Rovers dealt late hammerblow in see-saw encounter.Rochdale 2 (Camps, 43; Canavan 90+6)
Rovers 2 (Lund, 57; Butler, 67)
Saturday April 2nd 2016
SkyBet League One
A last gasp equaliser from Niall Canavan, prevented Rovers from leaving Spotland with all three points.
Rovers were the better side during the opening period, twice Andy Williams got beyond the Rochdale defence but was denied on both occasions by goalkeeper Josh Lillis. The Rovers centre forward also saw a headed effort go over the bar.
Dale went close on twelves minutes when a corner resulted in a header hitting the post, before three Rovers playing blocking the follow up.
Despite having most of the chances, Rovers entered half-time a goal down, thanks to a freak goal from Callum Camps. He managed to take wonderful first touch before tapping into an empty net, after ‘keeper Remi Matthews was caught in ‘no-mans’ land.
Rovers tried to respond before the break, and Williams had a shout for a penalty when he looked to be dragged to the floor, but the referee waved away Rovers appealed.
Half time: Rochdale 1-0 Rovers
Darren Ferguson's side started the second half at a similar pace to how they ended the first, and were level on fifty-seven minutes, when Gary McSheffrey got the byline before squaring the ball to right-back Mitchell Lund, who netted his second goal for the club.
Then on 67 minutes, Rovers led after a McSheffrey free-kick found Andy Butler who nearly flicked the ball over the keeper’s head to gives his side the lead.
Rovers made a double change when Lund and Ricardo Calder were replaced by Harry Middleton and Richard Chaplow, as Darren Ferguson looked to shore up the midfield.
In the 83rd Craig Alcock went into a tackle with Dale substitute, Peter Vincenti and despite the referee not awarding a free-kick, both players were booked. Then a few minutes later, Alcock was shown a second yellow and Rovers had to play added time with ten men.
The substitutions, combined with the red card, resulted in five minutes of additional time being indicated.
As time looked to be up Rochdale were awarded a free-kick on the half way line. Rovers appeared to have seen the danger out, however the ball was sent back into the penalty area and hit the bar, before bouncing to centre back Canavan, who hit home, to snatch 2 points off Rovers in cruel circumstances.
Full time: Rochdale 2-2 Rovers
Rochdale: Lillis, Rafferty (Lund, 84), Eastham, Canavan, McNulty, Allen, Rose (Bunney,71), McDermott, Mendez-Lang (Vincenti,71), Camps, Holt.
Unused subs: Lancashire, Collis, Cannon, Syers.
Cautions: Vincenti (83)
Rovers: Matthews, Lund (Middleton 75) Butler, Alcock, Taylor-Sinclair, McCullough, Coppinger, Calder (Chaplow,74), Rowe, Williams, McSheffrey (Tyson, 78).
Unused subs: Stuckmann, Evina, Stewart, Mandeville.
Cautions: Chaplow (96)
Sent off: Alcock (90) – second bookable offence.
Attendance – 2727
Referee – D Bond