Dale striker Bobby Grant scored a stunning 66th minute goal to cancel out Jay O'Shea's opener before Grant saw red five minutes from time.
The match ended in dramatic fashion with Marc Richards seeing his penalty appeals waved away by referee Andy Haines.
Rochdale immediately broke upfield and it took a fine save from Tommy Lee to prevent Brian Barry-Murphy snatching all three points.
"We played well, there was some good movement, scored a fantastic goal and put in some good performances," he said. "But I felt we shaded it enough to win and at the end I thought it was a penalty on Marc Richards.
"I'm not blaming the referee, but that was not a hard decision. My first reaction was it's not close, it's a stonewall penalty.
"I'm disappointed not to win, but pleased not to lose. It's good news that we have stopped the run of away defeats, but I'm disappointed when you consider Rochdale's best attempts came from our set plays.
"We have an Achilles heel in trying to win games. We spoke about it all week and, while it was a great finish from Bobby Grant, it came from a free kick of ours which we gave away possession.
"Sometimes, no matter what you've worked on with lads, they just get caught up in the game and it's hard but you have to be cold and calculated in what you do."