Rochdale came from behind to book their place in the second round of the EFL Cup, after recording a 3-1 win over Chesterfield at the Crown Oil Arena.
Paul McGinn’s stunning strike separated the teams at the interval, but Dale were back on level terms just two minutes after the re-start through Ian Henderson.
Andy Cannon sent Dale in front as he netted his second goal in as many games, and substitute Nathaniel Mendez-Laing sealed the victory.
Manager Keith Hill announced before the game that changes would be made for the tie and there were three changes to the side that lined-up against Peterborough United on the opening day of the season.
Donal McDermott, Sanmi Odelusi and Calvin Andrew were named in the starting eleven, replacing Callum Camps, Nathaniel Mendez-Laing and Joe Bunney, who were on the bench.
The visitors started brightly and would have been ahead just a few minutes into the game if it hadn’t been for Josh Lillis, who pulled off an excellent save. He denied Ian Evatt, who got his head on a Jay O’Shea free-kick.
Nine minutes later and Lillis was on hand to keep out a wonderful 20-yard strike from Ched Evans, with the ‘keeper tipping the powerful effort over the bar.
In the 16th minute Andrew had Dale’s first real opportunity on goal, as he sent a diving header narrowly wide of the post.
Shortly before the half hour mark, some patient play saw Dale work an opening. Donal McDermott waited before finding Andy Cannon with a cheeky flick on, and after getting to the byline, the Academy graduate delivered a low ball to the near post for Odelusi, who struck just over.
Soon after, Chesterfield took the lead through a wonderful strike by Paul McGinn, with the Scot firing the stunning effort into the top corner of the net.
GOAL: Rochdale 0-1 Chesterfield (McGinn, 31 minutes)
On the stroke of half-time, Rochdale were awarded a free-kick for a foul on Odelusi and came within inches of finding the equaliser. McDermott took the set-piece, which was on the edge of the area, and curled it just wide of the post.
HT: ROCHDALE 0-1 CHESTERFIELD
Rochdale were back on level terms just two minutes after the re-start.
The unmarked Ian Henderson headed beyond Ryan Fulton after getting on the end of a set-piece, which was sent into the area by Jamie Allen.
GOAL: Rochdale 1-1 Chesterfield (Henderson, 47 minutes)
Seven minutes later and Dale were ahead at the Crown Oil Arena.
Cannon, who scored his first ever professional goal at the weekend, was on the score-sheet again, as he turned the ball over the line from close range, after McDermott delivered across the face of goal.
GOAL: Rochdale 2-1 (Cannon, 54 minutes)
Rochdale were in control and enjoyed plenty of the ball as the half progressed. They also had several opportunities as they turned the screw.
Henderson had a shot cleared off the line, before having a volley kept out by the ‘keeper.
Dale’s first substitution of the match soon followed, with Nathaniel Mendez-Laing replacing Odelusi.
Cannon came within inches of netting his second of the evening, as his left-footed volley from the edge of the area fizzed narrowly wide of the upright.
Immediately at the other end, Lillis was called into action for the first time during the second half. The outstretching ‘keeper pulled off a wonderful save to tip an Evans effort over the bar.
But it was Dale who deservedly extended their lead through substitute Mendez-Laing in the 78th minute.
When Andrew drilled the ball across the face of goal, Mendez-Laing slid in at the post to steer the ball beyond Fulton.
GOAL: Rochdale 3-1 Chesterfield (Mendez-Laing, 78 minutes)
Joe Thompson, who joined Dale on a six-month deal at the weekend, made his return debut, as McDermott made way for him with 80 minutes on the clock.
Dale, who had been in the ascendancy, finished the game with a flurry.
Fulton tipped an Andrew header onto the bar, before getting down low to keep out Mendez-Laing. And right at the death, Bunney headed narrowly wide after rising to meet Jim McNulty’s delivery at the back post.
It finished Rochdale 3, Chesterfield 1.