Rochdale staged a stunning fightback to beat fellow strugglers Exeter and keep alive their slim hopes of avoiding relegation from League One.

Exeter led 2-0 with only 11 minutes left courtesy of Daniel Nardiello's penalty and Liam Sercombe capping a fine move with a finish from six yards.

Nicky Adams gave Dale hope when his deflected shot flew in.

Joe Thompson lobbed Artur Krysiak to level before Jason Kennedy stroked the ball under the keeper for the winner.

Having looked comfortable, the Grecians were left stunned by Dale's dramatic comeback, which leaves both sides deep in the relegation mire.

Rochdale's victory staved off the drop for another week, but it leaves both clubs Exeter eight points from safety, needing to win all three of their remaining games to stand a chance of beating the drop.

VIEW FROM THE DRESSING ROOM

Rochdale manager John Coleman told BBC Radio Manchester:

"We shouldn't be putting ourselves in those situations.

"I knew we had the character to try and come back because we've done it before.

"Thankfully we didn't blow it once we got our noses in front.

"But we've got to be better at home and we shouldn't be giving ourselves a mountain to climb."

Exeter City manager Paul Tisdale told BBC Radio Devon:

"The way we lost our game in the last 10 minutes, we've seen it before.

"I'm very disappointed because the performance for 80 minutes was brilliant, but it's about the scoreline and we lost 3-2.

"The period after their first goal let us down. I can't change today's result.

"I can only try to win the next game and that's what I'll be trying to do."

Lineup, Bookings (1) & Substitutions (4)

Rochdale

  • 21 Edwards
  • 05 Amankwaah
  • 17 Holden
  • 19 Minihan
  • 07 Kennedy
  • 11 Adams
  • 14 Twaddle Booked (Widdowson - 65' )
  • 16 Tutte
  • 27 McConville (Thompson - 65' )
  • 09 Symes
  • 26 Akpa Akpro

Substitutes

  • 23 Lucas
  • 03 Widdowson
  • 10 Grimes
  • 15 Thompson
  • 18 Hackney

Exeter

  • 01 Krysiak
  • 02 Tully
  • 03 Jones
  • 05 Archibald-Henville
  • 27 Baldwin
  • 04 Dunne
  • 07 Sercombe
  • 08 Noble
  • 35 Taylor
  • 10 Nardiello (Dalla Valle - 75' )
  • 36 Gow

Substitutes

  • 40 Pidgeley
  • 24 Frear
  • 28 Dawson
  • 12 Cureton
  • 30 Dalla Valle (Cureton - 85' )
Ref: Madley
Att: 1,930

Match Stats

Shots

17 14

On target

10 8

Corners

4 7

Fouls

9 6

Live Text Commentary

90:00 +3:57 Full time

Full Time The referee ends the match.

87:39

Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro provided the assist for the goal.

87:39 Goal scored

Goal! - Jason Kennedy - Rochdale 3 - 2 Exeter Jason Kennedy scores a goal from close range low into the middle of the goal. Rochdale 3-2 Exeter.

86:52

Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Nicky Adams, clearance made by Billy Jones.

86:00

Corner taken short by Nicky Adams. Inswinging corner taken by Nicky Adams.

84:36 Substitution

Substitution Jamie Cureton comes on in place of Lauri Dalla Valle.

84:19

Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro has an effort at goal from close in that bounces off the post.

82:40

Corner from left by-line taken by Nicky Adams.

82:07

Foul by Joe Thompson on Billy Jones, free kick awarded. Artur Krysiak takes the free kick.

81:38

The assistant referee flags for offside against Joe Thompson. Troy Archibald-Henville takes the direct free kick.

80:21 Goal scored

Goal! - Joe Thompson - Rochdale 2 - 2 Exeter Joe Thompson scores a goal from just inside the penalty area to the bottom left corner of the goal. Rochdale 2-2 Exeter.

80:01

Jake Taylor takes a shot. Save made by Matthew Edwards.

79:19

Unfair challenge on Jake Taylor by Jason Kennedy results in a free kick. Free kick crossed right-footed by David Noble, Dean Holden manages to make a clearance.

78:11 Goal scored

Goal! - Nicky Adams - Rochdale 1 - 2 Exeter Nicky Adams finds the net with a goal from the edge of the penalty area low into the middle of the goal. Rochdale 1-2 Exeter.

76:29

Joe Widdowson concedes a free kick for a foul on Lauri Dalla Valle. David Noble takes the direct free kick.

74:32 Substitution

Substitution Daniel Nardiello goes off and Lauri Dalla Valle comes on.

74:20

Shot from just outside the penalty area by Michael Symes misses to the left of the target.

73:22

Liam Sercombe takes a shot. Matthew Edwards makes a save. Liam Sercombe is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Free kick taken by Matthew Edwards.

71:58

Jason Kennedy takes a shot. Save by Artur Krysiak.

71:46

The referee penalises Daniel Nardiello for handball. Direct free kick taken by Dean Holden.

69:23

Nicky Adams takes a shot. Save by Artur Krysiak.

68:06

Centre by Joe Thompson, save by Artur Krysiak.

66:54

Liam Sercombe takes a shot. Dean Holden gets a block in. Inswinging corner taken by Billy Jones from the right by-line, save by Matthew Edwards.

64:49 Substitution

Substitution (Rochdale) makes a substitution, with Joe Thompson coming on for Sean McConville.

64:49 Substitution

Substitution Joe Widdowson comes on in place of Marc Twaddle.

