Dale were beaten by Ipswich Town at the Crown Oil Arena on Tuesday night, as the Tractor Boys went to the top Sky Bet League One.
Danny Rowe scored the only goal of the game shortly after the half-time interval to ensure it was the visitors who walked away with all three points.
The first attempt of the match fell to Luke Garbutt, whose effort from 30 yards travelled out of the ground.
Dale had their first chance when Rekeil Pyke went close after a deflected cross fell at his feet, but his shot was diverted behind for a corner.
Callum Camps’ long-range drive had Will Norris scrambling across his goal, but the effort went just wide.
Matty Done then broke through the heart of the Ipswich defence but his tame effort was easily held by Norris.
The visitors went close through James Norwood’s header which hit the post with Jay Lynch able to gather at the second attempt.
In first-half stoppage time, Ipswich hit the woodwork once again through Luke Garbutt’s fierce effort which cannoned back out off the crossbar.
Just eight minutes after the restart, the deadlock was broken, Rowe poking the ball in after a deflected cross. There were shouts for a foul on Paul McShane as the cross came in, but the referee wasn’t interested in the claims.
Dale pushed forward in search of an equaliser and nearly found it when Luke Matheson’s fierce strike ended up in another Dale corner.
Alan Judge then stung the palms of Lynch, who did well to punch the ball to safety.
Ian Henderson was the next to go close for Dale, his chipped effort landing on the roof of Norris’ goal.
Lynch then prevented Ipswich from getting a second in injury time when he denied Kayden Jackson who broke through one-on-one.
Dale went close but that all important goal eluded them, and Ipswich saw the game out to earn all three points.
Dale’s next fixture is an FA Cup tie away at Wrexham on Sunday, with ticket details available HERE.