Two goals from Ian Henderson and one from Calvin Andrew gave Rochdale a 3-0 over Chesterfield at Spotland
It was a tough afternoon for the Spireites who were under pressure from the first whistle.
Rochdale forced a corner with their first attack, which was only partially cleared by Connor Dimaio, Joseph Rafferty’s return cross was headed away to Oliver Rathbone who volleyed over from the edge of the area.
Then in the eighth minute a long ball was played into the box by Steven Davies, Lloyd Allinson came to claim the ball but dropped it at the feet of Matthew Lund, and in his attempt to regain the ball knocked the midfielder over for a penalty. However, Allinson more than redeemed himself as he guessed right and easily gathered Davies’ spot kick.
Chesterfield chances were few and far between, but Gboly Ariyibi came close to giving the Spireites a shock lead, firing straight at Rochdale ‘keeper Conrad Logan in the 27th minute when clear of the Rochdale defence.
But it was Henderson who finally breached the Spireites defence a minute before the break with a superb curling effort past Allinson. A Keith Keane run saw him advance into the Spireites half and find Rathbone, Rathbone then passed to Henderson who gave Allinson no chance from the edge of the 18-yard box.
Half time - Rochdale 1 – 0 Chesterfield
Ched Evans had the first chance of the second half, when he got on the end of a Gary Liddle cross but couldn’t glance his header goal wards.
At the other end Rathbone was fouled by Dimaio and won a free kick. Jospeh Bunney’s set piece avoided everyone including Allinson, the ball then deflected off a defender into Rafferty’s path but the full back headed over from two yards out.
The Spireites then enjoyed their best spell of sustained pressure forcing several corners in a five-minute period.
Dion Donohue won possession in midfield and released Evans, the Welsh man then ran at the defence before shooting for the bottom left corner, only to be denied by Logan. Another corner saw Evans try his luck again, only to be denied by a defender’s boot.
Chesterfield were left to rue their missed chances in the 59th minute when Calvin Andrew doubled the home side’s tally, shooting under Allinson after the defence failed to clear Davies’ cross.
Jay O’Shea saw a shot blocked by a Rochdale defender and Donohue fired wide from long range as the Spireites tried to claw their way back into the match. But in truth they never really threatened as Henderson sealed the game converting a
Davies cross for his second of the game from 10 yards out.
Full time - Rochdale 3 – 0 Chesterfield
Rochdale: Logan (gk), Rafferty, McNulty, Lund, Andrew, Camps (C), Rathbone (Allen), Keane, Davies, Bunney, Henderson (Cannon).
Subs not used: Lillis (gk), Tanser, Canavan, Noble-Lazarus, Morley.
Chesterfield: Allinson (gk), Liddle (C), Evatt, Anderson, Donohue, Hird, O'Neil, Dimaio (Wilkinson), Ariyibi, O'Shea, Evans
Subs not used: Fulton (gk), Gardner, Mitchell, Dennis, Simons, Beesley