Dale went down 2-1 at London Road after giving themselves a mountain to climb in the first half.
Peterborough were 2-0 up inside seven minutes through a header from Harry Beautyman and a goalmouth scramble which was credited to Christian Burgess.
Dale pulled one back through a Joe Rafferty bullet from outside the area, but couldn’t find an equaliser on an awful pitch. They ended game with ten men when Calvin Andrew picked up an injury after all three subs had been used.
Keith Hill made four changes from the side that started the game at Walsall on Tuesday with three changes at the back. Joe Rafferty, Jack O’Connell and Joe Bunney came in for Andrew Cannon, Callum Camps and Scott Tanser, with Oliver Lancashire pushing into midfield. Reuben Noble-Lazarus also started in place of Calvin Andrew.
Dale were stunned by three goals in nine first half minutes on Tuesday night, and those defensive blues continued in the opening stages here as Dale conceded two in three minutes.
Michael Smith had time and space on the right flank to whip in a cross, and Beautyman was free in the middle to nod home the opener.
The same combination almost paid dividends again three minutes later, but Beautyman planted his header straight at Josh Lillis who did well to react and keep the ball out.
However, from the resulting corner the home side doubled their lead. The corner was swung in, Lillis came for it but appeared to miss, before it was scrambled over the line, with Burgess credited.
minute. Another cross from Smith was flicked goalward by Erhun Oztumer, but his effort only found the side netting.thIt was an awful start for Dale and they were close to being three down in the 10
Thankfully Dale stemmed the tide and came back into the game. A clever free-kick from Rafferty found Ian Henderson down the right side, but his shot was well cleared as it was goalbound.
minute clawed one back thanks to stunning goal from Rafferty. He collected a pass from Henderson, carried forward and beat a man, before lashing the ball from outside the area straight into the top corner. There was nothing Ben Alnwick could do as he saw the ball rifle past him.thHill’s side were growing into the game and in the 24
A lifeline for Dale and gave them a foothold in the game. However, Oztumer could have put Peterborough two goals ahead again just two minutes later. Ashley Eastham did well to head clear a free-kick, before the ball dropped to Oztumer, but he dragged his shot wide.
There two changes for Dale at half-time, with Michael Rose and Callum Camps coming on for Eastham and Noble-Lazarus. Bunney moved from left-back to right-wing, whilst Lancashire moved back into central defence.
The home side had the first chance of the second period, when Smith found space down the right but could only shoot into the side netting at the near post.
Luke James had a curling effort from the left channel which was comfortably saved by Lillis.
minute for Jamie Allen but would only be on the pitch for ten minutes. He picked up an injury after Shaun Brisley caught him on the back of the leg, and after trying to run it off, had to come off and leave Dale with ten men for the remainder of the game.thCalvin Andrew came on in the 65
Posh substitute Jon Taylor forced Lillis into a save as the game entered stoppage time, but Dale couldn’t get forward enough to create an opportunity to force an equaliser.