Michael Branch - grabs a brace
City took the lead following a spell of pressure midway through the first half. Branch had a shot saved, before Stuart Green forced a corner. Stuart Elliott then had a header deflected onto the post and out, and from the resulting corner City went in front. Green crossed to the back post where Elliott headed it back in, and Phil Jevons got on the end of it to make it 1-0.
City continued to dominate and got a deserved second on the stroke of half time in a superb counter attack move. Dean Keates did well to keep in a ball from going out for a corner, and his clearance went straight to Elliott. He played it to Green on the left wing, who laid it back to the Northern Irishman baring down on the keeper. Elliott slid the ball across to Branch who tapped into the open net to make it 2-0 and bring down the roof at Boothferry Park.
City came out all guns blazing for the second half as well, and Phil Jevons came close to getting his second of the afternoon. He went clear of the Dale defence just minutes after the restart, and his attempted chip went just wide having beaten keeper Neil Edwards.
Paul Musselwhite was alert to keep out the visitors and impress his new manager, with Connor and Bishop both having efforts saved.
Jevons again went close in the 75th minute when he glanced a header onto the crossbar with Edwards beaten.
Michael Branch - sealing the win
But it was Branch who stole the show to get his second of the afternoon in the closing stages. The on-loan forward beat Edwards in a challenge to win Griffiths' short backpass, and fired into the net in front of the South Stand to cap a 3-0 victory.
City line-up (4-4-2): Musselwhite; Regan, Whittle, Anderson, Burton; Green, Ashbee, Keates, Elliott (Williams 66); Jevons (Johnson 84), Branch (Alexander 84).
Un-used subs: Glennon, Holt.