Rochdale remain just outside the relegation zone despite being thumped by promotion chasing Portsmouth 4-1 on Saturday (13th April).
Dale went into the game at Fratton Park having clawed their way out of the bottom four thanks to a victory in midweek, but they were given a cruel lesson in taking their chances by a Pompey side eyeing an automatic return to the Championship.
In front of a bumper crowd it was the hosts who took the lead, Oli Hawkins heading in from Jamal Lowe’s pinpoint cross.
It got worse for Rochdale two minutes into first half stoppage time, Brett Pitman converting from the penalty spot after Nathan Thompson had been brought down in the area.
After the break Dale did give themselves a lifeline when Aaron Wilbraham raced behind the Pompey defence to convert.
However, all that seemed to do was wake up the home side who responded with goals from Gareth Evans and Lowe to seal the victory and increase the pressure on the sides above them.
As for Rochdale they drop to 20th, one place and one point above the bottom four in League One with four games left.
Next up for Brian Barry-Murphy’s men is a Good Friday visit from Wycombe Wanderers.