Joey Barton was cruelly denied a first home victory at Highbury by a last-gasp Ian Henderson strike.
Barton was on course to secure his first home win since taking over at Town but Henderson popped up in the fifth minute of injury time to thwart Town.
It had started well for Barton as Paddy Madden scored his second of the season in the 26th minute, pouncing on a whirling Ash Hunter cross at the back stick.
But Town shot themselves in the foot in the 50th minute when skipper Craig Morgan was ruled to have fouled Rochdale's Ian Henderson in the box.
Keeper Alex Cairns could not repeat his spot-kick heroics from Fleetwood's shoot-out win at Crewe in midweek as the attacker powered the ball home in the 50th minute.
Though Fleetwood came back fighting, Hunter the architect once again his shot palmed away by Josh Lillis but only into the path of Ched Evans who made it two in two in the 56th minute.
It was a fiery affair at Highbury with boos for the referee from the home faithful at the final whistle after that last gasp Henderson effort.
Fleetwood: Cairns, G Jones, Morgan, Eastham, Coyle, Holt (Bolger, 73), Marney, Dempsey, Madden, Evans (Burns, 60), Hunter (McAleny, 84). Subs: P Jones, Burns, McAleny, Grant, Bolger, Long, Sheron.
Rochdale: Lillis, Rafferty (Done, 51), Nthle, McNulty, Delaney, McGahey, Rathbone (Andrew, 67), Perkins, Wilbraham, Inman (Camps, 42), Henderson. Subs: Norman, Williams, Andrew, Camps, Done, Adshead, Cannon.