Dale were beaten 3-0 by Oldham Athletic for the second time this season after a first half which saw Dale make all three subs due to injury.
Rhys Turner gave Oldham the lead on the half hour mark of a first half which was interrupted by Dale casualties. Peter Vincenti, Jamie Allen and Stephen Dawson were all forced off in an eventful first 45 minutes.
Two goals in three second half minutes would put Dale to bed, as Jonathan Forte scored before Turner bagged his second of the game after walking through the Dale defence.
Keith Hill named an unnamed squad after Saturday’s 3-1 defeat of Scunthorpe United. Dale were unchanged for the third game in a row for this local derby.
The home side had the first chance when Carl Winchester ran down the right and forced Jones into a save with his legs, with Jonathan Forte only flicking the rebound back to the Dale stopper.
Dale’s first chance almost came from a goalkeeping error by Joel Coleman, as he sliced a backpass up into the air, but Allen couldn’t spot the ball in the sky and Oldham cleared.
Vincenti had Dale’s first effort with a shot from 20 yards as the visitors grew into the game, but Coleman palmed away.
That was to be Vincenti’s last action of the game as he was the first Dale player to be subbed off. Reuben Noble-Lazarus was his replacement.
Winchester had an effort which cleared the crossbar soon after, but the home side did take the lead on the half hour mark through Turner.
Mat Sadler’s good run down the left saw him flick the ball over Ashley Eastham before sending the ball goalwards. Jones couldn’t gather the ball and it fell to Turner who was in the right place at the right time to fire home into the virtually empty net.
It was a blow to Dale but worse was to come on the injury front, as Allen was forced off with a head injury after bravely challenging for an aerial ball. Bastien Hery came on for him.
The long stoppage and subsequent substitution slowed the pace of the game. Dawson had a left footed half volley for Dale which went well wide, and that proved to be his last action in the game as he was replaced Oliver Lancashire. Andy Cannon moved into midfield with Lancashire going to right-back.
Both sides had chances in the four minutes of stoppage time, Luke Woodland fizzing an effort just wide of Jones’ right post, and Noble-Lazarus sending a neat turn and shot straight at Coleman.
Dale started the second half brightly, with Michael Rose firing over from the edge of the area and generally looking the more threatening.
However, an awful three minutes around the hour mark would take the game away from Dale.
Two mintes before the hour mark the home side doubled their lead through leading scorer Forte. A cross from the left fond the striker and after having his first effort blocked, he managed to fire home past Jones at the second attempt.
If that goal didn’t give Dale a mountain to climb, the third three minutes later certainly did. Turner found the ball at his feet and walked through the Dale defence who didn’t put a challenge, and the striker poked home past Jones for his second of the night.
It would be a disastrous period for Keith Hill’s men that would cost them any chance of getting something from the game, but they still kept on and had chances to get a goal back.
Rose played a great ball into Hery who found himself one-on-one with Coleman, but his left foot effort went wide when he should have hit the target.
Noble-Lazarus had a fizzing left foot effort turned away by Coleman before hitting a weak effort wide with his right.
There was yet more injury woes for Dale as Eastham was forced with 15 minutes to go, leaving them with ten men for the remainder of the game.
Dale put the effort in until the end but it would prove fruitless as Latics ran out 3-0 winners. Keith Hill’s men will look to pick themselves