The Spireites continued into round three of the Checkatrade Trophy after a 2-0 win over Rochdale, in a fiesty tie where both sides had a man sent off.After an even start the Spireites took the lead when Laurence Maguire scored his first senior goal with a firm header from a corner midway through the first half.
Early in the second period Dale defender Jimmy McNulty picked up a second yellow card after an off-the-ball tangle with Ched Evans to reduce the hosts to ten men, before Evans himself doubled the advantage with a clinical low strike.
Spireites defender Tom Anderson received a straight red with 20 minutes to go, and the visitors had to ward off late Rochdale pressure to book their place in Thursday morning's third-round draw.
The trio of Nathaniel Mendez-Laing, Reuben Noble-Lazarus and Sanmi Odelusi were proving a handful for the Spireites in the opening stages of the game as they targeted the left-hand side of Chesterfield’s defence.
Both Mendez-Laing and Noble-Lazarus had attacked down that side but it was Odelusi with the closest attempt, the winger cut inside and fired at the near post of Lloyd Allinson, but the Spireites ‘keeper was equal to it.
While they had matched the home side for possession, the Spireites first real attempt on goal came after 20 minutes.
An Evans strike ricocheted off a defender and fell for Rai Simons, the forward struck it on the volley but it was parried out for a corner.
The first goal came direct from the resulting set-play, Maguire (24) knocking the ball into the far corner with his head.
Rochdale could have equalised instantly had it not been for Allinson, the stopper pushing the ball over after Dale’s volleyed shot had bounced before him.
The game had subdued somewhat since the Spireites goal, but Evans was forced to head the ball off the line after a corner had been powerfully directed at goal by Aaron Morley.
The away side soon had another chance themselves, Dan Gardner latched onto a loose ball and flung it into the box, Jake Beesley headed back but Simons couldn't meet it.
Another corner nearly saw another goal, this time it was Simons who got his head to it, but his effort was weak and easily collected by Conrad Logan.
His defensive partner had scored the first and Anderson almost doubled the advantage from a freekick, the ball was sent in from the right but again it was too weak to beat Logan.
Not ten minutes into the half and Dale were down to 10 men, McNulty was caught kicking Evans during the freekick and given his marching orders.
Both were shown yellows for their part in the grapple, but McNulty was sent off having already been carded in the first half.
Connor Dimaio snatched the ball and threaded it inbetween two Dale defenders to Beesley, but the young striker couldn't get there fast enough as it dribbled out of play.
The Spireites made the extra man pay shortly after, a lofted-ball timed perfectly from the back was brought down by Evans (59), and eased past Logan who barely reacted.
Chesterfield had settled following the second goal, but Simons should have reacted better to a cross from the right. The striker, unmarked, could only watch as the ball sailed past him.
Chesterfield went down to ten men themselves in the 66th minute due to another off-the-ball incident, this time it was Anderson who saw red after appearing to shove a Dale midfielder.
Dion Donohue then saved the Spireites after Jamie Allen’s volley had gone straight past Allinson, the full-back desperately got back to whack it off the line.
Allen had another attempt minutes later, the midfielder struck low from the right of the box, but Allinson saved well.
Having only just entered the field Ian Evatt was instantly called into action. The 35-year-old charged back, slid in and nicked the ball from between the Dale attackers legs who had sprinted away on the counter.
The substitute was there to protect the lead once more, but this time Evatt’s challenge received a yellow card as he brought down the Dale attacker and conceded a freekick.
Chesterfield had all 10 men behind the ball but Allinson had to be at his best again, the ‘keeper acrobatically denied Morley who had snapped a half volley at the top-corner.
Former Spireite Donal McDermott then tricked his way past three Chesterfield defenders but his shot went someway past the right-post to all but confirm the Chesterfield victory.
Rochdale: Logan (gk) - McNulty, Canavan, McGahey, Lund, Mendez-Liang (McDermott 53'), Noble-Lazarus (Davies 46'), Morley, Odelusi (Allen 53'), Bunney, Henderson (c)
Subs not used: Lillis (gk), Tanser, Rathbone, Thompson
Chesterfield: Allinson (gk) - Donohue, Maguire, Anderson, Liddle (c), Dimaio, Nolan, Gardner (Ariyibi 65'), Beesley, Simons (Evatt 69'), Evans (Dennis 65')
Subs not used: Fulton (gk), O'Neil, Morrison, Daly
Chesterfield: Maguire 24', Evans 59'