The Hatters threw away a three-goal half-time lead as two goals in the final three minutes earned Rochdale an FA Cup replay in a six-goal thriller at Kenilworth Road.
It had looked as though Richard Money was going to celebrate his first game in charge with a fantastic victory after two goals from Steve Basham and one from Adam Newton had put the Town three goals to the good in a 24-minute period in the first half.
Basham's first on four minutes - a deft header from Kevin Gallen's cross got the ball rolling.
On 21 minutes a superb goal doubled the Town's advantage when Burgess found Newton with an intelligent through ball that dissected the Dale defence and the winger lofted the ball high and over the advancing Kenny Arthur in the visitors' goal.
Eight minutes later it looked as though the Hatters were home and hosed when Basham doubled his tally for the game - and for the season - when firing past Arthur after Dale had failed to clear Gnakpa's cross.
Dale, flying high in League 2, however came battling back in the second half but were still three goals behind with 32 minutes still to play.
But Rory McArdle reduced arrears when sending a header that was deflected past debutant goalkeeper Shane Gore following Tom Kennedy's left-wing free-kick.
The second period was dominated by the hosts and they got to within a goal of the Town three minutes from time when Joe Thompson converted from close range.
As time ticked away the Hatters almost sealed the win when Tom Craddock was thwarted by Arthur after playing a one-two with Gallen.
But Dale hit the Hatters with a sucker punch a minute into stoppage time when Thompson arrives at the back post to force the ball home past Gore to complete a remarkable recovery.
Result from Kenilworth Road
Luton Town&nbsp;3 (Basham 4, 29, Newton 21)
Rochdale&nbsp;3 (McArdle 58, Thompson 87, 90)
FULL TIME Luton Town 3-3 Rochdale. An incredible game comes to a close and we're all going to Spotland on 17th November for a replay. We'll have all the reaction as soon as we have it.
90 mins - Well they&nbsp;had been warned the Rochdale have punished the Hatters. Looks like&nbsp;a replay. Unless...
90 mins &nbsp;GOAL Hatters 3-3 ROCHDALE - The visitors have done it and it's almost a carbon copy of their second goal as Thompson is there to make it 3-3. Unbelievable.
87 mins &nbsp;GOAL Hatters 3-2 ROCHDALE - Dale exploit the space down the left and Kennedy swings over a pin-point cross which Thompson crashes home at the back post to ensure we've got&nbsp;a really nervy last few minutes.
84 mins - Still no change in the scoreline as Rochdale are frustrated by a strange decision by the referee to award the Town a goal kick instead of a corner after Murray's back header.
80 mins - Rochdale are well on top now. The Hatters haven't been at their first half best and we could be danger of a nervy last 10 minutes. Still 3-1 though.
79 mins - There's 3,167 inside Kenilworth Road this afternoon including 355 shouting for Dale in the Oak Road end.
77 mins - An open game now and Dale are still pressing. Substitute Higginbotham goes on a run and tries a shot from the edge of the area that is well blocked by Pilkington. The visitors are exposing the Hatters' right side time and time again.
75 mins &nbsp;Second change for the Hatters as two-goal Basham goes off to a warm reception as is replaced by Craddock. Not a bad sub to bring on.
74 mins - Activity on the Hatters bench...
70 mins - Still 3-1 here. Hill has made a double change for the visitors but the Town are looking to put the game beyond doubt but can they in the final 20 minutes?
65 mins - Dale's tails are up now and Gore does fantastically to make a double save to prevent it going 3-2. Firstly Jones bursts through the Town defence after latching onto Holness' pass and sees a shot well saved by the keeper who then does well to get up quickly to parry substitute Will Buckley's follow-up. Great goalkeeping.
61 mins - The visitors are sensing a comeback but Thompson wastes a decent opportunity when trying to catch Gore off his line but the effort is too high and goes comfortably over the crossbar.
60 mins - A couple of chances in the space of 30 seconds for the Town to make it 4-1 go begging. Firstly Pilkington sees a header blocked from Gallen's cross with White having a shot also blocked on the follow-up. Then Burgess tries his luck from 18 yards but his left-foot volley goes well wide.
58 mins &nbsp;GOAL Hatters 3-1 ROCHDALE - Dale are back in it. Gnakpa conceded a free-kick down the Dale left which is swung in at pace by Kennedy and McArdle is there to head past Gore via a deflection. The Hatters can't afford to allow them back in this.
