Rochdale fell to a 1-0 defeat on the road on Tuesday evening, away at Stevenage.
Carl Piergianni’s first half header proved to be the only goal of the game.
Manager Robbie Stockdale named unchanged starting eleven for the match at The Lamex, from Saturday’s fixture against Grimsby Town.
Rochdale were forced to defend for much of the first half and struggled to get a foothold on the game as the home side tested on several occasions before breaking the deadlock shortly before the break.
Three minutes into the game, Ben Nelson got a head on an intended cross for Danny Rose, getting enough on the ball to divert off the Stevenage forward and behind for a goal-kick.
A delivery was sent in again for Rose soon after, but again, the on loan defender got up to meet it, heading behind, this time, for a corner.
With a quarter of an hour played, a ball was sent over the top to Jordan Roberts who still had work to do to get into the area. Nelson got back to get a block on the cross, again, defending out for a corner. From the resulting corner, Arthur Read headed inches over the bar.
Dale were struggling to get into the game and their only real threat in the opposition’s box during the half came with 22 minutes on the clock, when Femi Seriki powered up the right before wrong footing his marker and delivering low into the area. The home side cleared away the danger, however.
Soon after, Read fired an effort from 25-yards well over the bar, while Luke Norris had a header from a deep cross comfortably held by Richard O’Donnell. Rose then headed narrowly wide from a corner.
Still the home side dominated and Roberts capitalised on a loose ball before striking low from range, forcing O’Donnell down to get behind the ball and hold.
Five minutes before half-time, O’Donnell pulled off a fine save to deny Roberts again, this time keeping out his powerful effort from the edge of the 18-yard box. And it was from the resulting corner that Stevenage broke the deadlock, as Piergianni headed home at the back post.
Rose had a chance seven minutes after the break to double Stevenage’s advantage, but headed down and narrowly wide from a cross in from the left.
Dale’s first substitution of the game followed in the 56th minute, with Ray Tulloch making way for Tyrese Sinclair.
Soon after the hour mark, the home side had the ball in the back of the net, but Rose’s looping header from a corner was ruled out due to a Stevenage played in an offside position on the line interfering with play.
Immediately after, O’Donnell got down low to his left to keep the home side out. Max Clark then struck over on the half volley.
Dale were improved in the second half and on 70 minutes, Rodney powered forward and got a shot away across goal towards the far post, only to see Taye Ashby-Hammond getting a hand to it, to divert the effort round the upright. From the resulting corner, Rodney headed down and wide.
There was a second substitution two minutes later, as Liam Kelly replaced James Ball.
Rochdale were in on goal a short time later after some good move forward led to Toumani Diagouraga playing in Sinclair, who fired wide of the far post.
Up the other end, O’Donnell punched away Read’s powerful strike.
Dale continued in search of a goal during the closing stages of the match but ultimately couldn’t test Ashby-Hammond and the side fell to defeat on the road.
Deep in stoppage time Seriki couldn’t continue due to injury and Sam Graham replaced him in the dying seconds.