Torquay manager Leroy Rosenior said: 'The result was a travesty. We played well enough to win and we should have had three points out of this." He was not wrong for Torquay started off at a fast pace, made several good chances and had Rochdale in trouble.
The result of it was that United found themselves a goal down after 35 minutes when Kevin Townson converted his spot kick putting the ball to the right of Arjan Van Heusden after David Woozley had fouled Dale defender Gareth Griffiths when Rochdale had taken a corner kick.
Within seconds United were ploughing a furrow towards Rochdale's goal but David Graham was brought down close to the Rochdale goal. But it was not close enough said the referee who awarded a free kick just outside the penalty area.
Rochdale with new boss Steve Parkin at the helm improved towards half time and again after the interval.
But it was Torquay who had the aces in the last quarter when they pounded the home goal.
But oddly they seemed to be well off target far too often and when they were looking good keeper Neil Edwards repeatedly came to Dale's rescue.
One which he nearly missed was a shot from Graham which he parried nearly over his own head into the net put he managed to recover to save his side from losing their fragile lead.
Shot after shot rained in, many of them from the hard working Graham and one especially from sub Jo Kuffour.
This one was saved brilliantly by the home keeper. The other sub Jason Fowler went close with a good effort.
Leroy Rosenior was quite justified in feeling that Torquay should have earned more than nothing.
For the most part they were the better side and they made more chances than Dale but even top scorer David Graham could not get one shot to count.