Dagenham and Redbridge suffered a first defeat of the season at the L.B.B.D Stadium as fellow promotion chasers Rochdale leapfrogged them in the League Two table.
The result came about after John Still's side produced a confident first half performance that got off to the best possible start.
Just three minutes had ticked by when the home side got ahead. Danny Green sent over a fine cross that Adam Miller challenged for at the near post. It looked like the on loan midfielder was tripped but that didn't matter as Peter Gain got a header in at far post and watched the ball float into the corner of the Rochdale net.
The Daggers certainly started with their tails up. They forced a couple of corners immediately after the goal and from one set-piece, Miller swivelled and fired in a shot that was gathered by Dale keeper Tom Heaton.
Josh Scott was also looking lively on his return. He powered in a shot from fully twenty-five yards that looked destined for the top corner but for a fine tip over from Heaton.
Scott was back in the action not long afterwards, latching onto a Matt Lockwood header before turning and shooting over inside the area.
The Daggers continued to play good football. Stuart Thurgood drove a shot into the midrift of Heaton while Paul Benson's pleas for a penalty were ignored after the forward went down under challenge from Chris O'Grady.
Will Antwi also came close to notching his first goal for the club. He powered a Green corner narrowly over before getting on the end of another corner only to see his header bounce off the ground, and then off the post.
In fairness the visitors did improve as the half time whistle approached. They even had the ball in the back of Dagenham's net after Chris Dagnall had nipped in between Scott Doe and Tony Roberts only to see his effort ruled out by an offside flag.
Will Atkinson finished the half with a header that looped harmlessly over the bar and Rochdale boss Keith Hill reacted to their first half performance by introducing Will Buckley from the bench for the last 45 minutes
The highly rated midfielder immediately gave a glimpse of his potential as he weaved his way into the Daggers area forcing Antwi to clear at his near post.
At the other end Miller showed some skills of his own by gliding into the Rochdale eighteen yard area and firing a shot that was save by Heaton.
The Daggers missed a great chance to establish a two goal advantage after Scott was sent through on goal. The forward lined up a shot with only the keeper to beat but he got it horribly wrong by missing the target by a distance.
That may have been a turning point. The home side lost Thurgood to injury while Kallum Higginbotham came on for the visitors.
Higginbotham's first contribution was to fire a low cross-cum-shot that Roberts palmed away. The home defenders just about cleared while the referee ignored Dale's claims for handball.
Higginbotham's next act was far more significant. Rochdale worked the ball around the Daggers defence well leaving the substitute firing a fine right footed shot from the corner of the area into the bottom corner of Roberts' net.
The momentum was all with the visitors and just a couple of minutes later they secured the winning goal. Jason Taylor lined up a shot that just may have crept into the goal forcing Roberts to turn the behind.
The goal came from the resulting corner and The Daggers didn't really react to the quickly taken set-piece. The ball eventually made its way to Craig Dawson at the far post who rammed the ball home from close range.
The Daggers never really reacted to that goal and barring a couple of goalmouth scrambles in added time didn't look like getting an equaliser. Sub Jon Nurse fired a difficult attempt over as an afternoon that started so well ended with Wes Thomas seeing red for a dangerous tackle.
Att: 2,235 (294 Rochdale)