DESPITE a greatly improved performance, Torquay United were left ruing their missed opportunities as they went down 1-0 at Rochdale.
Manager Alan Knill would have been pleased with his side's start as the Gulls created a myriad of chances in the opening minutes, by far the most impressive start they've had on the road this season.
Lee Mansell, with a couple of well delivered set pieces gave early chances for Aaron Downes and Karl Hawley.
Downes headed powerfully from the opening corner of the game only to see his effort scrambled away by the home defence, while Hawley's faint touch off a powerful Mansell delivery went straight to goalkeeper Josh Lillis who made no mistake.
Impressing throughout was winger Billy Bodin, who was back in the side after international duty, replacing Courtney Cameron in the starting eleven and the only change to the team.
Bodin was at the heart of the high-tempo start, running rings around opposition defender Javan Vidal.
The Welshman skipped past the Rochdale man early on, but was denied the opportunity of a shot after an excellent covering tackle from Michael Rose.
The home-side's best opportunity in the first half was a penalty shout after a clumsy challenge by Aaron Downes, the defender bringing down the energetic Scott Hogan after a solo run into the area.
With the Rochdale protests still ringing, Bodin stormed down-field and was denied from opening to scoring only by a superb save by 'keeper Lillis.
After a dominant first half Torquay would have gone into the break disappointed at the score line. It also meant that the Gulls have so far only scored one first-half goal all season.
Half-time proved to be the turning point as the home side came back in impressive style during the second period.
The Torquay defence was called upon on several occasions to make crucial interventions with
Martin Rice again producing his best when it counted.
Torquay's player of the month turned over a corner from Jack O'Connell followed by two brilliant saves from George Donnelly strikes.
Despite Rochdale coming back strongly, the Gulls still had multiple chances to take the lead.
Jordan Chapell burst down the right and produced an excellent cross into the area, only to see no yellow shirts in the box to put it away.
Another good piece of play from Bodin resulted in a cross perfectly placed for Aaron Downes to head.
The defender could not make it count, however, nodding it straight towards Lillis.
It was in the 77th minute that the away fans had their heads in their hands as Rochdale managed to score through striker Ian Henderson.
The ex-Norwich and Colchester man took full advantage of an untimely slip from Krystian Pearce to break the deadlock, despite a brave effort to clear by Kevin Nicholson.
In desperation for an equaliser, Knill turned to his bench to try and salvage something from the game.
Daniel Sullivan and Tom Cruise replaced Chapell and Nicholson respectively for the closing five minutes.
A cross by Ben Harding proved to be the final opportunity for the Gulls but no-one could quite get on the end of it.
A frustrating game for United left them pointless and languishing 19th in League Two after just a solitary win in their first seven games.
Meanwhile Rochdale lie just short of the promotion places at this early stage of the season with this, their second 1-0 win on the trot.
Rochdale [4-4-2]: 1 Josh Lillis; 15 Javan Vidal [3 Rhys Bennett 56], 22 Jack O'Connell, 6 Oliver Lancashire [capt], 25 Michael Rose; 12 Matthew Lund, 20 Brian Barry-Murphy, 29 Graham Cummins [16 Matt Done 62], 11 Scott Hogan; 9 George Donnelly [14 Bastien Hery 72], 40 Ian Henderson. Substitutes [not used]: 5 Ashley Eastham, 21 Robbie Thomson [GK], 28 Callum Camps, 39 Joe Bunney.
Booked: O'Connell 82
United [4-4-2]: 13 Martin Rice; 2 Dale Tonge, 5 Krystian Pearce, 4 Aaron Downes, 3 Kevin Nicholson [21 Thomas Cruise 86]; 10 Billy Bodin, 7 Lee Mansell [capt], 8 Ben Harding, 12 Jordan Chapell [31 Daniel Sullivan 83]; 9 Karl Hawley, 16 Callum Ball. Substitutes [not used]: 6 Damon Lathrope, 11 Courtney Cameron, 14 Ashley Yeoman, 20 Nathan Craig, 34 Daniel Lavercombe [GK].
Referee: Mark Haywood