Rochdale fell to defeat on the road on Saturday, as two quick fire goals in the second half saw Accrington Stanley come from behind to secure the victory at the Wham Stadium.
Jimmy Keohane put Dale ahead in the 54th minute, but two goals in two minutes, from Joe Pritchard and Jon Russell, respectively, turned the game on its head.
There was change from last weekend, as Jay Lynch came in for Gavin Bazunu, who was away on international duty with the Republic of Ireland U21s. Ryan McLaughlin and Jimmy Ryan returned to the squad, with new signing Tolaji Bola also included on the bench.
The hosts started strongly and they could have taken the lead on nine minutes but for a fine Lynch save. Colby Bishop, from a corner that was partially cleared, struck on the turn, forcing the Dale goalkeeper to tip the shot over, which had looked likely to clip the underside of the bar.
But as the half progressed, opportunities were at a premium for both sides. Ross Sykes curled a header across goal and wide of the target in the 29th minute, while Ollie Rathbone had Dale’s first on-target effort shortly after the half hour mark, when his powerful strike from range was pushed away by Toby Savin.
In added time at the end of the half, Lynch punched clear an Accrington free-kick into the box.
HT | ACCRINGTON STANLEY 0-0 ROCHDALE
There was one Rochdale change for the start of the second half, as Jim McNulty replaced Paul McShane.
Whilst opportunities were far and few between during the first 45 minutes, the same couldn’t be said for the second period, as the game sprung to life.
Two minutes after the restart, Pritchard saw his free-kick go inches wide of the upright, while Jon Russell nicked the ball just inside the Dale half and drove at goal soon after, but his scuffed shot was well-held by Lynch.
Sixty seconds later, Brian Barry-Murphy’s side broke the deadlock in the 54th minute, when Keohane struck home at the back post from an Alex Newby ball across the area, to net his second of the season.
But two goals in two minutes saw the home side turn the game on its head.
Pritchard levelled proceedings when his left-footed cross from the right flank flashed past everyone in the area and nestled in the far corner with 64 minutes on the clock.
Russell, on loan from Chelsea, then put Accrington ahead, when he sent a first-time shot into the bottom corner after Pritchard had pulled the ball back for him.
In the 71st minute, Jake Beesley was denied by a superb reaction save. Matty Lund’s shot from distance was helped on by the Dale forward but Savin got down to beat away his close-range effort.
Dale’s second substitution of the match followed, as Stephen Dooley made way for McLaughlin. Their third and final change came five minutes later, when Fabio Tavares replaced Keohane.
In the 81st minute, Pritchard flashed an effort from distance narrowly wide of Lynch's left post.
Dale finished strongly and looked the most likely to score in the last 10 minutes as they went in search of the equaliser, and in stoppage time an unmarked Rathbone glanced a header narrowly wide from a Newby delivery to the back post.
FT | ACCRINGTON STANLEY 2-1 ROCHDALE