Dale were on the wrong end of a 2-1 defeat at Wycombe Wanderers after a 94th minute penalty secured all three points for the hosts.
Ian Henderson had given Dale the lead early on, but Dale were pegged back shortly afterwards through Jason McCarthy’s miscued cross.
Both sides went in search of a winner late on, but it was Joe Jacobson’s spot kick right at the death that proved to be the difference.
Brian Barry-Murphy made three changes to his side, with Jay Lynch, Paul McShane and Calvin Andrew all handed starts.
Dale created the first opportunity of the game when a corner was cleared as far as Jimmy Ryan, who forces Ryan Allsop into a good save to his left side with a well-struck effort.
McShane, who signed an 18-month contract earlier in the week, put in a fine block to deny Josh Parker, before Henderson curled an effort narrowly over the bar at the other end.
It was Henderson who broke the deadlock in the 19th minute though, when he closed down Allsop’s clearance which hit the Dale skipper’s back and ricocheted into the back of the net.
Darius Charles sent a looping header onto the roof of the net in reply, before Henderson’s first-time effort was stopped by Allsop.
The hosts equalised in fortuitous circumstances just after the half hour mark, when McCarthy’s cross looped over Lynch and in at the far post.
Andrew had a good chance to put Dale back in front before the break, but his glanced header from Stephen Dooley’s corner went narrowly wide of the far post.
After the interval, Nick Freeman and Parker sent efforts off target for the Chairboys, before Rhys Norrington-Davies low cross got stuck under the feet of Henderson on the edge of the six-yard box before being cleared for Dale.
From the resulting corner, McShane headed Ryan’s clipped cross into the arms of Allsop at the back post, before Andrew sent a looping header onto the roof of the net.
McShane made a heroic block to deny Adebayo Akinfenwa, and it looked as though both sides would have to settle for a point until Luke Matheson brought down Paul Smyth in the area.
Jacobson stepped up and sent Lynch the wrong way, securing the points that kept Wycombe in second place.