Rochdale were left to rue missed opportunities as they fell to a defeat against Dagenham and Redbridge at Spotland on Saturday.
The Daggers' Rhys Murphy with the only goal of the game.
Dale had huffed and puffed in front of goal all game, but in what was a frustrating afternoon, they were unable to turn the screw to see off the visitors.
Manager Keith Hill made two changes for the game – Jason Kennedy was handed his return debut, replacing Jamie Allen. George Donnelly started ahead of Scott Hogan, who moved to the bench.
Rochdale started the match on the front foot and enjoyed large spells of possession as they kept the Daggers pinned into the own half for much of the first half.
Dale had set a high tempo and during the opening exchanges they had opportunities to open the scoring as they peppered the visitors’ goal.
The first and best chance of the half fell for George Donnelly following a Dale corner, but he could only hit over from six yards.
Rochdale continued to pressure the Dagenham defence, giving them no rest bite, and in the 11th minute the Daggers were let off the hook following a mix up in communication between ‘keeper Lewington and his defender. They both left the ball for each other inside the 18-yard box, but Dale were unable to take advantage of the slip up as the visitors recovered before a Dale player could pounce on the opportunity.
And a minute later another chance presented itself to Dale following some positive build up play.
Michael Rose delivered the ball to the back post for the awaiting Donnelly, who rose highest inside a packed box. He smashed a header goal wards, but was denied by Lewington who tipped the effort over the cross bar.
Dale remained in control and in the 15th minute a cross-come-shot from Matty Done was blocked at the near post by the ‘keeper and sent round the upright.
Ten minutes later, Done who made a nuisance of himself throughout the half, picked out Lund after surging forward, and the midfielder curled an effort goal wards. It was comfortably saved by Lewington who got down low to collect.
A rare attack from the Daggers soon followed, but Dale were alert and Jack O’Connell was there with a timely block to close down Medy Elito before he could get a shot away.
It was the most Dale had seen of Dagenham , and Lillis finished the half without having a save to make.
Rochdale continued in the same positive manner as they looked to break the deadlock, and in the 39th minute they came agonisingly close to finding the opener that they deserved. Donnelly delivered a dangerous ball across the face, but an outstretched Henderson, who came sliding in at the back post, was unable to get the decisive touch to send the ball beyond Lewington.
Dale had been asking all of the questions and must have been wondering how they weren’t ahead as the teams went into half time yet to break the deadlock.
HT: Rochdale 0-0 Dagenham and Redbridge
Clear cut opportunities were limited for Dale during the second half as they failed to make the most of their large spells of possession.
Unable to break down the Daggers' defence, Done sent a long range effort goal wards in the 51st minute. It sent Lewington scrambling across the six yards box, but went agonisingly wide of the upright.
Rochdale continued to build in order to find an opening, but on what was fast becoming a frustrating afternoon, Dale were unable to break down an improved Daggers side.
Shortly before the hour mark Manager Keith Hill made his first substitution of the match as Donnelly was replaced by Scott Hogan.
It was hoped that the fresh legs would add to Dale's threat, but they were dealt a blow as Dagenham netted against the run of play in the 62nd minute.
Luke Wilkinson delivered an inviting ball into the box and Rhys Murphy coolly slotted the ball past Lillis.
GOAL: Rochdale 0-1 Dagenham and Redbridge (Murphy, 62 minutes)
The goal was far from deserved but it left Dale with all the work to do if they were to get something from the game.
In the 78th minute Hogan was denied on the line, before Lewington twice kept him out five minutes later.
The frontman had an initial effort blocked by the ‘keeper, and as it went up in the air, Hogan was able to head a follow up effort in on goal. Good goalkeeping from Lewington saw him keep Hogan at bay.
In the 85th minute Ian Henderson surged forward before cutting inside and unleashing a curling effort. It was blocked amid shouts for a handball, but the appeals were quickly waved away by the referee.
Moments later and Done fired an on target shot goal wards, again it was kept out by Lewington who got down low to smother the effort.
And it stoppage time, Dale’s afternoon was summed up as Rose sent a free-kick high over the bar.
It finished Rochdale 0, Dagenham and Redbridge 1.