Andy Butler's injury-time header earned a dramatic 3-3 draw at Spotland for Walsall after Rochdale had come back from two down to scent a late victory.
The Saddlers led 2-0 at the break through Emmanuel Ledesma's 25-yarder and a Joe Widdowson own goal.
But Jean Louis Akpa Akpro got one back from close range on 66 minutes before Michael Symes' penalty after Jason Kennedy was fouled by Mat Sadler.
Akpa Akpro then volleyed Dale in front, only for Butler to head the equaliser.
Walsall took the lead on 25 minutes when Ledesma collected the loose ball before firing a measured 25-yard effort wide of keeper Dave Lucas.
They went two up 13 minutes later when home full-back Widdowson managed to get his head to Ledesma's free-kick from the right and succeeded only in sending the ball looping over Lucas and into his own net.
Rochdale were back in the game when Nicky Adams' corner was headed across the face of goal by Kevin Long and Akpa Akpro poked home from close range.
Symes then wasted a glorious chance to level when Akpa Akpro presented him with an open goal, the striker screwing his shot horribly wide. But he made up for that miss when he stroked home his 82nd minute penalty.
The points looked in the bag for Dale when Akpa Akpro scored, but Butler's header leaves them eight points adrift of 20th-placed Walsall, who are two points above the drop zone.
VIEWS FROM THE DRESSING ROOM
Rochdale manager John Coleman told BBC Radio Manchester:
"I thought we were positive, we've taken the game to them and dominated possession.
"Then just when you think you've won it, we've gone to sleep from the kick-off.
"I don't think a draw was a fair reflection. I think we deserved to win but you don't always get what you deserve in football.
"It's probably the worst moment I've ever had in football. I feel a bit physically sick."
Free kick awarded for a foul by Andrew Tutte on Florent Cuvelier.
Andrew Tutte has an effort at goal from outside the penalty box missing to the wide right of the target.
The ball is swung over by Kevan Hurst.
Substitution Nicky Adams on for Ashley Grimes.
Kevan Hurst has shot on goal from just outside the penalty box which goes wide of the right-hand upright.
Sam Mantom takes a shot.
Florent Cuvelier takes a shot. Blocked by Joe Widdowson. Kevan Hurst takes a outswinging corner from the right by-line played to the near post, Jason Kennedy makes a clearance.
Short corner worked by Jason Kennedy, save by David Grof.
Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Jason Kennedy from the left by-line to the near post, clearance by Andy Butler.
Corner taken short by Jason Kennedy.
Corner taken by Jason Kennedy from the left by-line played to the near post, clearance by Kevan Hurst.
Michael Symes takes a shot. Blocked by Sam Mantom.
Foul by Jason Kennedy on Florent Cuvelier, free kick awarded. Darryl Westlake restarts play with the free kick.
The assistant referee flags for offside against Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro. Direct free kick taken by David Grof.
The referee starts the second half.
45:00 +2:36 Half time
Half Time The referee blows for half time.
Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro fouled by Mat Sadler, the ref awards a free kick. Jason Kennedy crosses the ball in from the free kick.
Outswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Jason Kennedy, Header on goal by Kevin Long from inside the box goes harmlessly over the target.
The referee gives a free kick against Michael Symes for handball. Free kick taken by David Grof.
Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro fouled by Kevan Hurst, the ref awards a free kick. David Lucas takes the free kick.
Florent Cuvelier takes a shot. Blocked by Gary Jones.
Kevan Hurst decides to take the corner short.
Unfair challenge on Andy Butler by Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro results in a free kick. Andy Butler restarts play with the free kick.
Emanuel Jorge Ledesma takes a shot. Save by David Lucas.
37:44 Goal scored
Goal! - Joe Widdowson - Rochdale 0 - 2 Walsall Headed own goal by Joe Widdowson. Rochdale 0-2 Walsall.
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Alex Nicholls by Joe Widdowson. Emanuel Jorge Ledesma restarts play with the free kick.
Jason Kennedy takes a shot. Save by David Grof.
Emmanuele Smith challenges Michael Symes unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by David Lucas.
Centre by Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro, save by David Grof.
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro by Emmanuele Smith. Free kick taken by Jason Kennedy.
Jason Kennedy takes a shot.
Jason Kennedy takes a outswinging corner to the near post, clearance made by Andy Butler. Outswinging corner taken by Jason Kennedy.
Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro fouled by Andy Butler, the ref awards a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Jason Kennedy.
Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro takes a shot. David Grof makes a save.
The ball is delivered by Neill Byrne.
Outswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Jason Kennedy.
Assist on the goal came from Sam Mantom.
24:19 Goal scored
Goal! - Emanuel Jorge Ledesma - Rochdale 0 - 1 Walsall Emanuel Jorge Ledesma finds the back of the net with a goal from outside the penalty box to the bottom left corner of the goal. Rochdale 0-1 Walsall.
Emmanuele Smith fouled by Ashley Grimes, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by David Grof.
The official flags Emanuel Jorge Ledesma offside. David Lucas restarts play with the free kick.
Gary Jones takes a shot.
Joe Widdowson fouled by Emanuel Jorge Ledesma, the ref awards a free kick. Shot comes in from Jason Kennedy from the free kick, Alex Nicholls gets a block in.
Jason Kennedy takes the outswinging corner, clearance made by Emmanuele Smith.
Free kick awarded for a foul by Emanuel Jorge Ledesma on Kevin Long. Free kick taken by David Lucas.
Inswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Kevan Hurst, clearance by Michael Symes.
Gary Jones is adjudged to have handled the ball. Andy Butler takes the direct free kick.
Shot by Michael Symes from outside the box goes high over the target.
Andy Butler challenges Michael Symes unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick crossed by Jason Kennedy, Darryl Westlake makes a clearance.
Joe Widdowson challenges Alex Nicholls unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Florent Cuvelier.
Effort on goal by Florent Cuvelier from just outside the penalty area goes harmlessly over the target.
Kevan Hurst takes a shot. Blocked by Neill Byrne.
The assistant referee signals for offside against Jason Kennedy. David Grof takes the free kick.
Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Florent Cuvelier. Free kick crossed left-footed by Emanuel Jorge Ledesma from left channel, clearance made by Joe Widdowson.
Shot by Kevan Hurst from outside the box goes high over the crossbar.
Andrew Tutte takes a shot. Save by David Grof.
The referee blows for offside. David Lucas takes the free kick.
Ashley Grimes gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on David Grof. David Grof takes the direct free kick.
Jason Kennedy takes the inswinging corner, Kevan Hurst manages to make a clearance.
Corner from the right by-line taken by Jason Kennedy, clearance by Mat Sadler.
Jason Kennedy takes a outswinging corner from the right by-line played to the near post, Gary Jones takes a shot. Blocked by Andy Butler.
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