City were comprehensively beaten in a game that resembled a Under 16 team taking on a mens team at Sincil Bank on Saturday.
City went ahead when Eric Lichaj's enterprising run set up Chris Herd. The Villa youngster finished smartly to suggest City might be about to spring a shock.
However that goal may as well have been The Imps last touch of the ball as Rochdale hadned out a comprehensive beating.
They hit back to lead 2-1 at half-time, Chris O'Grady rifling in Scott Wiseman's cross before Craig Dawson headed in Tom Kennedy's corner.
Dagnall then added a second just before the hour to seal the points for Dale.
City never really showed any passion or commitment against a good side, and with a relegation battle firmly on the horizon, the next few months look like being very tough at Sincil Bank.