The Youth Team were beaten 3-0 by Preston North End in their third and final EFL Youth Alliance Cup match.
Dale goalkeeper Morgan Piper made a stunning fingertip save early on, turning a speculative effort onto the underside of the crossbar, but he couldn’t prevent the hosts from taking the lead from Ethan Walker’s penalty.
Their second goal came after the break, when Tyrhys Dolan found the bottom corner with a fine low finish.
Morgan Moreland saw a one-on-one chance well saved by the Preston goalkeeper, before Adam Cullen nodded a cross from the left off the top of the crossbar, as Dale searched for a way back into the game.
Joe Rodwell sealed the victory in the final minutes, with a neat finish after a counter attack from the hosts.
The result leaves Dale in third place in Nothern Group 5, meaning progression to the knockout stages is now unachievable.