Dale started the New Year off with all three points, beating Accrington Stanley 2-1 at The Wham Stadium.
Goals from Ian Henderson and Stephen Dooley ensured victory for Dale, despite Offrande Zanzala’s late consolation.
The home side had the first effort on goal when Dion Charles’ deflected effort had to be dealt with by Robert Sánchez.
Dale had a chance of their own when Henderson shot on the swivel, but it was tame and easy for Josef Bursik in the Accrington goal.
Charles had another effort on goal when his long-range effort was spilled by Sánchez and gathered at the second attempt.
Ollie Rathbone then advanced forward before his lofted ball found Henderson whose volley went just wide.
The hosts went close themselves when Sam Finlay fired into the side netting before Zanzala volleyed wide minutes later.
Some neat play between Henderson and Callum Camps saw Camps eventually stab a shot just wide of the Stanley goal.
Another Dale attack saw Dooley get in behind the Accrington defence, his shot was blocked – Jimmy Keohane slicing over at the second attempt.
The deadlock was broken when Dale attacked down the left through Kwadwo Baah, who played the ball to Camps. He fed Henderson and the Dale captain made no mistake, scooping the ball over the onrushing Bursik.
Zanzala almost pegged Dale back immediately when he headed at goal right on the stroke of half-time.
Into the second half, Accrington had a chance when Jerome Opoku’s cross was scrambled away by a Dale defender.
Dale doubled their advantage when Rathbone’s pass played Dooley through on goal, who kept his composure and curled the ball around Stanley ‘keeper Bursik.
Charles headed over in an attempt to pull one back for the home side, before Zanzala’s acrobatic effort sailed well over.
Following a corner, the ball was recycled back into the Dale box before Joe Pritchard fired well over on the half volley.
Dale had the chance to make it three in the closing stages when Dooley’s cross found Tavares whose header fell to Calvin Andrew, but he was unable to convert from close range.
Zanzala pulled one back for the hosts, prodding the ball home following a cross from the right-hand side, but Dale held out for the all-important three points.
Dale are next in action on Saturday, as they welcome Premier League giants Newcastle United to the Crown Oil Arena, in the Emirates FA Cup.
Ticket details for that tie are available HERE.