55 mins - It's hard to think this Dale side won so convincingly at Bournemouth last week but maybe the Town have been inspired this week. Still 35 minutes left and with a bench brimming with talent waiting the Town are well in control.
52 mins - More brave goalkeeping from Gore as he rushes out to smother Dagnall's through ball with Jones busting a gut to get on the end of it.
50 mins - The Town are lucky to still be 3-0 in front as O'Grady balloons a fantastic chance from close range after Rundle has scampered down to left to deliver a cross that Dagnall dummied. He puts his head in his hands just like the rest of his team-mates, manager, supporters and those from Rochdale in the press box. Dreadful miss.
48 mins - Two chances in the space of a minute for 4-0 but firstly Arthur - who looks even more worse for wear now - beats away Gnakpa's fierce drive from an acute angle following Pilkington's header across goal and then Pilkington comes agonisingly close with a header from Burgess' corner that whistle past the post. Close.
47 mins - Ok so that change has seen Pilkington don the captain's armband and sit alongside Burgess in central midfield. Howells has gone to play left-wing and Newton has gone to right-back. Complicated this!
46 mins We're set for the second half and it'll be the Hatters to get us underway kicking towards the Kenilworth Road end. There's a change at the break for the Town, too, with Jake Howells replacing Keane. Hopefully that is just a precaution give the 3-0 lead Money's men have.
HALF-TIME Luton Town 3-0 Rochdale - Referee McDermid calls time on the first 45 minutes and what a first half for the Hatters. Three super goals have put the Town in command. Dale have had their moments but as it stands we're on for a cup shock. Check back in 15 minutes for the second half updates. COYH!
45 mins + 2 - A chance right at the very end of the first half as Basham nods a header well wide of the target following Newton's left-wing cross.
45 mins - We've got two additional minutes to play at the end of the first half as indicated by the fourth official.
44 mins - Dale keeper Arthur looks in pain and he's not taking the goal kicks. Hill does have a goalkeeper on the bench in Danny Taberner but until he comes on the Hatters can take advantage of the stopper's problem.
43 mins - There's been a bit of lull in proceedings. The Hatters can't afford to take their foot of the gas. Rundle tries to fashion an opening down the left flank but finds his route to goal blocked. The ball falls to O'Grady who sweeps a shot goalwards but Gore is equal to it and turns it round the post.
38&nbsp;mins - The Hatters are on fire in this first half. The players are brimming with confidence and looking to further punish the visitors. Basham is relishing his opportunity. He tries to pick out Gallen but Dawson clears the danger.
30 mins - Rochdale are clearly baffled by the Town's performance but they almost reduce arrears a minute after going 3-0 when McArdle is denied by a block by the on-rushing Gore. Brave goalkeeping and he earns a healthly round of applause from the buoyant Kenilworth Road crowd.
29 mins &nbsp;HATTERS 3-0 Rochdale - Well, well, well. The Town are well an truly embarrassing their Football League opponents as Basham fires his second of the afternoon. Gnakpa maurauds down the right wing. His cross his half-cleared by Craig Dawson straight into the path of Basham who smashes it past Arthur from eight yards. Not a bad 30 minute's work. Get in!
27 mins - Just seen I hadn't updated the score at the top. It's 2-0 now...Gallen then tries to beat Arthur with another lob - from much closer range this time - but the ball sails over the crossbar.
24 mins - Both of the Town's goals have been absolutely brilliant. Burgess and Newton at the heart of both. They've also dealt with Rochdale's response really well. I'm sure this game isn't over but we could be talking about a cup shock...?
21 mins &nbsp;GOAL! HATTERS 2-0 Rochdale - It's 2-0 to the Town and after being under the cosh for much of the half since taking the lead a superb goal doubles the lead. Burgess picks the ball up in the centre of midfield and slides a wonderful through ball into the path of Newton and - after seeing Arthur off his line - the winger dinks a wonderous finish over the keeper. Two zip. Fantastic goal. Best I've seen this season.
19 mins - Still Dale attack. They are well in this now. Rundle is causing all sorts of the problems down the left wing and his pass finds Chris O'Grady on the egde of the area who sees his shot on the turn just about diverted away by Gore. After a bright start from the Town it's all the visitors.
17 mins - More pressure from the League 2 high-flyers and a superb block from White and Pilkington deny Dagnall the chance to pull the scores level after Thomas Kennedy's free-kick had been deflected into the path of the striker. That was a good team effort from the Hatters defensive duo.
