Nine man Rochdale suffered a 4-0 defeat at home to Scunthorpe United on Tuesday evening in a game where Olly Lancashire and Jack O’Connell were dismissed.
Dale had been the better of the two sides, despite going a goal behind, before the two centre-halves were sent off within minutes of each other in the second half.
The Iron doubled their advantage from the spot, before Jimmy Spencer and David Syers completed the score line.
There was one enforced change to the Dale starting eleven as Joe Rafferty missed out due to injury; Rhys Bennett was called in to occupy the right back position.
In what had been an entertaining first half, both teams had opportunities during the open exchanges.
With seven minutes played Terry Hawkridge had the Iron’s first chance of the match as he fired a powerful effort over the bar from 25-yards, but it was Rochdale who came closest four minutes later.
Bennett cut open the Iron defence with a through ball to Hogan, who sent the ball into the area after getting to the by line. Graham Cummins was the man on the end of the cross and he turned and sent an effort goalwards, forcing ‘keeper Sam Slocombe into a two handed save to send it round the post.
In the 14th minute, Scunthorpe found the back of the net through Sam Winnall, but the goal was disallowed after the linesman raised his flag for off-side.
As the half continued Rochdale looked in very much control as they went on to enjoy large spells of possession.
As seen on many occasions this season, Dale were patient in their play and looked comfortable in defence, while threatening at going forward as they looked to work an opening past a resolute Iron side.
In the 22nd minute, Bennett almost found that breakthrough as he troubled Slocombe with a cross-come-shot, which took the ‘keeper by surprise. The ball almost snuck in under the cross bar, leaving the goalkeeper to tip it up and over the bar.
Rochdale continued to press, and with 37 minutes on the clock it was Dale’s turn to have a goal disallowed for off-side after Matty Lund had found the back of the net.
Dale had been on top, but found themselves behind two minutes later against the run of play through Niall Canavan, who turned the ball into the net from close range from a corner ball.
GOAL: Rochdale 0-1 Scunthorpe United (Canavan, 39 minutes)
Scunthorpe took the one goal advantage into the interval.
HT: Rochdale 0-1 Scunthorpe United
There were no changes at the interval as Manager Keith Hill stayed as was for the start of the second half.
The opening exchanges of the second half saw the two side trading spells of possession, without truly threatening either ‘keeper.
It meant opportunities were at premium, and Hill made a double substitution shortly before the hour mark – Matty Done and Bastien Hery replaced Graham Cummins and Andrew Tutte respectively.
And it was on 68 minutes that Hery's angled drive, which was beaten away Slocombe, led to Olly Lancashire’s dismissal.
From the clearance, Lancashire, who had been shown a yellow card just moments before, tangled with Winnall, and was dismissed for a second bookable offence.
Five minutes later and Dale found themselves down to nine men, after Jack O’Connell was shown a straight red card following much deliberation between the linesman and the referee, after being adjudged to have been the last man as Spencer brought to ground inside the area.
The decision meant the Iron were awarded a penalty and Winnall netted from the resulting spot kick.
GOAL: Rochdale 0-2 Scunthorpe (Winnall, 73 minutes)
Dale had lost their two centre halves and were always going to be up against during the remaining twenty minutes of the match.
In the 85th minute, Josh Lillis pulled of a fine save from Syers, but was unable to keep out Spencer moments later as he made it three for the visitors.
GOAL: Rochdale 0-3 Scunthorpe (Spencer, 86 minutes)
And the visitors rounded off proceedings in added time through Syers.
FT: Rochdale 0-4 Scunthorpe