Rochdale fell to defeat at home to Stockport County on Tuesday night.
Two quick fire Will Collar goals early in the second half put County ahead before Toby Malarkey halved the deficit in the 86th minute.
There were four changes to the side that lined up against Gillingham at the weekend, as Jake Eastwood replaced the injured Richard O’Donnell in net, whilst Max Taylor, D’Mani Mellor and Devante Rodney all came into the eleven, replacing Rhys Bennett, Ian Henderson and Scott Quigley who was ineligible for the match against his parent club. A fifth change had been planned, however Liam Kelly picked up an injury during the warm up and Toumani Diagouraga started in his place.
During the closeley contested opening exchanges, former Dale midfielder Callum Camps had the first shot on goal after 12 minutes and was denied by the woodwork, with his effort from just outside the area kept out by the post.
Toby Malarkey then, in the 25th minute, took a powerful strike to the chest, as he threw himself in the way of Camps’ fierce strike. Eastwood held onto the follow up effort.
On the half hour, Myles Hippolyte's blocked effort fell for Ryan Croasdale, whose shot was held by the Rochdale ‘keeper.
Soon after, Isaac Olaofe hit a swerving strike narrowly wide of the upright.
With 35 minutes on the clock, Dale were also kept out by the woodwork. After winning the ball back in midfield, Rochdale broke forward through Danny Lloyd who played in Rodney. Having cut inside, the forward whipped an effort up and over Ben Hinchliffe but saw his shot bounce off the top of the bar and behind.
Moments later, Rochdale defended resolutely, blocking shots from Camps and Hippolyte.
In stoppage time, Mellor had a shot blocked on the edge of the area.
Two minutes after the restart, Mellor was in again, this time seeing his shot from just inside the area deflected wide of the target.
Stockport County broke the deadlock from the spot in the 55th minute. After Hippolyte was felled by Jimmy Keohane, Collar struck home, sending his penalty straight down the middle of the goal.
The visitors doubled their advantage three minutes later. Kyle Wootton sent a headed ball over the top for Collar to run onto and he finished beyond Eastwood at the near post.
On the hour, Camps flashed an effort over the bar from range.
A doubled substitution followed five minutes later, with Henderson and Tahvon Campbell replacing Mellor and Taylor.
Soon after, Dale came forward and Lloyd saw a deflected effort come crashing off the post as he left Hinchliffe rooted to the spot.
There was then a brilliant save to deny Lloyd in the 84th minute. He caught a volley sweetly and his shot was heading for the far corner until Hinchliffe got a hand to it, to turn it round the upright. Rochdale halved the deficit from the resulting corner, with Malarkey heading home from close range.
But despite pulling a goal back late on, Dale couldn’t find a late equaliser and County claimed the points.