The Youth Team secured their 11th consecutive victory with a 3-1 victory over Preston North End.
Fabio Tavares and Aaron Morley put Dale 2-0 up midway through the first-half, before the hosts halved the deficit shortly before the break.
Dale had a number of chances after the break and added a third through James Neild six minutes from time, to move within a four points of leaders Wigan Athletic with three games in hand.
The first chance fell Dale’s way within the opening two minutes, when Neil Kuemo found Florian Yonsian at the back post. He fired goalwards and forced James Cottam into a strong stop.
Chances for both sides came in the opening stages, with Neild meeting a couple of Morley set-pieces and Tyrhys Dolan twice firing goalwards for the hosts.
Tavares had the ball in the back of the net just 13 minutes in but was denied by the offside flag, before he did break the deadlock nine minutes later.
A great Dale move down the right side saw Luke Matheson receive a return ball from Kuemo in the area. He showed good composure before squaring across goal for Tavares, who turned home from close range.
The lead was doubled just four minutes later through Morley’s fine free-kick. From the left-channel, 25-yards out, he curled an effort around the wall which beat Cottam low at the near post.
Kuemo curled an effort wide as Dale looked to add to their tally, but it was the home side who netted before half-time.
Dolan sent an inch-perfect pass through to Adam O’Reilly, who slotted home to reduce the deficit.
Dale had chances to restore their two-goal cushion after the break, and were inches away from doing so just before the hour mark.
Kuemo cut into the area on his left foot and produced a strong stop from Cottam, with Yonsian’s follow-up cleared off the line as it trickled towards goal.
Yonsian was then close to meeting a Florent Hoti cross when six-yards out, before Kuemo fizzed a curling effort just past the far-post.
The hosts had a good chance to equalise in the final ten minutes when substitute Lewis Coulton cushioned a volley over the crossbar, and Dale took full advantage, netting a third just two minutes later.
Morley sent his free-kick to the back post, where Neild timed his run perfectly to nod home from close range.
It made the closing stages that much more comfortable for Dale, who held on for another three points in their title challenge.
Dale XI | Fryatt, Matheson, Neild, Renner, Appiah, Morley, Hoti, Hopper, Kuemo, Yonsian, Tavares (Bradley 63’).
Unused subs | Ward, Hamzat, White.