Ten-man Dale suffered a 5-1 defeat to Plymouth Argyle at Home Park.
Freddie Ladapo gave the hosts the lead in the first-half, which was cancelled out by Matty Done’s goal shortly after the break.
The game was in the balance when Ethan Ebanks-Landell was given a straight red card for a handball which the referee deemed denied a goalscoring opportunity.
Ryan Edwards restored Plymouth’s lead, before goals from Ladapo, Oscar Threlkeld and Ashley Smith-Brown secured their win.
Ryan Delaney and Rory Holden replaced Jim McNulty and Rekeil Pyke in two changes from Tuesday night’s game against AFC Wimbledon.
Dale started well as Matty Done saw an effort blocked behind, from which Ryan Delaney nodded over Holden’s corner.
Ian Henderson and Stephen Dooley linked well, with the latter laying off to Ethan Hamilton, who shot wide from the edge of the area.
The hosts were denied a number of times by Dale stopper Andy Lonergan, who made a diving save to his right to deny Yann Songo’o’s curling effort.
He then denied Graham Carey and a volley from Gary Sawyer, but could do nothing to prevent the Pilgrims taking the lead in the 26th minute.
Ladapo received the ball with his back to goal just inside the area, turned onto his left foot, and curled an effort beyond the outstretched Lonergan.
There were shouts for a Dale penalty three minutes later, as Holden was upended when he latched on to Done’s pass, but no foul was given.
Lonergan twice denied Carey’s left-footed efforts, before Sarcevic curled a strike narrowly off target.
Sarcevic was then denied by Lonergan’s outstretched hand and then turned a corner wide of the near post in the one minute of added time.
At the half-time break, Calvin Andrew and Bradden Inman replaced Holden and Dooley, and within minutes Dale were level.
Done picked up on a poor back pass from Ryan Edwards and kept his composure to slot beyond the advancing Argyle goalkeeper Kyle Letheren.
However, just over ten minutes later, Dale were reduced to ten men. Ebanks-Landell slipped as he chased a ball over the top, and in doing so what deemed have deliberately handled the ball, taking it away from the Plymouth forward who would have been in on goal.
The home side retook the lead just two minutes later, in controversial circumstances. The Dale defence felt there was handball by a Plymouth man in the area, from which the ball skewed up for Edwards to volley home.
Substitute Inman felt he should have had a penalty of his own two minutes later. He latched onto Edwards’ weak header back, knocking it past the goalkeeper and going to ground, but the referee saw nothing in it.
Fellow half-time sub Andrew fired well over after Done’s lay off, before Ryan McLaughlin’s low effort from 25-yards was well held.
Carey curled a first-time effort wide before he was denied by a fine save from Lonergan, but moments later the hosts doubled their advantage.
Delaney failed to deal with a ball in behind him, allowing Ladapo to pick up on the loose ball and slot beyond Lonergan.
They added a fourth inside the final six minutes, when substitute Threlkeld swept home a square ball from the edge of the area.
Henderson curled an effort wide and Ethan Hamilton saw a shot spilled, with Done offside on the follow up, as Dale searched a late goal.
Lonergan denied Sarcevic late on, but he could do nothing to prevent Smith-Brown curling a stunning first-time effort into the far top corner to wrap up the scoring.