Goals from Peter Vincenti and Grant Holt sealed a deserved 2-0 win for Dale over Sheffield United at Spotland.
Man of the Match Josh Lillis kept Dale in the game early on with a couple of fine saves, before Dale dominated the second half.
Vincenti curled home from the edge of the area midway through the second period, before Holt turned home a Michael Rose corner nine minutes from time.
There was one change from Tuesday’s 1-0 win over Fleetwood Town, with Nathaniel Mendez-Laing returning in place of Reuben Noble-Lazarus, who dropped to the bench. Former Dale man Matt Done was on the bench for the visitors.
The opening stages were dominated by the visitors, who ensured Josh Lillis was kept busy in the Dale goal.
Martyin Woolford’s cross was turned goalwards by Billy Sharp on the half volley, forcing Lillis into a reaction save to tip the ball over the crossbar. The resulting corner missed everybody and cannoned back off the far post, before being cleared behind for another.
Lillis made an almost identical stop eight minutes later, this time from Che Adams who had controlled the ball superbly on his chest before striking a half volley from just outside the area.
Dale began to settle into the game after the first fifteen minutes and Ian Henderson met a Joe Rafferty cross for their first real chance of the game, but he sent his glancing header wide of the far post.
Former Dale man Done was introduced earlier than expected when he replaced the injured Woolford just after the half hour mark.
The visitors had a couple of chances to open the scoring before the break as they finished the half the stronger. Both chances fell to striker Adams, who forced Lillis into a low save after a Jim McNulty clearance fell to him, before he swept a first time effort wide from John Brayford’s pass.
Keith Hill made two changes at the break, with Vincenti and Holt coming on for Joe Bunney and Mendez-Laing.
The teams exchanged early chances in the second half, with former Dale loanee Chris Basham firing wide for the visitors before Rose did the same for Dale.
Niall Canavan sent a header into the side netting from a deep Rose corner, whilst Lillis had to make a save at the feet of Adams as the striker tried to round him.
Midway through the half the deadlock was broken. It was substitute Vincenti who got the goal and it was a lovely Dale move down the left side that created it.
McNulty found Holt on the touchline who flicked the ball inside to Henderson. The Dale skipper did the same first time into the path of Vincenti who took a couple of touches to get the ball out of his feet before curling a shot past George Long from the edge of the area.
The visitors almost responded immediately after a great surge forward from Jay McEveley. He found Adams in the area, who forced Lillis to turn his bouncing effort round the post.
As the game entered the final twenty minutes Dale grew in confidence. Matthew Lund fizzed an effort wide after a Holt lay off, before the Dale striker beat a number of Sheffield United men as he carried the ball almost the whole length of the pitch and won a corner.
With nine minutes remaining Holt made the game safe as he doubled Dale’s lead. Rose’s corner fell to him in the middle of the area, and on the slide he turned the ball into the roof of the net to send Spotland into raptures.
The goal effectively killed the game off, and Lund came close to make it three for Dale. Henderson found Holt on the right side of the area with a nice flick, and the striker played in Lund who sent the ball wide.
Keith Hill’s men saw out four minutes of added time with ease and sent the Spotland crowd home happy after a fantastic second half display.