A fabulous 25-yarder from Andy Gouck earned Rochdale an impressive point at promotion-chasing Fulham this afternoon.

The Whites began brightly in the Craven Cottage sunshine and a crowd of almost 8,000 fans saw Micky Adams’ men take the lead in the twelfth minute. Top scorer Mike Conroy, back in the starting line-up after injury, headed in a cross from Christer Warren from twelve yards with a little bit of help from the underside of the crossbar. But Dale aren’t in SW6 just to make the numbers and proved so when Gouck crashed a low effort past Mark Walton from distance to level matters nine minutes before the break.

A visible tiring Fulham side struggle to raise the intensity in the second half with Warren and Conroy unable to take half chances as a prolonged period of home pressure comes to nothing. Rochdale hold out for a deserved point – with Micky Adams admitting afterwards that his side ‘did not play well’. The only silver lining came with the news that both Wigan Athletic and Carlisle United had been beaten and the gap at the top of the table is down to a single point.

FULHAM: Walton; Lawrence, Watson, Angus, Blake; Cusack, Carpenter, Morgan, Freeman (Scott 70); Conroy, Warren (Brooker 62). Subs (not used): Cullip.

GOAL: Conroy (12).

ROCHDALE: Gray; Bailey, Johnson, Hill, Fensome; Russell, Formby (Painter 45), Farrell, Gouck; Leonard, Deary. Subs (not used): Martin, Taylor.

BOOKED: Formby, Leonard.

GOAL: Gouck (36).