A goal in either half saw Dale defeated 2-0 by Coventry City at the Ricoh Arena.
Daniel Agyei’s close range tap-in against the run of play gave the home side a half-time lead, before an Andre Wright goal five minutes from full-time sealed the three points.
Dale had nearly all of the second half play but couldn’t find the back of the net, on what proved to be a frustrating afternoon at a ground where the home side are still unbeaten this season.
Keith Hill made two changes from Tuesday night’s trip to Swindon Town, with Andy Cannon and Oliver Rathbone replacing Nathaniel Mendez-Laing and Steven Davies, who both dropped to the bench.
Dale made a strong start as they looked to get back to winning ways, dominating the early possession which almost led to an early breakthrough.
A ball over the top of the home defence found the run of Ian Henderson. He twisted and turned to attempt to find a yard of space, but his shot was blocked out for a corner kick.
Callum Camps had a long range free-kick beaten away, with goalkeeper Lee Burge electing to fist to safety with the ball swerving all over the place.
Joe Bunney, cleared to play after his red card from midweek was overturned, pounced a loose ball in the final third but dragged his effort wide from outside the area.
The home side worked their way back into the game following Dale’s early dominance, and came inches away from taking the lead in the 20th minute through Daniel Agyei. He found himself goalside of Niall
Canavan and sent Josh Lillis the wrong way, but his effort came back off the outside of the post.
Coventry did break the deadlock in eight minutes later through Agyei. Ruben Lameiras found space on the right side of the area and squared to Agyei, who stretched a leg out to turn the ball into the back of the net from close range.
Dale strived to level the scoreline before half-time, and had a header cleared off the line from a corner shortly after conceding. However, the corner from Bunney was sent out of play before curling back into the area.
Camps sent another swerving free-kick goalwards, but this time Burge was behind it and held on well.
Agyei showed tricky footwork shortly before half-time to break free of a couple of Dale players, but he sent his curling left foot shot wide of the far post.
The opening stages of the second half were again dominated by Dale. Camps had an effort from the edge of the area pounced on by Burge after a loose ball had broken to the Dale midfielder, who then sent a fizzing ball across the face of goal minutes later.
Matthew Lund had a header cleared off the line as Dale pushed the home side deeper. Canavan headed a corner back into the middle, which Camps flicked on before Lund’s header was denied by a defender on the line.
Mendez-Laing replaced Joe Rafferty just before the hour mark, and forced Burge into a save within minutes after gaining a yard on his marker.
Lund sent a low effort from range inches wide of Burge’s right post after a nice lay off from Camps.
Camps was replaced moments later by Davies with Keith Hill’s second change.
Lund and Andrew sent long range efforts well over, with Andrew’s being his last involvement as he was replaced by Donal McDermott.
Lund broke free of his marker to meet another Bunney corner kick, but this time he sent his effort over.
Henderson had a great chance to equalise seven minutes from time when he met Bunney’s superb cross, but he directed the header over the crossbar.
With Dale pushing forward for the late equaliser their play deserved, they were hit with a sucker punch on the counter which put the game beyond their reach.
The hosts broke down the left side with Lewis Page, who squared a perfectly weighted ball for substitute Wright to tap home.
Davies headed just wide from another superb Bunney delivery, but that was as close as Dale came to getting back into the game late on as the home side closed out a 2-0 victory.