64:14

Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro takes a shot. Artur Krysiak makes a save.

61:36

Assist by Daniel Nardiello.

61:36 Goal scored

Goal! - Liam Sercombe - Rochdale 0 - 2 Exeter Liam Sercombe fires in a goal from close in to the top right corner of the goal. Rochdale 0-2 Exeter.

61:31

Centre by Daniel Nardiello,

60:51

Nicky Adams is ruled offside. Artur Krysiak restarts play with the free kick.

60:31

Alan Gow challenges Kevin Amankwaah unfairly and gives away a free kick. Matthew Edwards restarts play with the free kick.

59:47

Daniel Nardiello is penalised for a handball. Kevin Amankwaah takes the direct free kick.

57:09

Free kick crossed left-footed by Billy Jones, Sam Minihan makes a clearance.

57:09 Booking

Booking Marc Twaddle goes into the book for unsporting behaviour.

56:58

Marc Twaddle challenges Alan Gow unfairly and gives away a free kick.

55:59

Daniel Nardiello is ruled offside. Matthew Edwards takes the free kick.

55:47

Jake Taylor fouled by Dean Holden, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Steve Tully.

53:55

The official flags Michael Symes offside. Indirect free kick taken by Artur Krysiak.

51:35

Michael Symes takes a shot. Blocked by James Dunne.

48:45

The ball is sent over by Liam Sercombe, clearance made by Sam Minihan. David Noble takes the inswinging corner, Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro manages to make a clearance.

47:42

Pat Baldwin concedes a free kick for a foul on Michael Symes. The free kick is delivered right-footed by Nicky Adams from left wing.

46:59

Short corner worked by Alan Gow.

46:31

The assistant referee signals for offside against Nicky Adams. Troy Archibald-Henville takes the direct free kick.

45:01

The referee gets the second half underway.

45:00 +1:57 Half time

Half Time The referee blows for half time.

45:00 +0:43

Unfair challenge on Daniel Nardiello by Nicky Adams results in a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Troy Archibald-Henville.

45:00 +0:18

Troy Archibald-Henville challenges Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro unfairly and gives away a free kick. Nicky Adams delivers the ball from the free kick right-footed from right channel, clearance made by Billy Jones.

43:59

Handball decision goes against Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro. Direct effort from the free kick comes in from David Noble, Matthew Edwards makes a save.

43:18

Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Billy Jones from the right by-line, Michael Symes manages to make a clearance.

41:17

James Dunne challenges Jason Kennedy unfairly and gives away a free kick. Kevin Amankwaah restarts play with the free kick.

39:30

Free kick awarded for a foul by Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro on Pat Baldwin. Troy Archibald-Henville takes the direct free kick.

37:58

Shot from just outside the penalty area by Andrew Tutte misses to the left of the target.

36:39

The ball is crossed by Nicky Adams, Andrew Tutte takes a shot. James Dunne gets a block in.

35:54

Daniel Nardiello takes a shot.

34:04

The assistant referee signals for offside against Liam Sercombe. Free kick taken by Matthew Edwards.

33:49

Andrew Tutte takes a shot. Save by Artur Krysiak.

33:35

Michael Symes takes a shot.

32:33

James Dunne takes a shot. Blocked by Jake Taylor.

32:03

David Noble takes a shot. Alan Gow gets a block in.

30:16

Alan Gow produces a right-footed shot from just outside the box that goes wide right of the goal.

29:54

Alan Gow fouled by Dean Holden, the ref awards a free kick. Direct free kick taken by David Noble.

29:29

Kevin Amankwaah fouled by David Noble, the ref awards a free kick. Marc Twaddle takes the free kick.

27:57 Goal scored

Goal! - Daniel Nardiello - Rochdale 0 - 1 Exeter Placed penalty scored by Daniel Nardiello. Rochdale 0-1 Exeter.

27:01

Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro concedes a Penalty for a foul on Daniel Nardiello.

25:59

Inswinging corner taken by Billy Jones from the right by-line, Michael Symes makes a clearance.

25:00

The official flags Alan Gow offside. Matthew Edwards takes the indirect free kick.

24:07

Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro is ruled offside. Free kick taken by Troy Archibald-Henville.

22:07

Alan Gow produces a left-footed shot from just outside the box that goes wide left of the target.

21:26

Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro produces a right-footed shot from close range which goes wide of the right-hand post.

18:57

The offside flag is raised against Alan Gow. Matthew Edwards restarts play with the free kick.

17:51

Michael Symes is ruled offside. Troy Archibald-Henville restarts play with the free kick.

17:07

Jake Taylor is ruled offside. Free kick taken by Matthew Edwards.

14:28

Daniel Nardiello takes a shot. Blocked by Sam Minihan.

14:13

Nicky Adams takes a shot.

12:10

Inswinging corner taken by Billy Jones, Troy Archibald-Henville takes a shot. Blocked by Matthew Edwards.

11:09

Sean McConville takes a shot. Artur Krysiak makes a save.

9:42

Liam Sercombe produces a left-footed shot from deep inside the area which goes wide of the left-hand post.

9:06

Andrew Tutte fouled by Alan Gow, the ref awards a free kick. Sean McConville takes the free kick.

7:57

Shot from a long way out by Daniel Nardiello goes wide of the left-hand post.

4:18

Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro has an effort at goal from outside the box which goes wide right of the goal.

3:44

Corner taken by David Noble, save by Matthew Edwards.

0:00

The match gets underway.

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