Rochdale earned a well-deserved point from a 2-2 draw against Sunderland on Tuesday.
Matty Lund netted a brace in the draw at the Crown Oil Arena, as Dale twice came from behind.
The Black Cats went ahead on 15 minutes, arguable against the run of play, through Charlie Wyke but the midfielder equalised for Brian Barry-Murphy’s side 10 minutes later. The visitors regained the lead shortly before the break when Bailey Wright headed home, but Lund, on the stroke of half time, netted his second of the evening to level the scoring.
There was one change to the eleven that lined up against Shrewsbury Town on Saturday, as Ryan McLaughlin came in for Jimmy Keohane who moved to the bench.
The draw made it seven points from an available nine, from Dale's last three league fixtures, following wins over Burton Albion and Shrewsbury Town coming into this evening's fixture.
Rochdale were excellent during a highly entertaining first half and Ollie Rathbone, making his 150th Dale appearance, saw an effort deflected into the hands of Lee Burge early on.
But Dale went behind against the run of play with a quarter of an hour played, when Wyke put the visitors ahead. He met a dangerous ball in from the right and powered a header down and into the ground, taking it past Gavin Bazunu who could do nothing about it.
Rochdale deservedly equalised ten minutes later through Lund. Alex Newby superbly showed great feet to get away from his marker and crossed into the area for the midfielder, who headed into the bottom corner, to his score his third of the season.
Rathbone had a shot deflected over, while Jake Beesley struck over the bar, as Rochdale continued to take the game to Sunderland.
Five minutes before the break, though, Sunderland went ahead again, despite protests for an offside. Chris Maguire’s free-kick was initially superbly punched away by Bazunu, but as the ball came back into the area, it took a couple of deflections before dropping kindly for Wright at the back post where he nodded in.
But Dale didn’t give up and they came from behind for a second time to ensure that the sides went in level at half-time, as Lund netted his second of the evening and fourth of the season.
Newby was again involved as he delivered in from the right. The ball fell for Rathbone, who played in Lund and he swept it home into the far corner.
HT | ROCHDALE 2-2 SUNDERLAND
The Black Cats dominated for long spells during the second half, but Rochdale were resolute and stood firm in a fine display.
Maguire saw an attempt fly wide of the upright after Captain Eoghan O’Connell blocked his initial shot. The forward then saw a powerful effort held by Bazunu.
The Dale goalkeeper also made a fine save low to his right to deny a Wyke header, before the follow up from Denver Hume was deflected wide of the far post.
Rochdale’s first substitution of the game came in the 81st minute, when Matty Done replaced Jimmy Ryan. The second followed seven minutes later as Jim McNulty came on for Newby.
Two minutes from time, Sunderland were denied by the woodwork before Bazunu pulled off a fantastic save to keep out Danny Graham. George Dobson’s effort from the edge of the area came crashing off the underside of the crossbar and Bazunu quickly got back to his feet to pluck Graham’s header out of the air.
In stoppage time, Rathbone curled a free-kick inches wide of the upright, in the last action of the game.
FT | ROCHDALE 2-2 SUNDERLAND