Brian Barry-Murphy’s first game in charge of Dale ended in a 2-1 win over Shrewsbury Town at the Crown Oil Arena.
Kgosi Ntlhe put Dale in front after 15 minutes, before Jim McNulty doubled the lead minutes after half-time.
The visitors pulled a goal back in added time through Greg Docherty, before heroics from Andy Lonergan and the width of a crossbar prevented Shrewsbury from snatching a point.
Brian Barry-Murphy named four changes to the starting line-up for his first game in charge. Ryan McLaughlin, Kgosi Ntlhe and Ollie Rathbone all returned from injury, with Ethan Ebanks-Landell returning from suspension.
The visitors had the first two efforts of the game, both from range, which were sent well wide from Greg Docherty and Oliver Norburn.
Ian Henderson flicked a header wide from an Ebanks-Landell diagonal ball, shortly before Ntlhe sent a dipping half-volley goalwards which had to be tipped over by Shrewsbury goalkeeper Steven Arnold.
Ntlhe went one better from the resulting corner. Inman’s delivery was partially cleared to Ntlhe, who sent a right-footed half-volley in to the far corner.
The visitors responded with efforts wide from Fejiri Okenabirhie, Ryan Haynes and Shaun Whalley, before Okenabirhie’s dangerous cross was inches away from being turned home.
Dale had the best chance to the score the next goal before the break, when Callum Camps’ swerving free-kick was beaten away by Arnold straight into the path of Henderson, who could only turn over the crossbar from six yards.
A succession of Shrewsbury set-pieces were well dealt with by the Dale defence, as Andy Lonergan turned behind a Whalley free-kick before saving Luke Waterfall’s header from the resulting corner.
MJ Williams fired an effort off target with the final act of the opening period, but it was the first act of the second-half that saw Dale double their lead.
Joe Bunney delivered a low free-kick from the left to Ntlhe, whose shot was saved by Arnold, but McNulty was on hand to turn home the rebound from close range.
On-loan goalkeeper Lonergan produced a superb save from Omar Beckles’ header, before holding well from a Tyrese Campbell effort from just outside the area.
Bunney saw a dangerous cross turned behind at the far post, before Henderson was denied by the feet of Arnold after he had latched on to Bunney’s ball over the top.
Lonergan held on to headers from Aaron Amadi-Holloway and Beckles, but the visitors halved the deficit in added time when Docherty finished a low ball from the right.
In the final minute of five added on, Lonergan made a fine one handed save to deny a strike, before the rebound came back off the underside of the bar and Waterfall fired wide, which signalled full-time, as Barry-Murphy got his tenure off to the perfect start.