Dale’s first pre-season friendly ended in a narrow defeat, losing 1-0 to Portuguese side Sporting Clube Farense at Estadio de Municipal da Albufeira.
Manager Brian Barry-Murphy elected to play a different eleven in each half, with the first-half team creating a number of good opportunities.
However, the only goal of the game came midway through the first-half when the Farense striker finished from a tight angle after a short back pass.
A completely different side for the second period again created chances, but couldn’t find a route past the impressive Farense stopper.
In an evening open period of the game, first-year professionals Lewis Bradley and Harrison Hopper both saw strong efforts well blocked, shortly before Callum Camps sent a dipping volley narrowly over the crossbar from 25-yards.
At the other end, Jim McNulty produced a superb challenge on the edge of the six-yard box to keep the scores level, but Farense did take the lead in the 21st minute.
A weak back pass from Jimmy Keohane was intercepted by the Farense striker, who kept his composure to round Brad Wade and slot home from a tight angle.
Hopper and Bradley both had further chances for Dale, with the former heading over a Luke Matheson cross from just inside the area, before Bradley saw a one-on-one effort superbly saved, after being found by Camps’ through ball.
Ian Henderson saw a shot well blocked, before he also forced the Farense goalkeeper into a fine stop, as he flew to his left to keep out the Dale skipper’s curling effort, from which Dooley headed the rebound into the stopper’s arms.
From the restart, with Dale having made 11 changes, the Farense goalkeeper denied MJ Williams, turning his strong effort round the post from 20-yards.
It was then Lillis’ turn to produce a fine stop, getting his fingertips to a thunderbolt of an effort from 30-yards to turn it over the crossbar.
Aaron Morley’s well-struck free-kick was turned away by the Farense stopper, before Fabio Tavares’ attempted ball back in to the area was blocked by the arm of a defender, although the referee waved away any claims of a penalty.
Lillis produced another strong stop late on to deny a one-on-one opportunity, taking all the pace off the ball which allowed Sheffield United loanee Rhys Norrington-Davies to get back and clear off the line.
Dale First-Half XI | Wade, McNulty, Dooley, Andrew, Camps, Pyke, Keohane, Bradley, Hopper, Henderson, Matheson.
Dale Second-Half XI | Lillis, McLaughlin, Norrington-Davies, Delaney, Williams, Rathbone, Done, Wilbraham, Morley, Gillam, Tavares.