Rochdale 0 Lincoln City 2
Dale never reached the heights of the New Year's Day performance against Darlington and would perhaps have settled for a stalemate.
However, with the game seemingly destined to remain goalless, Lincoln scored not once but twice in the last ten minutes to wrap up the points.
The opening goal came when full-back Paul Green mis-hit a free-kick only for the ball to be helped into the danger area by Jamie Forrester.
Substitute Adam Smith saw his angled drive very well saved by home keeper Sam Russell but Forrester, the veteran goal poacher, was on hand to slam home the close-range rebound.
The game's best moment saw Lincoln score a second when Lee Frecklington was allowed to run unchallenged from the halfway line before producing a stunning 25-yard drive that left Russell clawing at thin air.
Rochdale had previously been unbeaten since being knocked out of the FA Cup two months ago, but manager Keith Hill admitted after the match that it was: "Probably one game too far.
"Whether we're playing a team at the top or at the bottom, the players have to bring their work bag with them and too many of them didn't today," he added.