Rochdale defender Nathan Stanton was harshly shown a red card by referee Michael Jones midway through the first half of Saturday's League Two clash at Spotland for a foul on Elliott Bennett.
Despite going in at the break goalless, Rochdale's resistance was eventually broken 10 minutes after half-time when Nicky Adams reacted first to Andy Bishop's flick and fired past Tommy Lee.
A few minutes later Bennett should have made it 2-0, but he dragged his shot wide from close range.
The home side were reduced to 10 men for the final 15 minutes when Ben Futcher was shown a second yellow card for an off-the-ball incident.
The game ended in yet more controversy when Jones appeared to change his mind in awarding Dale a last-minute penalty that was calmly converted by leading scorer Le Fondre.