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Chesterfield 0-0 Rochdale: Report

22 August 2015

Dale came away from the Proact Stadium with a point after a goalless draw with Chesterfield.
A dull first half was lit up by Josh Lillis’ incredible save just before the break, sticking out an arm to deny Sylvan Ebanks-Blake close range header.
Both sides pushed in a second half which offered more, but neither were able to carve out a winner.
Joe Bunney came in for Rhys Bennett in the only change from Tuesday night. Lillis was between the sticks, with a defence of Joe Rafferty, Oliver Lancashire, Jimmy McNulty and Tom Kennedy. Captain Jamie Allen was the deepest midfielder, with Callum Camps and Donal McDermott ahead of him. Peter Vincenti and Bunney were wide, supporting Ian Henderson up front.
Dale’s white change kit had its first outing at the Proact Stadium, but the first half was a very quiet affair.
Bunney and Camps had efforts early on for the visitors, who edged the opening minutes. Camps had Dale’s best chance of the half from a McDermott pull back, but former Dale goalkeeper Tommy Lee denied him with a quick reaction save.
Hill’s men were causing Chesterfield real problems down the channels, but couldn’t find that final ball to create a clear cut chance.
Bunney had a shot deflected wide, whilst Camps struck a free kick that deflected off the wall and into the arms of Lee.
Bunney picked up a knock before the break, with Calvin Andrew coming on to replace him.
The best chance of the match came just before half-time, and it fell to the home side. Ebanks-Blake met a cross from the right with his head which had goal written all over it. However, Lillis stuck out an arm to make an incredible reaction save, which had the whole ground on its feet applauding.
An early contender for save of the season from Dale’s number one, who made a much simpler save after the break from Lee Novak’s effort.
McDermott began to see a lot more of the ball after the break and he almost put Dale ahead ten minutes in. He stole the ball off Sam Hird, but Lee was out quickly to deny him before smothering the ball.
Dale picked up another injury just before the hour mark, with Lancashire hobbling off. Ashley Eastham came on to replace him, whilst Rhys Bennett took the place of Camps in a double switch.
The visitors were in danger of finishing with ten men when McNulty had to head down the tunnel to have a cut on his head stitched, but thankfully the defender reappeared minutes later.
The 389 Dale fans behind the goal appealed for a penalty as one with ten minutes remaining, when McDermott’s cross struck the arm of Drew Talbot, but the referee – also named Keith Hill – only signalled for a corner.
McDermott then saw a free-kick beaten away by Lee with three minutes left on the clock, as Dale applied the pressure. Eastham saw a header fly wide from another McDermott free-kick.
The rain hammered it down as five minutes of stoppage time were played, with the home side enjoying their best spell of the game. However, they couldn’t break down a stubborn Dale defence, which meant the match finished goalless.

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