Rochdale fell to a narrow 1-0 defeat away to Sutton United on Saturday.
Will Randall’s 38th minute goal direct from a corner proved to be the difference between the two sides.
There were two changes from last weekend’s 1-0 defeat to Mansfield Town, as Abraham Odoh and Scott Quigley, returning from suspension and injury respectively, came in for Tyrese Sinclair and Devante Rodney.
The game started slowly with both sides unable to get long spells of possession as well as struggling to put together any dangerous attacks.
Dale’s first chance came after Scott Quigley looked to attack Ian Henderson’s cross, but Jack Rose denied any chance of that. The Sutton United goalkeeper dropped the ball which would have gifted the Dale striker a chance, however, he managed to hold onto it and kept the game level.
Quigley later held the ball up well in his own half before playing an excellent ball through to Henderson, who was denied by a great last-ditch tackle from Robert Milsom.
Another chance for Dale came from Odoh who linked up with Dale’s number 18 this time, after he slid the ball through to Quigley who saw his shot blocked and go out for a corner.
Ethan Brierley’s out-swinging corner was met by Ethan Ebanks-Landell at the back post who sent the ball across goal. Henderson challenged the goalkeeper and managed to get his head onto the ball, but it looped over onto the roof of the net.
Richard O’Donnell was called into action for the first time when he had to react to Will Randall’s header, blocking the ball with his body before travelling across goal to keep out and catch Kylian Kouassi’s header off the line.
Another chance for the home side fell to Donovan Wilson, who saw his shot deflected narrowly wide by Toumani Diagouraga.
The deadlock was broken with seven minutes of the first-half left to play, when Randall’s in-swinging corner evaded everyone and went directly into the net.
Three minutes after half-time, Adam Lovatt reacted quickly after a deflected shot travelled towards him, his header hit the post and Dale cleared the ball.
Dale then began to create a number of second-half chances.
Jimmy Keohane’s cross from the right was met by an unmarked Henderson, but his diving header travelled narrowly wide.
Devante Rodney replaced James Ball shortly before the hour mark in Jim Bentley’s first change.
Diagouraga created space for himself after taking the ball down well and quickly moving the ball away from the Sutton defender before passing to Quigley who saw his low driven shot saved by Rose.
Dale continued to push for an equaliser, this time Odoh tried his luck after he created space for himself, although his long-range effort was well-held by Rose.
Brierley then fired a corner towards the back post, John headed it back across and Rose spilled the ball leading to Sam Graham, his header looped goalwards, before the referee gave a free-kick to the home side.
Following a free-kick in Dale’s half, Wilson fired wide of the near post from a tight angle.
Brierley’s corner this time looked to be heading goal bound, almost identical to Sutton’s first-half goal, however the home side defended well and headed it away after it looked to be going in.
Again, Brierley would look to get an effort off, this time shooting from distance, his powerful shot was headed over for a Dale corner.
A dangerous cross from the right wing was met by Olusanya Temi Fadahunsi, who’d just come onto the pitch for Sutton, although his header travelled over the bar.
Dale’s final change came in the 87th minute when Tyrese Sinclair replaced Diagouraga.
Towards the latter stages of the game, Quigley nodded down Brierley’s diagonal pass into the path of Henderson who saw his shot deflected over brilliantly and Sutton held onto their 1-0 lead.
Dale XI | O’Donnell, Keohane, Graham, Ebanks-Landell, John, Diagouraga, Brierley, Ball, Odoh, Quigley, Henderson.
Subs | B Kelly, Seriki, Rodney, Nelson, Sinclair, Malley, Scanlon.