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An entertaining encounter at Spotland ended with the Spireites running away with a well fought 2-3 victory. Due to the league being so close, Chesterfield, who move up to 17th are only 10 points away from the play offs, while the Dale are only 6 away (after Saturday’s match). This shows just how important this was for both teams to secure the 3 points. This led to a tentative opening 20 minutes. Chesterfield took the lead on the 26th minute through Jay O’Shea who slotted the ball beyond Josh Lillis in the Rochdale goal after a nice flick off from Sylvan Ebanks-Blake. The Spireites had the ball in the back of the net twice but both were ruled out for offside. The second of which was originally given, Calvin Andrew and Jamie Allen were ready to get the game underway, however, the referee and linesman deliberated and the goal was eventually ruled out for offside. After this the away side hung on for what looked a comfortable lead, despite it only being 0-1. Chesterfield’s Gboly Ariyibi received his first yellow card just 2 minutes into the second half for diving. Then, 13 minutes after the restart Rochdale levelled the match thanks to an Ian Henderson header after a dangerous ball into the box from Matty Lund. The Spireites’ advantage was restored on the 80th minute when Dan Gardner beat Andy Cannon with ease and picked out Lee Novak in the box who put the ball in the back of the net, despite suspicions of hand-ball the goal stood. 2 minutes later Dale Defender Jim McNuty fell over under pressure from Ebanks-Blake, who carried the ball forward before placing the ball in the far corner beyond Dale keeper Lillis. Chesterfield looked to have the points in the bag but in the 86th minute Gboly Ariyibi appeared to dive again, the referee produced a second yellow card and gave the tricky winger his marching orders. Dale defenders will have been glad to have seen the back of him, he caused them problems all afternoon and he was Chesterfield’s biggest threat going forward. Rochdale pulled one back on the 93rd minute through substitute Rhys Bennet. The midfielder got on the end of a Nathaniel Mendez-Laing cross and nodded the ball past ex-Dale keeper Tommy Lee. This set up a nervy and exciting final 3 minutes of stoppage time, Benet wasted a chance to double his tally for the game and snatch a point for Rochdale, the chance went begging and Chesterfield walked away with all 3 points.

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