Three first half goals were enough for Rochdale to defeat Chesterfield 1-3 at the Proact this afternoon.
Ian Henderson opened the scoring, followed by goals from Callum Camps and Jamie Allen.
Kristian Dennis' netted the Spireites consolation in the second half with a well taken long range effort. While in the closing stages Chesterfield substitute David Faupala, sent off for an off the ball incident.
17-year-old debutant Joe Rowley was among three changes for the Spireites; Laurence Maguire returned to the 11 following an impressive loan spell with AFC Fylde, while Angel Martinez slotted back into the midfield three.
Rowley’s impact was almost instantaneous, the debutant took on a through ball from Angel and rounded the Dale ‘keeper but couldn't quite put it away from a tight angle.
Not to be outdone, Rochdale’s own academy graduate Camps looked to make his mark on the match; the midfielder’s deflected shot from inside the area struck the post and fell for Calvin Andrew, but he failed to react and saw the ball thrashed clear.
Rochdale did take the lead moments later as Henderson (16) showcased his predatory instincts from inside the box, the forward was played through by Keith Keane and dinked the ball over Thorsten Stuckmann. The visitors then played a short corner to Nathaniel Mendez-Laing who received the ball on the byline, the winger looked up and tried to chip it into the right corner, but was narrowly shy of the post.
Keith Hill’s side doubled their lead in the 40th minute; a Dale corner was only cleared as far as Camps who struck on the half volley and into the bottom left corner.
Rochdale hit their third just two minutes later as Allen (42) snatched the ball inside the box, took a touch and shot it into the same left corner on the turn.
A laboured start to the second half from Rochdale provided Dennis (51) with an opportunity to pull one back for the hosts. Dennis collected the ball from 25 yards and unleashed a thunderous shot that flew past Conrad Logan.
Buoyed by the goal, the Spireites looked to spark an unlikely comeback and Rowley ran at the Rochdale defence, the youngster swung a cross in-towards Dennis but it was too high for the forward.
The away side almost regained their three goal advantage as a free-kick from Mendez-Laing found the head of Henderson, but Stuckmann pushed it over the crossbar.
Chesterfield retained hopes of a revival and Tom Anderson leapt highest to meet Dion Donohue’s corner, the centre-back powered a header at goal but it struck the woodwork.
Anderson’s long ball then found the on-running Rowley who darted towards Logan; the midfielder appeared to be pulled back by Jim McNulty and went to ground, but the referee waved the hosts calls away.
Paul McGinn scored from distance against Rochdale earlier in the season and attempted to rifle an almost identical strike at Logan in this fixture, but the goalkeeper made a smart save down to his right.
With the Spireites still chasing the match McGinn’s cross into the box was dropped by Logan and fell for Faupala, but the forward was pulled back for a foul on the stopper.
The Spireites hopes of a late revival were all but ended in a fiery final few minutes as Faupala was shown red for an off the ball altercation with Joe Rafferty.
Chesterfield: Stuckmann, McGinn (C), Angel, Ebanks-Blake (Faupala), Nolan, Donohue, Dennis, Anderson, Kakay (Simons), Maguire, Rowley (Gardner).
Subs not used: Fulton (gk), Hird, Mitchell, Grimshaw.
Rochdale: Logan, McNulty, Canavan, McGahey, Andrew (Vincenti), Camps, Mendez-Laing (Davies), Keane, Allen, Bunney (Rafferty) Henderson (C).
Subs not used: Wilson (gk), McDermott, Rathbone, Kitching.