13 mins - Another good move from the visitors - again down the left flank - results in Rundle firing a low shot that arrows across the face of goal after the winger had been teed up by Dagnall's square pass. That was close.
12 mins - Remember Rochdale are no mugs. They are still playing some good stuff. Jones smashes a shot from 25 yards straight down the throat of Gore who collects at the second attempt as Keith Hill's side begin to find them feet.
7 mins - Still all the Town and referee McDermid books Murray for his apparently dive in the penalty area looking for a spot-kick after it looked like the left-back had been upended by Rory McArdle.
6 mins - The Hatters are flying at the moment and Gallen calls Arthur into action to make a sprawling save to prevent another goal.
5 mins - Back come Dale and Gore does well to get down well to smother Chris Dagnall's low shot from the edge of the penalty area.
4 mins &nbsp;GOAL! HATTERS 1-0 Rochdale - The perfect start for the Town and it's Basham who grabs his first goal in Town colours to put them ahead. Burgess, Newton and Gallen combine superbly down the left for Gallen to sending a teasing across into the six yard box to Basham who heads past Kenny Arthur. Simply stuff. Get in!
2&nbsp;mins - The Hatters are lining up 4-4-2 and it will take a while to explain where everyone is playing. Ok. Gore is in goal and across the back-four we have - right-to-left: Pilkington, Blackett, White and Murray; in midfield Gnakpa, Keane, Burgess, Newton and Basham and Gallen are in tandem up-top. Interesting.
1 mins We're off, a couple minutes past 3 o'clock as Rochdale get us underway kicking towards the Kenilworth Road end. Come on you Hatters!
14:59 - The two sides are out on the pitch a tad later than usual. The Town are in their now traditional orange shirts, white shorts and orange socks while Dale are sporting an all purple number.
14:55 - It's a sunny Kenilworth Road setting but there are plenty of empty seats around the place. We're going to have a minute's silence just before kick-off in remembrace of those that lost their lives in battle.
14:45 - There's a late change to the Town side as Mark Tyler has injured himself in the warm-up. It means that Shane Gore comes in to make his Town debut between the sticks. Callum Reynolds has been drafted in to be the seventh sub.
Team news - Richard Money makes six changes for the visit of Rochdale following last Saturday's 2-0 defeat to Rushden. Keith Keane makes a welcome to return to action and he is named captain for the cup tie. There are also starting places for Andy Burgess, Shane Blackett, Claude Gnakpa, Steve Basham and Freddie Murray. Six starters from last week are out of the side including Kevin Nicholls who drops out of the squad of 18 altogether. Ed Asafu-Adjaye, Tom Craddock, Jake Howells, Asa Hall and Rossi Jarvis join Shane Gore and Ryan Charles on a very strong looking bench.
Luton Town: Tyler, Keane, White, Pilkington, Newton, Blackett, Gnakpa, Basham, Gallen, Murray, Burgess.
Substitutes: Asafu-Adjaye, Craddock, Gore, Hall, Howells, Jarvis, Charles.
Rochdale: Arthur, Thomas Kennedy, Jason Kennedy, Jones, Dagnall, Rundle, Thompson, O'Grady, McArdle, Dawson, Holness.
Substitutes: Spencer, Taberner, Magna, Higginbotham, Brizell, Flynn, Buckley.
Good afternoon all supporters to lutontown.co.uk to our text updates service as Richard Money is in charge for his first game of the Hatters.
It's the first game of a new era at Kenilworth Road and Money will no doubt want his troops to bounce back following last weekend's disappointing defeat to Rushden and Diamonds.
It won't be easy though as today's visitors Rochdale are on the march in League 2 having won 4-0 at league leaders AFC Bournemouth last Saturday.
It's a chilly, bright, autumnal day and remember you can still pop down to watch the game if you fancy it with tickets available at reduced rates on the door. Children accompanied by an adult can gain entrance for as little as one pound.
Over the&nbsp;course of the afternoon and&nbsp;in the run-up to kick-off be sure to keep an eye on our official site as we'll have team news,&nbsp;minute-by-minute updates, reaction and match action&nbsp;&nbsp;for you. On lutontown.co.uk this afternoon we'll have all the usual updates keeping you bang up-to-date with all the action - and in a number of ways.
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Enjoy the game.