An Alex Newby brace secured a point at home to Leyton Orient on Saturday, extending Rochdale’s unbeaten run in the league to five.
Newby put Dale ahead after just 35 seconds, before the visitors to the Crown Oil Arena levelled on 24 minutes. Orient took the lead midway through the second half but Newby ensured a share of the spoils right at the end.
Rochdale got off to a fantastic start, breaking the deadlock inside the opening sixty seconds. Liam Kelly floated a ball from the left to the back post where it was headed back across goal by Corey O’Keeffe for the waiting Newby to nod home from close range.
In the 8th minute there was an important block from Jeriel Dorsett at the back post as he threw himself in the way of Harry Smith’s effort, which was headed for the far corner.
Ten minutes later Orient were denied by the woodwork, when Drinan’s headed came back off the underside of the bar.
Soon after, Sam Graham sent a header narrowly over from Aaron Morley’s corner, while, after a good sweeping move forward, Abraham Odoh laid the ball off to Captain Eoghan O’Connell who had a shot held by Laurence Vigouroux.
The visitors equalised with 24 minutes on the clock through Drinan, after he latched onto the end of a through ball before striking into the bottom corner from the edge of the area. There were huge offside shouts from the Dale players, but ultimately the goal stood.
Shortly before the hour there was an altercation following an off the ball incident between Newby and Shadrach Ogie, where the Orient defender appeared to put his head into Newby’s. He escaped with just a yellow card, despite the protests.
Before the fiery half was out, O’Connell sent a curling effort narrowly wide.
HT | ROCHDALE 1-1 LEYTON ORIENT
A minute into the second half Theo Archibald tried to lob Joel Coleman with a speculative effort but the Dale stopper held comfortably.
His counterpart, Vigouroux, then held Odoh’s effort through a packed box.
Jake Beesley came close to putting Rochdale back in front sooner after, but saw his shot deflected inches wide and into the side netting.
But it was Orient who went in front in the 66th minute. A long throw was partially cleared away as far as Craig Clay, who smashed in a volley from the edge of the area.
A double Dale change, which was being readied before the goal, came immediately after, as Josh Andrews and Matty Done came on for Odoh and Jimmy Keohane.
Graham was then forced off through injury moments later and replaced by Max Taylor.
Rochdale secured a point right at the end, as Newby netted his second of the afternoon on 90 minutes. After Done had won a corner, Kelly swung it into the area and, after being headed goalwards, it fell for Newby, who tapped home from a couple of yards out.
Deep in stoppage time, Andrews struck wide from range, while at the death, Coleman held Dan Kemp’s header.
FT | ROCHDALE 2-2 LEYTON ORIENT