Ollie Rathbone’s second-half goal secured a 1-0 win at Accrington Stanley, which moves Dale out of the Sky Bet League One relegation zone.
In an even affair, Rathbone’s sixth of the season in the 72nd minute settled matters, moving Dale up to 19th and level on points with Stanley.
Jimmy Keohane replaced Joe Bunney, as Brian Barry-Murphy made one change to the side that started against Sunderland at the weekend.
Dale goalkeeper Josh Lillis was called into action twice in quick succession during the opening stages, saving a powerful Sean McConville effort which was then headed over by Luke Armstrong, before holding on well to low shot from Dan Barlaser.
After Matty Done fired Dale’s first chance of the game wide from an Aaron Wilbraham knock down, Accrington stopper Dimitar Evtimov produced a fine one-handed save to stop Ryan McLaughlin’s deflected effort from Ian Henderson’s lay off.
Jordan Clark fired two efforts off target for the hosts, before Wilbraham sent an effort wide of the far post, as the first-half ended goalless.
Ethan Hamilton replaced Keohane at half-time and after Clark saw a free-kick held by Lillis, Dale began to take control of the opening stages of the second period.
Done saw an effort deflected wide, before his cross fell for Rathbone who fired over from 12-yards.
Done was involved again as he fired wide from 25-yards, before his ball across the edge of the area came to Ntlhe who powered a first-time effort wide of the near post.
Stanley’s Luke Armstrong touched a Clark cross wide of the near post before he was denied by a fine Lillis save from a tight angle.
Hamilton sent a volley well off target for Dale, before he had a hand in Rathbone’s goal which broke the deadlock with 18 minutes remaining.
Hamilton’s run and cross from the left found Wilbraham at the back post, who took the ball down exceptionally well, held on and lay off to Rathbone, who fired a powerful effort into the roof of the net from just inside the area.
Dale defended resolutely in the closing stages of the game, with Jim McNulty blocking a Clark shot, before Ross Sykes headed their best chance wide from a corner at the back post.