Pools found themselves behind when Josh Andrews fired the visitors in front 10 minutes after the restart with Pools flat compared to their recent cup successes over Sheffield Wednesday and Lincoln City.
And having lost their last five League Two games on the spin, including back-to-back games at the Suit Direct Stadium, both the players and the supporters might have feared the worst.
But Lee’s side were able to claw their way back into the game nine minutes later with an excellent goal from Mark Cullen before Mark Shelton grabbed his second goal in a week deep into second half stoppage time to seal a dramatic night and give Lee the dream start.
“Last minute winners. I think we’ll all take them,” admitted a delighted Lee.
“The pleasing thing is that you come from a goal down which we’ve struggled with in the previous games. We showed a bit of character.
“We knew they’d have a lot of the ball. I think Rochdale are a very good team. I think they’ll be contenders higher up the league come the end of the season so we knew it was a challenging game.
“But we stuck at it and kept going. We knew we could hurt them on transitions and fortunately the first goal was exactly what we thought would happen and it did hurt them.
“The pass from Shelton [was good] but the first touch from Cullen to set him up was fantastic.”
It means Lee has enjoyed the perfect start to life in the Pools dugout following Saturday’s success in the FA Cup, but it was here at the Suit Direct Stadium Lee was keen to taste victory with the 43-year-old determined to continue Pools’ impressive home form of the last 12 months.
“You want to win the home games and we want it to be a challenge and not make games easy at home.
“I’ve come in and I've looked at these two games and just want six points. It’s two home games and you want to win both.”