Dale’s six-game winning run came to an end on Saturday, losing 3-1 to Preston North End away from home.
Peter Thomas scored in the second half for Dale, but it wasn’t enough and they came away empty-handed.
The home side took the lead early on, Noah Mawene capitalising on a defensive error to finish from a tight angle.
Dale almost responded straight away when Louie D’Souza’s cross found Louie Chorlton at the back post, but he volleyed over.
Thomas then found Jordan Scanlon inside the area, but his shot was saved by the legs of Oliver Lombard in the Preston goal.
Mawene nearly made it two, this time dragging a shot wide with the goal gaping.
Thomas went close again when he managed to get a shot away on the turn which went straight into the hands of Lombard.
In the second half, Preston got their second – substitute Aaron Bennett squared for Jacob Holland-Wilkinson to tap into an empty net.
Holland-Wilkinson then hit the post from range after driving forward with the ball under no challenge from a Dale player.
Dale got back into the game when D’Souza put in an excellent cross for Thomas to attack, with the number 9 making no mistake and powering a header into the top corner.
Thomas almost scored an equaliser moments later, this time heading over after a cross from Chorlton from the right.
Chorlton put in yet another superb cross which was met by Paul Kyffin who was unmarked, but he headed onto the bar.
Preston got a third and wrapped the game up right near the end, a long ball down the field was picked up by Joe Rodwell-Grant who prodded the ball past Ben Chalton.
Dale are next in action next Saturday when they travel to Accrington Stanley who they drew 0-0 with in the reverse fixture.
Dale XI | Chalton, D'Souza, Kershaw, Kinsella, Chorlton, Clarkson, Thomas, Scanlon, Watts, Cullen, Mialkowski.
Subs | Kelly, Caldwell, Kyffin, Skyers, Jesus, Yaduat.