Dale were beaten 2-1 at home to league leaders Chesterfield in front of the TNT Sports cameras on Tuesday night.
Armando Dobra gave the visitors the lead after just seven minutes, but just six minutes later Kairo Mitchell equalised, finishing off Georve Nevett’s superb through ball.
However, Tom Naylor scored in the 26th minute to restore the Spireites’ lead, which they would hold on to despite pressure from Dale in the second period.
Jimmy McNulty made two changes from the team that started Saturday’s game at Dorking Wanderers.
Jesurun Uchegbulam and Kwaku Oduroh came in for Ian Henderson and Jimmy Keohane, who were both on the substitute’s bench.
The league leaders started brightly, with Louie Moulden called into action twice early on, denying Ryan Colclough and Jamie Grimes with body.
However, he couldn’t prevent the Spireites opening the scoring seven minutes in, when Dobra headed a cross off both posts, with the ball fortuitously coming to him to tap home on the line.
However, Dale were only behind for six minutes. Mitchell, who had been denied by brave goalkeeper moments earlier, was picked out by a stunning through ball from George Nevett.
The striker opened his body and finished coolly first-time underneath goalkeeper Harry Tyrer to bring Dale level.
Mitchell had another effort shortly afterwards, having been found by Adam Clayton this time, but dragged a shot wide from 20-yards.
Moulden denied Colclough again, holding his low effort, but the Dale stopper couldn’t do anything to prevent the visitors retaking the lead, when Naylor headed home a cross after a short corner.
Tyrese Sinclair and Uchegbulam, facing his old club, had volleys at goal, with Sinclair firing wide and the former Chesterfield man seeing his effort held.
After the break, Uchegbulam set up the first chance of restart, when his pull back found Clayton, whose first time effort was held by Tyrer.
Goalscorer Mitchell fired a first time effort over before seeing a glancing header held by Tyrer after Clayton’s clipped ball forward.
Dale saw a lot of the ball late on as the visitors protected their lead, but the league leaders defended well to keep Dale at bay and take all three points.
Dale XI | Moulden, Oduroh (83’ Conway), Ebanks-Landell, Nevett, John (58’ Keohane), Clayton, East, Uchegbulam, Gilmour (70’ Henderson), Sinclair, Mitchell.
Unused subs | Taylor, Ferguson.