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Chesterfield 1-3 Rochdale: Match Report

25 March 2017

Three first half goals set Dale on their way to a comfortable 3-1 victory against Chesterfield at the Proact Stadium.

Three first half goals set Dale on their way to a comfortable 3-1 victory against Chesterfield at the Proact Stadium.

Ian Henderson scored his 100th career goal to put Dale ahead in the 16th minute, and goals from Callum Camps and Jamie Allen shortly before half-time gave Dale a comfortable lead at the break.

Kristian Dennis pulled one back for the home side early in the second half, but Dale never looked in danger of being pegged back further, going on to secure an excellent three points.

Keith Keane returned from an injury lay-off, replacing Peter Vincenti in the only change from Tuesday night’s 3-3 draw against Millwall. 

Keith Hill’s men were in the ascendency from kick-off, attacking the end which housed the Dale supporters. Calvin Andrew sent a looping header wide, before Joe Bunney fired an effort narrowly wide from 25 yards.

Joe Rowley broke behind the Dale defence and was able to round Conrad Logan, but overran the ball out for a goal kick.

Nathaniel Mendez-Laing, in fine form recently, came inches away from putting Dale ahead after fifteen minutes when his deflected shot struck the post. He cut in from the right side and fired goalwards with his left foot, only to see his effort loop over Stuckmann and strike the foot of the post, before Andrew’s follow up was blocked.

However, Dale wouldn’t have long to wait, as they took the lead just a minute later. Keane’s superb through ball found the run of Henderson behind the defence, who lifted the ball over the advancing Thorsten Stuckmann and into the back of the net.

It was no more than Dale deserved, and they looked hungry for more in a first half which they controlled. Mendez-Laing had another shot deflected and sent a dinked cross-shot to the far post just wide, whilst Allen also had a shot blocked from the edge of the area.

Dale’s second came five minutes before the break, and it was Camps who scored his third in three games with a fine strike. A corner was cleared out to him, and he struck first time on the half volley into the bottom corner to double Dale’s advantage.

A third followed just two minutes later, again in fine style. A flowing move down the right saw Mendez-Laing feed Allen on the edge of the area, who showed a great first touch to turn into the area, before striking a pinpoint effort into the far corner.

Dale looked comfortable at the break, but the home side gave themselves a lifeline at the beginning of the second period.

Goalscorer Dennis picked up the ball in space 25 yards out, and unleashed a powerful effort which swerved in the air and into the bottom corner to reduce the deficit.

Andrew looked set to restore Dale’s three goal lead just a minute later, but was denied by a superb last ditch tackle from Paul McGinn, after he was found in the area by Henderson.

It was then skipper Henderson who came close for Dale, heading Mendez-Laing’s whipped free-kick goalwards, only to be denied by a great reaction save from Stuckmann.

Mendez-Laing’s run across the edge of the area took him past a number of Chesterfield defenders before he laid the ball off to Camps, who sent a first time strike just wide.

Joe Rafferty replaced Joe Bunney shortly afterwards as the latter hobbled off having picked up a knock. The hosts were then inches away to coming within a goal of Dale, when Tom Anderson headed Dion Donohue’s header against the crossbar.

There was a contentious moment when Dale were awarded a free-kick on the edge of the area, with the Dale players claiming they should have had a penalty for the foul on Mendez-Laing. The free-kick was deflected behind for a corner, from which Rafferty sent a diving header wide at the near post.

Conrad Logan then denied Paul McGinn from range, before Dale broke forward and Henderson sent an effort wide.

Andrew and Mendez-Laing were replaced by Vincenti and Steven Davies late on, and there still time for Chesterfield substitute David Faupala to see red for a late challenge on Rafferty, in the final action of the game.

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