Elliot Benyon's 91st minute header snatched a point for Town from a wind-swept County Ground after Craig Dawson's late strike looked to have won it for Rochdale.
It was match largely dictated by the strength of a gale force wind, which Town used to their advantage as best they could, and though Elliot Benyon, Jonathan Douglas and Alan O'Brien all went close within the opening 15 minutes, a stubborn looking Dale rearguard would not be breached.
After weathering the Town storm early on, Keith Hill's side went close to opening the scoring on two occasions, as first Joe Thompson headed a Jason Kennedy cross just over the bar, before Gary Jones let fly with a rasping 20 yard effort which Aden Flint did well to block.
Dale were appealing for penalty moments later as the resultant corner was volleyed into the arms of Town skipper Douglas by Jones, but referee Horwood waved away the appeals.
The visitors were well on top as the game moved towards the half hour mark, and they went close again on 29 minutes as Chris O'Grady flashed the ball across the box, but no one in black was there to apply the finishing touch.
Town finished a fairly drab half of football on the front foot, with Kevin Amankwaah's cross-cum-shot forcing a good save out of Owain Fon Williams after 43 minutes, and Paul Caddis' similar effort resulting in the Welshman pushing the ball onto the bar.
Where the hosts had ended the first half at a good tempo, they started the second sluggishly, and Rochdale looked by far the more likely of the sides to break the deadlock.
Though Town rallied around the hour mark, the difficult conditions were really curtailing any potential entertainment value, and it looked like a mistake or a moment of brilliance at either end would separate the sides.
It was nearly the former that materialised on 67 minutes as Aden Flint and Phil Smith got in a tangle, allowing Chris O'Grady to nick the ball around Smith, but the striker put it wide from a tight angle to save Town's blushes.
With the match looking like drifting towards a goalless draw, Town went close to snatching the lead after 80 minutes as Benyon played in Ritchie whose diving header was well saved by Fon Williams, before J-P McGovern was brilliantly blocked on the line by Craig Dawson.
Then came the sucker punch, as Dawson himself took advantage of some hesitancy in the Town area to sweep home what looked like the winner past the helpless Phil Smith.
The goal took the stuffing out of the hosts just at a time when they looked to be gathering a head of steam, and they seldom looked like creating another chance, until the impressive David Prutton hooked a speculative cross to the back post where Elliot Benyon was waiting to nod home the equaliser past Fon Williams.
1-1 was probably a fair reflection of a game in which neither side adapted particularly well to the conditions, but Danny Wilson will be hoping his side can build on the result ahead of Tuesday's clash at Leyton Orient.