Dale were beaten 2-0 at league leaders Luton Town, despite a spirited performance at Kenilworth Road.
Keith Hill’s side more than held their own for the majority of the game, but despite superb goalkeeping from Andy Lonergan, the hosts took the lead just before the hour mark through Danny Hylton’s close range goal.
Dale pushed for an equaliser, but were reduced to ten men when Ethan Hamilton was given a second yellow, and Luton capitalised to doubled their lead through James Collins in added time.
Keith Hill made three changes to his starting line-up from last weekend’s game at Plymouth Argyle, as Jim McNulty, MJ Williams and Bradden Inman all returned.
Dale more than held their own against the league leaders from kick-off, with Matty Done and Ian Henderson causing the Luton defence problems.
The hosts fired efforts wide from Collins, Hylton and Alan McCormack, without testing Dale stopper Lonergan.
He was called into action for the first time when he beat away a stinging shot from Collins, before saving well one-on-one from Andrew Shinnie.
Hamilton fired a free-kick into the Luton wall from 30-yards after a late challenge on Done, before Elliot Lee fired well over on the stroke of half-time for the Hatters.
Lonergan made a fine one-on-one save within a minute of the restart, when Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu broke through on goal, shortly before Hamilton had an effort comfortably held from 20-yards.
Joe Bunney made a superb goal-saving challenge, chasing back from the halfway line to poke the ball away from Jack Stacey who was one-on-one with Lonergan.
Ian Henderson chipped an effort wide of goal after the ball fell to him with Luton goalkeeper James Shea off his line, but minutes later the hosts took the lead.
Stacey broke into the right side of the area and played a low ball across for Hylton, who was denied by a superb Lonergan save onto the crossbar. It fell for Lee who was denied by Lonergan clawing his header away, before Hylton smashed over the line from close range.
Hill responded by bringing Calvin Andrew and Jordan Williams for Done and Bunney, before replacing Henderson with Zach Clough shortly after.
Lonergan made some fine saves to keep Dale within one, turning wide a Collins header and a deflected shot from Lee.
Collins fired wide from an angle, whilst Clough tested the home goalkeeper with an effort from distance that he held well.
Dale were pushing for a late equaliser, but when Hamilton was shown a second yellow card leaving Dale with ten, the hosts took advantage by doubling their lead through Collins when Kazenga LuaLua pulled the ball back to him having got to the byline.