The Cherries almost provided caretaker manager Lee Bradbury with the ideal start when Marc Pugh’s back-post cross was volleyed into the box by Liam Feeney and an instinctive header from Danny Ings whistled past the post.
Shwan Jalal saved efforts from Joe Thompson and Chris O’Grady while defender Craig Dawson was marginally too high with a powerful header from Will Atkinson’s corner.
Bournemouth finished the half strongly with Pugh and Feeney both testing Josh Lillis, and the Rochdale goalkeeper was kept busy in the opening stages of the second half. He denied Feeney after a clever run across the face of the penalty area before topping that with an acrobatic save to frustrate Anton Robinson.
Thompson twice tested Jalal in quick succession, while at the other end Pugh should have done better when one-on-one against Lillis.
Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro should have done better when clean through but his heavy touch allowed Jalal to save, and the goalkeeper was equally impressive in stopping Thompson’s near-post effort shortly afterwards.