Aaron Morley’s last-gasp strike earned Rochdale all three points against an in-form Sutton United at Spotland on Saturday.
Robbie Stockdale’s side had led 2-0 against the 10-men of Sutton with less than 10 minutes remaining but found themselves on level terms heading into added time after the visitors profited from two corners.
However, Morley stepped up in the final moments to crash an effort into the bottom corner and end Dale’s run of eight games without a win.
After a sharp start from Matt Gray’s men, the home side took control of the game and opened the scoring on 23 minutes when Alex Newby met Liam Kelly’s superb diagonal first time with a quality finish.
With seconds of the first half remaining, Sutton striker Richie Bennett inexplicably stamped on Jake Beesley in front of referee Paul Howard, who pulled out the red card.
It was one-way traffic in the second 45 and Dale grabbed their second goal on 66 minutes, with Kelly sending a daisy-cutter into the bottom corner from the edge of the box after he was found by Corey O’Keeffe.
Sutton looked dangerous from set-pieces throughout the game and were handed a lifeline when Isaac Olaofe smashed home after Omar Bugiel’s header was initially saved.
Alastair Smith looked to have snatched a point for the south London side when he headed in from another set-piece but Morley had the final say when his 20-yard effort found the corner.