First half goals from Joe Bunney and Nathaniel Mendez-Laing saw Dale record a hard fought 2-1 win over the Posh.
It means Dale have now lost just two of their last 12 games.
Bunney opened the scoring from a Donal McDermott cross in the eighth minute before Mendez-Laing doubled Dale’s advantage with 23 minutes on the clock. Michael Smith halved the deficit shortly after the half hour mark.
Manager Keith Hill made three changes to the side that started against Doncaster Rovers last weekend. The injured Niall Canavan was replaced by Olly Lancashire, while Matty Lund and Joe Bunney started ahead of Callum Camps and Grant Holt, who were on the bench.
Rochdale started the game brilliantly, forcing Ben Alnwick into two saves within the opening three minutes.
Firstly, Nathaniel Mendez-Laing, who was returning to his former club, was kept out by the ‘keeper. Donal McDermott worked exceptionally hard to shrug off Harry Beautyman before splitting the Peterborough defence and sending the former Posh man through on goal. Mendez-Laing was denied as struck his effort on the angle.
A minute later and Lund tested from 25-yards but was kept out by Alnwick who got down well to collect.
In the 6th minute, the home side had their first opportunity on goal, but Marcus Maddison could only look on as his powerful effort across the face of goal travelled narrowly wide.
Dale’s opener came a couple of minutes later.
McDermott raced onto a ball forward before delivering low into the area. Joe Bunney was there to smash the ball into the back of the net.
GOAL: Peterborough United 0-1 Rochdale (Bunney, 8 mins)
Lillis, who has made a string of important saves in recent weeks, was on hand to keep the opposition out again. He pulled off a fantastic double save to keep Peterborough’s Tom Nichols out in the 11th minute.
The game was end to end at times, and it was evident that it was two teams who wanted to win the game. Dale were not content sitting on their 1-0 lead in the 18th minute Mendez-Laing attempted to curl an effort into the top corner of the net, which didn’t look too far away.
Lillis then kept out a long range effort from Jack Baldwin with a wonderful diving save, before Rochdale doubled their advantage.
Bunney had an initial effort blocked on the line, which fell for Mendez-Laing. Mendez-Laing was then kept out by Alnwick but pounced on the rebound to extended Dale’s lead.
GOAL: Peterborough United 0-2 Rochdale (Mendez-Laing, 23 mins)
Peterborough went on to halve the deficit with a long range strike.
After some neat interplay by Michael Smith and Tom Nichols, Smith struck low into the bottom of the net from 25-yards.
GOAL: Peterborough United 1-2 Rochdale (Smith, 34 mins)
Dale had the opportunity to net a third in stoppage time in the first half as they hit the Posh on the break. The ball was played into Rose, who hit over from close range.
HT: PETERBOROUGH UNITED 1-2 ROCHDALE
The home side started the second half at pace, going in search of an equaliser.
They were limited in clear cut opportunities as Dale defended resolutely - in the 53rd minute Beautyman was through on goal, but was denied by Lillis who got down at his post to keep out the effort which was struck on the angle.
Five minutes later and the outstretching Alnwick clawed away a Bunney header from a Lund cross, which looked destined for the back of the net.
Manager Keith Hill made a double change in the 70th minute, with Peter Vincenti and Grant Holt replacing Mendez-Laing and McDermott.
Peterborough were asking the majority of the questions but couldn’t find a way past the resolute Dale. And in the 83rd minute the impressive Lillis came off his line and timed a challenge on Nichols, who was through on goal, perfectly. It was an excellent piece of goalkeeping.
Four minutes from time, Hill made his third substitute of the match as Bunney, whose work rate in all areas of the pitch was exceptional, was replaced by David Syers.
The Posh were forced to see out the remainder of the game with 10 men as Nichols was unable to continue due to injury. They had already made their three substitutions.
In stoppage time, Maddison went down inside the area claiming for a penalty, but the referee was quick to book him for diving.
That was the last major incident of the game and Dale recorded another memorable victory.
FT: Peterborough United 1-2 Rochdale