As ever, all eyes were on the titanic tussle at Spotlands and a 90th-minute goal from Julian Alsop from a Barry Hayles assist proved decisive.
It was a moment of vindication for lively pensioner Alsop, who was beginning his second spell at the club. The gangly marksman's transfer had been greeted with suspicion by Robins fans, partly because he had been playing in a glorified pub team last season (Bishop's Cleeve) and partly because he once allegedly raped a youth player with a banana while at Oxford United.
But Alsop's aim was straight and true, just as his banana hand had been on that fateful day in 2004, and he moved within two goals of the club's all-time record league tally.
It was a tactical masterstroke from Town manager Martin 'Mad Dog' Allen, who knew the Rochdale defence would have no answer to the snail's pace of Hayles and Alsop.
"I don't know what any defender can do against them," Dale stopper Craig Dawson lamented.
"You try and keep focused but eventually Mr. Hayles' rambling war stories and Mr. Alsop moaning about his dentures got the better of me. I just dozed off and then he very slowly got past me and let fly. I have to admit I refused to repeat what the PA announcer was saying after the game for him because I was so frustrated."