Disappointed Rochdale manager Cork's Brian Barry-Murphy expressed his sadness and shock after home defeat by Doncaster Rovers ended his side's seven-year stay in League One.
Dale needed to better Wigan's result to stand any chance of prolonging their survival bid to the final day of the season. And while Wigan lost at Hull, a brace from Taylor Richards was enough to earn victory for Rovers.
Matt Done pulled one back seven minutes from time to give Rochdale hope, but they couldn't find an equaliser and now make the drop to League 2 Speaking to the Rochdale FC website, the Corkman said: "Very disappointed. I feel responsible for the end result, all season I’ve understood how difficult it was.
"Honestly, I didn’t feel we would be relegated. I always thought with the talent within our squad we would succeed and, I suppose, prove everybody wrong.
"When that didn’t materialise, today ultimately, but over the course of the last few weeks, I just feel sorry for our supporters and our players. It’s difficult in this moment.
"We were focused on our performances. I suppose people are sick of hearing me say that, but I felt we were in brilliant form and our home form had finally given us the results we felt we needed. Today was a bit of a shock for us."
Barry-Murphy is under contract for another year at Spotland and says now is the time for the club to take stock.
"I feel privileged to have worked with the guys in that changing room. Today is about understanding what they have put into it.
"I feel a sense of guilt that I haven’t been able to lead the club to being successful. I think it's a pretty important stage for the club to understand where we are and how we go forward."
Hull claimed the League One title with a 3-1 home win over Wigan, while Peterborough fought back to draw 3-3 against rivals Lincoln and secure their own promotion.
The Tigers - already made sure of their place back in the Championship after beating Lincoln last weekend - went in front through Keane Lewis-Potter's header in the 17th minute, but Joe Dodoo soon had Wigan level.
Hull, though, were back in front again in the 22nd minute through George Honeyman and Josh Magennis wrapped things up with a third in the second half.
Peterborough fought back from 3-0 down to grab a dramatic draw and secure promotion with a penalty from Jonson Clarke-Harris deep into stoppage time.
At the other end of the table, Northampton are also down following a 3-0 defeat by Blackpool.
Sunderland move above Lincoln into third after they won 3-1 at Plymouth, while Portsmouth kept up their own play-off push with a 3-1 win at AFC Wimbledon.
Oxford are just a point outside the top six after they won 3-2 at Shrewsbury.