Striker George Donnelly was sent off in first half injury time after referee Mark Brown judged his tackle on right back Nicky Hunt a straight red, after both challenged for a loose ball.
However promotion-chasing Dale were already leading 2-1 thanks to a stunning start.
In the seventh minute Michael Rose's fierce strike from the edge of box cannoned off the crossbar and Matty Lund followed up to smash the ball home.
Five minutes later it was two when Jack O'Connell's deep cross from the left gave Scott Hogan a free header at the far post.
However Stanley, without a league win this season, then found their feet and striker Kayode Odejayi, on his home debut on loan from Rotherham, got a ball over the top but a combination of keeper Josh Lillis and defender O'Connell denied him.
However they got one back in the 24th minute when Shay McCartan found Odejayi who was standing unmarked in the area and, while Rochdale appealed for offside, he looped the ball over Josh Lillis.
Striker Donnelly then saw red on the stroke of half-time and there were challenges flying in after the break.
Odejayi should have equalised in the 57th minute after he got up well to a deep cross but headed inches wide of the post
And then McCartan's ball across face of goal just could not be touched over the line at the far post by Peter Murphy as Stanley hunted for the equaliser.
O'Connell headed a Luke Joyce blast off the line in the final 10 minutes while 16-year-old winger Connor Mahoney, a product of the youth system, impressed for the Reds on his full debut.