Morecambe came out on the wrong end of a see-saw battle with promotion-chasing Rochdale on Saturday.
Jack Redshaw gave the Shrimps the lead just after the half hour but Scott Hogan replied almost immediately with Ian Henderson’s strike 18 minutes from time giving Dale the points.
It means Jim Bentley’s side are still looking for their first win of 2014 but there were plenty of positives for a side who will feel they did enough to take a share of the spoils.
It was an enterprising start from both sides, the in-demand Scott Hogan going closest for the hosts early on, firing over from 15 yards after a fine move on 10 minutes.
But the flashes of good football from both sides didn’t translate into good chances, Ian Henderson bringing a comfortable save from Barry Roche on 26 minutes after a promising Rochdale break.
Hogan then came close to opening the scoring just before the half hour but couldn’t get proper contact on a close-range header from a Matt Done centre.
Despite the hosts looking the more threatening it was Morecambe however who took the lead on 32 minutes.
Jamie Devitt’s chipped pass found Andy Wright on the left side of his area and his flick with the outside of his foot found Redshaw two yards out who completely miscued his effort but it trickled over the line.
The visitors’ lead last only three minutes however, Hogan beating Andy Parrish to a long clearance forward before cutting inside Mark Hughes and finishing well past Roche from 15 yards for his 16th goal of the season.
The Shrimps ‘keeper was the first to be tested in the second half, Roche saving well with his legs from Henderson on 54 minutes after the wide man had been played in on the right side of the area by Jamie Allen.
But it had turned into a scrappy affair with both teams regularly protesting decisions by referee Geoff Eltringham, who passed the Spotland pitch fit for play after three earlier inspections.
The game began to regain the flow of the first half 20 minutes from time, Devitt, the Shrimps’ brightest player, seeing a fine cross go agonisingly across goal before whipping in a free-kick moments later that was headed off the line by Matt Lund.
It was the Dale however who countered from the resultant corner with Hogan dragging a shot wide.
The hosts then went ahead on 72 minutes. Henderson was allowed to run half the length of the field before exchanging passes with Lund - his shot from just inside the area hitting Andy Parrish on its way in.
Jack Sampson, Padraig Amond and Ryan Williams were introduced in search of an equaliser but the Shrimps didn’t test Josh Lillis as they went a seventh League 2 game without a win and slipped to 15th in the table.
Rochdale: Lillis, Rafferty, Eastham, O’Connell, Done, Kennedy (Vincenti 66), Allen (Gray 84), Lund, Rose, Henderson, Hogan. Subs not used: Thomson, Cavanagh, Lancashire, Donnelly, Porter
Booked: Lund, Rose
Morecambe: Roche, Beeley, Hughes (capt), Parrish, Threlfall, Drummond (Williams 89), Fleming, Wright (Sampson 83), Devitt, Ellison (Amond 78), Redshaw. Subs not used: Arestidou, Diagne, McCready, McGee.
Referee: Geoff Eltringham