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16:55 20th November 2010

Report: Rochdale 3 Town 3

Town claimed a point after a 3-3 draw against Rochdale at Spotland with goals from Michael Timlin, Charlie Austin and Michael Rose.

The visitors made a dream start to the clash as midfielder Timlin gave them the lead within just 38 seconds.

Matt Ritchie had let fly with a rasping 25 yard drive which Dale 'keeper Josh Lillis could only parry and it was Timlin who reacted quickest, poking the bouncing ball home from six yards out.

It could, and possibly should have been two just seconds later, as Sean Morrison found himself in space after Michael Rose drifted a corner into the box, but the big centre half headed over when well placed.

After a 10 minute spell of possession from the hosts, Town began to re-assert their dominance over affairs but it was Dale who found the net after 19 minutes courtesy of a Gary Jones penalty.

Right-back Scott Wiseman had broken into the box well and when Lecsinel Jean-Francois slid across the box, Wiseman drilled the ball into the Haitian's raised hands, and referee Brown pointed to the spot.

Up stepped Jones to send Phil Smith the wrong way and level the scores largely against the run of play.

The hosts' tails were up and Keith Hill's side arguably enjoyed the best of half after pegging Town back, and created the best of the chances with Craig Dawson and Nicky Adams going close.

Town still looked dangerous going forward, but they were certainly second best as the half drew to a close.

The second period began at breakneck speed with both sides striving to wrestle the initiative.

It was Town who conjured the first opportunity as Thomas Dossevi's cross was half-cleared into the path of Charlie Austin on the edge of the box, but the striker's half volley flew well over the bar.

Town's afternoon took a turn for the worst after 64 minutes however, as the ball was chipped over the head of Sean Morrison into the path of Bobby Grant, who took advantage of a slip from Lecsinel Jean-Francois to burst into the box and drill a comprehensive finish past the helpless Phil Smith from 12 yards out.

After a subsequent 10 minute lull, Town were inches away from equalising as some patient build up involving Douglas, Prutton and Rose ended with substitute David Ball breaking into the box and shooting low with his left foot, but the ball flashed just wide.

The visitors went one better moments later however, and it was Charlie Austin's 11th of the season that levelled the scores.

After a seemingly never ending game of pinball inside the Dale box, the ball broke to Austin on the edge of the area, and the striker, who had struggled to impact on the game in any way previously, took one touch and smashed it home via the underside of the bar.

The game was turned on its just minutes later as, after a swashbuckling break from David Prutton was illegally ended by Chris Wiseman, Michael Rose placed the free-kick and whipped a brilliant effort into the corner past the stranded Lillis to make it 3-2.

However, the topsy-turvy encounter took another twist on 86 minutes, as Nicky Adams broke well on the right wing, crossed dangerously and the impressive Gary Jones nipped in at the near post to angle the ball neatly into the far corner.

The game really was anyone's for the taking after Jones' equaliser, but despite both piling forward, neither side could snatch a winner, and the pulsating clash ended it what was a fair result at 3-3.

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    Data provided by Press Association