Two first-half goals secured a convincing 2-0 derby day win for Dale over local rivals Bury.
Ryan Delaney put Dale ahead with a free header when he nodded in Bradden Inman’s corner-kick, before Ian Henderson’s stunning strike doubled the lead.
Neil Danns missed a second-half penalty for Bury, before Harry Bunn also forced Josh Lillis into a fine save, but the win now moves Dale to within a point of safety and 11 clear of rivals Bury.
Delaney and Bradden Inman replaced Kgosi Ntlhe and Stephen Humphrys as Keith Hill made two changes from Good Friday’s win over Shrewsbury Town.
The visitors started well and could have taken the lead inside the opening ten minutes.
Callum Camps picked out Bradden Inman on the left, who found Henderson with a pull-back to the penalty spot. After taking a touch, the Dale skipper smashed a left-foot shot wide from close range.
Matty Done then almost found Henderson with another pull-back from the left, but his ball was just a couple of inches ahead of his teammate before Joe Rafferty’s cross was cleared.
Danny Mayor was Bury’s biggest threat going forward, and he had an effort comfortably held by Lillis 15 minutes in.
Dale took a deserved lead on the half hour mark, when Inman’s in swinging corner-kick was met by the free head of Delaney, who nodded down into the bottom corner.
Mayor looked lively again as he curled high and wide, before dribbling into the area and having a low shot saved by Lillis.
Two minutes before the break the lead was doubled through Henderson. A ball over the top of the Bury defence on a Dale counter attack bounced to Henderson in the area, and he found the far corner with a stunning half-volley which flew past Connor Ripley.
Delaney went close twice in quick succession after the break, seeing a header superbly tipped over the bar by Ripley, before heading onto the roof of the net from two Inman corners.
Half-time Bury substitute James Hanson sent a couple of headers off target from Joe Skarz crosses, before another Skarz cross led to penalty for the hosts.
As the left-wing cross was nodded back across goal, a handball was given against a Dale man. However, Danns’ penalty was awful and trickled well wide of Lillis right post.
Lillis then made a superb save from Hanson’s fellow half-time substitute Harry Bunn, as he got down low to his left to turn his one-on-one effort around the left-post.
Hill made three substitutes in ten second-half minutes when Inman, Camps and Andrew were replaced by Scott Wiseman, Kgosi Ntlhe and Humphrys, and the latter came close to adding a third less than two minutes after coming on.
Done found Ntlhe down the left and crossed for Humphrys, who had two efforts from close range blocked as he cut across his man to the front-post.
Ollie Rathbone had an effort saved by the feet of Ripley late on from a Humphrys pull-back, in what was the final effort of a convincing 2-0 win for Dale, who were applauded off by their superb 1,540 travelling supporters.