Toby Savin saved two penalties as Accrington Stanley won the shoot-out points after a 3-3 draw in the opening group game of the Papa Johns Trophy with Rochdale.
Savin denied Tyrese Sinclair and captain Aidy White from the spot as Stanley scored all their four penalties in a 4-3 win.
The game burst to life in the second half when Sean McConville and Matt Lowe scored two quickfire goals to put Stanley in the ascendancy.
League Two Dale, with new manager Jim Bentley in the dug outs for the first time, scored three goals in seven minutes before late drama saw Tommy Leigh force the ball over the line with virtually the last kick of the game to take the game to penalties.
Then came more late drama at the Wham Stadium with Stanley, after losing their Carabao Cup shoot-out to Tranmere, this time being victorious.
Goalkeeper Savin made his first start of the season with John Coleman mixing up his team.
Goalmouth action was limited in the opening 20 minutes with the best chance falling to former Dale loanee Ethan Hamilton who drilled an effort just wide.
Stanley enjoyed a spell of pressure with Lowe clipping a McConville cross over the bar, Shaun Whalley’s strike was blocked and Ryan Astley’s shot was off-target.
Rochdale were always a threat but Savin’s first save came on 40 minutes when he pushed away a strike from Connor Malley.
Coleman made three changes at the break bringing on Harvey Rodgers, Mitch Clark and Liam Coyle.
Dale started the second half well and pacy Abraham Odoh ran half the length of the pitch but his final shot was wide of the goal.
Stanley then scored two goals in four minutes to charge into a 2-0 lead.
On 51 minutes, Lowe fired the ball across the box from the left and McConville curled it home from the edge of the area.
It was two on 55 minutes when McConville’s strike was one-handedly pushed away by keeper Cieran Slicker and Lowe was following up to head home a welcome first goal for the Reds.
However Rochdale then turned the game around with three goals in seven minutes.
They got one back on 65 minutes when Stanley failed to clear their lines and the ball came out to James Ball on the edge of the box and he fired low into the bottom corner of the net.
It was 2-2 on 67 minutes when substitute Ian Henderson, who had only just come on, tapped home Ball’s cross from close range.
Rochdale then had their tails up and it was 3-2 on 72 minutes when Malley made space and raced into the area, hitting the crossbar with his shot, but it bounced out for Ethan Brierley to fire home.
Stanley then forced the pace as they looked to get back on level terms, McConville charging forward and firing just over the bar while Joe Pritchard’s strike was narrowly off-target.
In the fourth minute of added time, Doug Tharme’s ball into the box wasn’t cleared and Tommy Leigh forced the ball over the line from two yards out to take the game to spot kicks, for the second time this season for the Reds.
Onto penalties and Henderson and Savin cancelled each other out; Brierley made it 2-1 with McConville’s kick making it 2-2; Savin denied Sinclair and Leigh scored to put Stanley ahead 3-2.
Liam Kelly blasted home Dale’s fourth for 3-3 before Josh Woods kept the Reds ahead 4-3.
Savin saved from White to secure the extra point for Stanley.
Salford and Liverpool Under 21s are the other side in Stanley’s group.
Stanley: Savin, Sangare (Clark), Astley, Tharme, Fernandes (Rodgers), Whalley (Pritchard), Hamilton (Leigh), Conneely (Coyle), McConville, Woods, Lowe
Subs: Jensen, Procter
Attendance: 1130 (381)