Goals from Callum Camps and Ian Henderson saw Dale record a 2-1 victory over league leaders Burton Albion at Spotland.
Camps put Dale ahead eight minutes in with a great strike from distance, before Henderson doubled the lead from the penalty spot.
Lucas Akins made it a nervy finish for Dale with a goal 12 minutes from time, but Keith Hill’s men held on for a deserved three points.
Keith Hill made four changes from the defeat at Barnsley last Saturday. Joe Rafferty, Jamie Allen and Tom Kennedy returned, whilst David Syers made his debut for the club.
Dale needed a response after the result last Saturday, and they got off to the best possible start when Camps fired home in the eighth minute. On Academy Day at Spotland it was two youth products that linked up, Allen found Camps in space and he unleashed a cracker from 25 yards out that gave Burton stopper Jon McLaughlin no chance.
At the other end the Dale defence was holding strong and the visitors had two efforts blocked, first from Akins then from Stuart Beavon.
Dale were comfortable though and a ball over the top of the Burton defence led to a penalty for Hill’s troops. Henderson was the man pushed to ground by John Mousinho, and the Dale top scorer stepped up to send McLaughlin the wrong way from the spot.
Josh Lillis and his defence weren’t really troubled in the first half, although Anthony O’Connor thought he had got one back for the visitors seven minutes before half-time. However, his header from Mark Duffy’s cross was ruled out for offside.
Dale nearly made it 3-0 inside the first two minutes of the second half through Allen, when his fizzing effort was only just turned over the crossbar by McLaughlin. From the resulting corner, Camps’ scuffed effort rolled wide after some pinball in the box.
It was another strong showing from Dale the other side of half-time as they dominated in the middle of the part, but neither goalkeeper had much to do in a half of few clear chances.
Duffy had a half volley comfortably saved by Lillis, before Syers and Oliver Lancashire directed corners wide.
Despite being comfortable for the majority of the game the final 12 minutes would be nervy for Dale when Akins stole in to lob Lillis. A mix up between the Dale goalkeeper and Jim McNulty saw the Burton striker lift the ball over Lillis who had come off his line.
Rhys Bennett and Calvin Andrew came on for Camps and Syers to help Dale over the line. Tom Naylor had Burton’s best effort deflected over, whilst Duffy’s effort from distance flew harmlessly wide in the three minutes of added time that were awarded.
That was as close as Burton could come, and Dale held out for a great three points against the league leaders.