Frustrated City had to settle for a goalless draw against a Rochdale side who spent over an hour with ten men.
Striker Bobby Grant was sent off after 35 minutes as the visitors proceeded to camp in home territory for the rest of the game. But there was no cutting edge to show for it.
It was a feisty first half played at a fierce pace. Tackles flew in and Rochdale were reduced to ten men ten minutes before the break. Striker Grant flew into a nasty tackle on Rory McArdle and was sent straight off by referee James Adcock.
City had lost Kyel Reid to injury after 26 minutes but once again looked a threat going forward. But none of their shots on target had tested home keeper Josh Lillis.
Phil Parkinson’s side were already without Gary Jones, who missed the reunion with his former club because of a back injury. Ricky Ravenhill took his place and headed over with a good chance at the start of the second half.
The skipper then thumped another shot straight at Lillis as City looked to make the man advantage count.
But for all their superior possession, too many of City’s attacks went nowhere.
The closest they came was six minutes from time when Andrew Davies saw his shot from a corner cleared off the line by Joe Rafferty. Hines was not too far off with an angled shot late on but City could not make their advantage pay.