Rochdale’s first home game in almost a month ended in victory on Saturday as they recorded a deserved 1-0 win over Chesterfield at Spotland.
Ian Henderson was on target as he raced onto the end of a Michael Rose free kick to poke home from close range.
Manager Keith Hill made three changes to the eleven that lined up against Peterborough United last weekend. Tom Kennedy, who penned a contract on Monday, went straight into the squad and started at left back. Michael Rose was also handed a start, as was Joel Logan.
Ashley Eastham, Reuben Noble-Lazarus dropped to the bench, while Jamie Allen was omitted from the squad altogether.
Dale were dealt a blow early in the game as Skipper Olly Lancashire was forced to leave the field due to injury. He was replaced by the capable Ashley Eastham.
Some intricate play on the left hand side saw Rochdale create the first clear cut chance of the match. Henderson played Kennedy towards the by line and his first time cross found the run of Vincenti six yards out, who could only head over the bar from six yards.
The Spireites responded with a wide move of their own as Sam Clucas pushed forward from the left back position. With space to move into, he was able to deliver a deep cross towards the back post where Gary Roberts was waiting but his header was straight into the ground and he saw it bounce tamely into the arms of Josh Lillis.
With both teams defending strongly, chances were at a premium throughout the half but with a clean sheet to build upon, Dale's early blues of the last two fixtures were put to bed with confidence.
HALF TIME: Rochdale 0-0 Chesterfield
Early into the second half and the game burst into life as Banks released a fierce volley towards goal. He had read the knock down from Gnanduillet and volleyed the ball sweetly from the edge of the area but it was straight down the throat of Lillis.
It was Dale who were next to go close after some quick thinking from a free kick put Henderson through on the right. He clipped the ball towards the back post but it was just too high for Vincenti, who was unable to direct it goal-wards.
Bunney then found himself with a glorious opportunity as he broke through on goal. As Tommy Lee came charging off his line, Bunney looked to poke the ball around the Chesterfield ‘keeper, who spread himself well to get in the way of Bunney's effort.
Dale didn't have to wait much longer, however, as Henderson opened the scoring with their next venture forwards. A free kick was awarded on the right hand side of the box, following a foul on Rafferty, which Rose whipped in towards the near post. Henderson raced onto Rose's delivery, dangling a foot to poke it underneath Lee and into the back of the net.
The game changed again after the goal as Dale struck to control the match with a professional performance to break up play through the midfield and deny Chesterfield a sniff at goal. They executed their plan to perfection and saw the game out to its conclusion, with Lillis pulling off a match winning finger-tip save in stoppage time.
FULL TIME: Rochdale 1-0 Chesterfield