Rochdale bowed out of Papa John’s Trophy on Tuesday evening, following a 2-1 defeat at home to Salford City.
The Ammies, last season’s finalists, join Manchester United Under-21s in the knockout stages of the competition following their victory.
There were six changes to the side that lined-up against Stockport County at the weekend. Jay Lynch came in for Gavin Buzunu who is away on international duty, while Harrison Hopper, Ethan Brierley, Stephen Dooley, Matty Done and Fabio Tavares came in for Tolaji Bola, who was ineligible having played for his parent club in the competition already season, as well as Matty Lund, Jimmy Ryan, Aaron Morley and Alex Newby.
Rochdale broke the deadlock after just eight minutes through Jake Beesley who netted against his former side to open his account for Dale.
The forward showed a great first touch to round Vaclav Hladky after latching onto a perfectly weighted diagonal pass from McNutly before stabbing home.
The visitors responded strongly to going behind and had several opportunities to level the scoring but they couldn’t find a way past Jay Lynch in the Rochdale goal and Dale went in ahead at the break.
Bruno Andrade curled a free-kick narrowly wide of the near post, before striking another set-piece, this time from a central position, inches past the post.
There were two fine saves from Lynch in quick succession shortly before the half hour as he first of all got down low to his left to hold onto a Daniel Hawkins shot from just outside the area before palming away a close range effort from the same player.
On 34 minutes Hawkins tested again, this time with a powerful snapshot, and the Dale stopper managed to beat down the swirling effort from 25-yards.
Before the break, the Ammies were denied by the woodwork. Andrade let fly from 30-yards and saw his strike come crashing off the top of the crossbar.
While right at the end of the half, Ollie Rathbone struck narrowly over from a free-kick, and Rochdale took a 1-0 lead into the break.
HT | ROCHDALE 1-0 SALFORD CITY
Four minutes after the restart, Dale tested first, when Jimmy Keohane met a ball in from the left with a fine left-foot volley, but Hladky was equal to it and beat away the effort.
Andrade fired a fierce effort narrowly wide of the upright before drawing Salford level moments later, in the 53rd minute. He curled a free-kick from 20-yards over the wall and inside the post.
Kwadwo Baah made his first team return from injury as he replaced Hopper as a 65th minute substitute, while Tavares made way for Morley, in the double switch.
Rathbone did brilliantly to round two Salford players and break into the left side of the area before sending a dipping effort past the far post, but the visitors came from behind in the 82nd minute, as Dieseruvwe converted from the penalty spot, after the referee spotted an infringement as a corner was delivered into the area.
First year professional Joe Dunne made home debut, coming on for Ethan Brierley, soon after.
And as Rochdale went in search of an equaliser, Baah powered forward before unleashing an effort into the side netting before dragging a shot wide of the near post.
FT | ROCHDALE 1-2 SALFORD CITY