Rochdale claimed a Leasing.com Trophy bonus point after winning the penalty shootout against Bolton Wanderers at the Crown Oil Arena after the game ended 1-1 during the regulation 90 minutes.
Ali Crawford put his side in front with a stunning free-kick on the stroke of half-time before former Wanderers favourite Aaron Wilbraham levelled the scores in the second period.
Keith Hill made two changes to the starting line-up as he named a relatively experienced XI for Wanderers’ second game in the Leasing.com Trophy at the Crown Oil Arena.
Dennis Politic and Sonny Graham came in for Jack Hobbs and Daryl Murphy as Hill’s charges looked to improve on the penalties-defeat against Bradford City in this tournament’s previous match.
Dale registered the game’s first attacking effort when Matty Gillam made a mess of an attempted cut-back into the box after he latched on to Aaron Morley’s free-kick at the far post.
After a collision between Will Buckley and Stephen Dooley, Wanderers were awarded a free-kick from 25 yards. Ali Crawford superbly struck the set-piece and had former Wanderers ‘keeper Jay Lynch at full stretch to push the ball on to the woodwork.
The impressive Thibaud Verlinden was once again looking threatening and fired in a shot that went wide of the goal after picking up a pass from Graham.
Dooley, who had early picked up an injury in the collision with Buckley, was replaced by Calvin Andrew.
The industrious Liam Bridcutt excellently switched play with a fine pass to pick out Politic who teed up Adam Chicksen. The full back, however, saw his shot held comfortably by Lynch.
Crawford then attempted another long range effort but his shot lacked the accuracy of his earlier free kick and the chance went wide.
Wanderers were getting themselves in front and their positivity had their opponents on the back foot.
Politic and Verlinden both had shots go wide in quick succession.
Former Wanderers star Aaron Wilbraham was leading the line for Dale and he had a chance to put his side in front, against the run of play, but his downward header off Gillam’s cross was easily gathered by Remi Matthews.
Josh Emmanuel picked up a yellow card for a late challenge on Ryan, while Wilbraham also saw his name taken for knocking the ball out of Matthews’ hands as the Wanderers keep was looking to punt the ball upfield.
Politic adeptly found ome space for himself but his shot clipped team-mate Buckley which took the sting out of the drive and allowed Lynch to safely gain control.
Gilliam then saw a chance loop over the bar after he collected Rhys Norrington-Davies’ free-kick following Graham’s foul on Lewis Bradley.
Dale were starting to find their feet and Gillam his the side-netting after he was picked out on the overlap.
After Bridcutt inadvertently lost possession, Fabio Tarres cantered down the left flank to cut back for Bradley who fired over from the edge of the box.
Another great chance fell Wanderers’ way just before the break when Verlinden headed just over the bar after he got on the end of Emmanuel’s clipped cross after the defender surged into the box.
But Wanderers went into half-time a goal to the good thanks to Crawford’s outstanding goal. The Scot struck perfectly a 30-yard free kick that floated into the top corner of Lynch’s right hand side.
Wanderers seemed intent on increasing their lead after the restart with Crawford missing the target from close range after being lined up by Chicksen.
Buckley wasn’t able to control Politic’s angled pass which allowed Lynch to claim control of the ball.
Verlinden was causing problems once again and he dangerous low ball into the box was met by Graham, who wasn’t able to get enough on the ball to force Lynch into action.
The equaliser came against the run of play just before the hour mark through Wilbraham who nodded in from close range after getting on the end of a right side cross.
Wilbraham almost put his side in front less than ten minutes later but for a fine save from Matthews.
The goal had really got Dale’s hopes up and they should have scored again from two further opportunities in quick succession.
Bradley was thwarted by Emmanuel’s brave goal-line clearance while Matthews got himself in the way of a Fabio Tarvares effort just seconds later.
The momentum was all with the hosts and although substitute Andrew beat Matthews to an aerial ball, his effort rolled harmlessly wide of goal.
Wanderers found some respite from Dale’s onslaught when Politic managed to get a low shot on target but it didn’t trouble Lynch.
Matthews came to the rescue of Wanderers when his legs prevented Tavares from putting Dale in front with 12 minutes remaining.
Crawford’s header off an Emmanuel centre went narrowly wide as Wanderers looked to win it at the death.
Right on the stroke of full time, Zouma made a stunning last ditch challenge in his own penalty area to keep Tavares at bay.
Wanderers thought they had won it deep into injury time when Verlinden had put the ball into the back of the net only for the referee to penalise Buckley for a foul into the build up.
With the scores being level on 90 minutes the game went into a penalty shoot-out which Dale won 5-3 after Adam Chicksen saw his spot kick saved by Lynch.
Both sides take a group point with the penalty shoot-out victors claiming an additional point.