The Youth Team fell to defeat against Preston North End on Saturday, in their second pre-season fixture.
Dale dominated a goalless first half, and grabbed a deserved lead midway through the second through Joe Renner.
However, two goals in the final ten minutes from the visitors saw them grab the victory late on.
The opening stages were scrappy as both sides tried to settle into a rhythm. Fabio Tavares hooked a difficult volley wide, before Louis White tested the goalkeeper with a low free-kick.
As the half wore on, Dale began to assert their dominance and with more clinical finishing could have taken the lead before the break.
James Neild found Neil Kuemo with a nicely weighted through ball, but Kuemo’s effort from the edge of the area flew just wide of the right post.
Dale’s high press was proving effective and when they won the ball back on the edge of the Preston area, it fell to White whose shot from outside the area went wide.
Kuemo found himself with a great chance to break the deadlock shortly before the break, after Tavares found him with a clever lofted through ball, but he dragged his shot wide of the far post.
On the stroke of half-time a superb passage of play from Dale almost led to the first goal. After a succession of one-touch passing, Nathaniel Appiah drove into the area on the right side, and from a tight angle forced the goalkeeper to turn his effort around the near post.
Dale continued their ascendancy at the start of the second half, and Neild attempted an audacious lob from distance when he spotted the goalkeeper off his line, but the effort dropped over the crossbar.
Elliott Murray replaced Florian Yonsian ten minutes in the half, and the substitute provided a perfect delivery for the opening goal.
His left footed in swinging corner was met by the head of Renner, who nodded past the North End ‘keeper.
Dale made a number of substitutions in the fifteen minutes following the goal. Farhan Subhani, Musambya Kisimba, Charlie Leech and Luke Adderly replaced Neild, Tavares, Juwon Hamzat and Harrison Hopper. All four of the substitutes are under-16s from Dale’s Academy.
The match turned on its head in the final ten minutes. The visitors’ Haziful Rahman capitalised on hesitation on the edge of the Dale area, before slotting the ball past Bradley Wade to equalise.
Dale came so close to retaking the lead just four minutes later, through substitute Kisimba. He dispossessed the goalkeeper and tried to place the ball into the empty net, but the attempt was cleared off the line by a Preston defender.
Kuemo had an effort from outside the area comfortably held, before the visitors grabbed the winning goal in the first minute of added time.
They won the ball on the edge of the area after Dale had tried to work the ball out of defence, and a crisp strike from Jack Baxter from the just inside the area found the bottom corner.
There was still time for Dale to carve out another chance, which came so close to providing an equaliser.
Kuemo did superbly down the left side, and squared to Murray in the middle six yards out. Murray turned it goalwards, but was denied by a superb save from the Preston stopper.
An important save it proved to be too, as it would be the last act of a game which Dale will feel hard done by to have come out on the losing side.