narrowly wide of the far post.
HT | Shrewsbury Town 0-0 Rochdale
The home side started the second half the brighter of the two sides, but it was Rochdale who had the first opportunity on goal, when Jimmy Keohane stepped inside his man and saw a powerful shot from 25-yards blocked.
In the 57th minute, Aaron Morley replaced Done in Dale’s first substitution of the game.
Brian Barry-Murphy’s side started to build momentum as the half continued, putting the home side under pressure, creating the best of the opportunities.
Camps struck a thunderous free-kick at goal which was punched clear by O’Leary. It was only as far as MJ Williams, though, who hit the rebound over the bar.
Soon after, there were shouts for a penalty in favour of Dale after Ian Henderson went down inside the area as he attacked a Rathbone ball into the area, but the referee wasn’t interested.
Stephen Dooley troubled the goalkeeper and had a shot parried behind for a corner as Rochdale hit the Shrews on the counter. It was the Northern Irishman’s last touch of the game as he made way for Calvin Andrew. When Norrington-Davies’ corner finally came in, it was punched away to Camps who struck narrowly wide from 20-yards.
Shrewsbury’s first real opportunity of the second half came in the 76th minute, when Shaun Whalley forced Sánchez into a save down his left. Substitute Fejiri Okenabirhie should have done better from the rebound, but he fired wide of the target from six-yards.
Camps linked up with Henderson down the right, and the Dale skipper pulled the ball back for Rathbone, who, in a dangerous position, couldn’t make a clean connection and the Shrews defended away.
In the 88th minute, Rochdale had a goal ruled out in controversial circumstances. Norrington-Davies got in behind and pulled the ball back for Camps who stroked the ball home with his left-foot. But the celebrations were short-lived, because, after discussion between the officials, it was deemed that Henderson had interfered with play from an offside position.
But still Dale came forward, Camps in amongst the thick of the action once more, as they searched for a winner. Henderson clipped a delivery to the back post for the Academy graduate, but the 23-year-old was caught unawares and the ball inadvertently struck him and went behind.
In stoppage time, Morley had a curling effort held by O’Leary.
FT | Shrewsbury Town 0-0 Rochdale