By Tom Stewart
Brighton & Hove Albion were unable to add to their record-breaking winning run on Saturday (April 3), as they were held by play-off-chasing Rochdale.
The Seagulls were left ruing missed opportunites, as they failed to capitalise on their 25 shots on goal.
Rochdale took advantage of Brighton’s recklessness to go ahead in the 22nd minute as Will Atkinson smashed home the rebound after Casper Ankergren had saved Robbie Williams’s free kick.
But Albion turned the game around with two goals either side of half-time.
First, New Zealand international Wood sent Owain Fon Wiliams the wrong way from the penalty spot, after Craig Dawson brought down former Dale favourite Glenn Murray at 29 minutes.
Gary Dicker’s header from Bennett’s right-wing cross gave Albion the lead six minutes into the second half.
A ninth-straight win looked on the cards, but Rochdale got a penalty of their own when Radostin Kishichev felled Chris O’Grady in the area.
Striker Gary Jones despatched the spot kick to level the score at 2-2, and that’s how the game finished.
The result sees Brighton’s lead at the top of League One cut to 11 points, while Rochdale sit in seventh place – just one-place and five points shy of the play-off spots.
Albion manager Gus Poyet said: “We showed a good reaction to going behind and created problems going forward but just couldn’t find a winner.
“We didn’t respect the things we have respected all season and we gave them the chance to get back.”
“We attacked well but it was a bit disappointing how we dealt with defensive situations.” – Poyet
The game saw the return of popular midfielder Alan Navarro who had been out since the start of the season with a broken leg.
Liam Bridcutt limped off in the first half but should be fine for Saturday’s clash with Sheffield Wednesday, while Ashley Barnes and captain Adam El-Abd should also return.
ALBION (4-4-2): Ankergren; Calderon, Painter, Greer(c), Elphick; Bennett, Dicker, Kishichev (Navarro ’72), Bridcutt (Noone ’14); Murray, Wood (Sandaza ’82)
Subs not used: Brezovan(GK), Taricco, Dunk, Sparrow