Chesterfield FC made it through to the area semi-final of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy after beating Rochdale 3-0 at the Proact Stadium.
This season’s new signing Ollie Banks scored twice on home soil with Armand Gnanduillet netting the third in a convincing win on Tuesday evening against the Sky Bet League Two rivals.
Changes to the Blues, since their win against Daventry on Saturday included Gnanduillet, Jay O’Shea and Ritchie Humphreys.
With less than a minute on the clock, Ollie Banks had an effort for the Spireites, but his shot just went wide of Josh Lillis’ goal.
Banks was finding a lot of space and unleashed another rasping effort which again just went the wrong side of the post.
Two audacious efforts followed for Chesterfield as O’Shea tried his luck from the half-way line, and Drew Talbot’s cross was awkward for the goalkeeper to deal with and almost found its way into the top corner.
As the game started to calm down, both sides enjoyed possession without creating chances.
But Banks was having an influence and five minutes before half time, he tried a delicate chip from 20 yards which went narrowly over the bar before he eventually found the net.
Blues’ Roberts’ initial corner was cleared straight back to him, and he picked out the midfielder to powerfully head home from close range.
The second half started in similar fashion. With the half only a minute old, Roberts crossed for Banks, but this time the midfielder couldn’t get his shot on target.
Five minutes later, Rochdale’s Ian Henderson put the ball past the onrushing Tommy Lee but the goal was ruled offside.
Henderson was causing the Spireites a threat down the left-hand side. The winger found time and unleashed an effort which smacked against the post.
From the breakaway, Roberts picked up the ball, drove at the defence and curled a shot towards the top corner but the ball went the wrong side of the post.
Banks continued to find space and create chances. The 21-year-old went close to doubling his tally on 70 minutes but his shot dragged wide.
Chesterfield struck again soon after through Frenchman, Gnanduillet. The influential Roberts found a lot of space out wide and delivered for the striker to double the lead.
The Spireites were in cruise control and it didn’t take long to extend their advantage. Roberts and Banks were allowed a lot of freedom and the former FC United man grabbed his second of the game, comfortably lifting the ball past Lillis.
Blues’ goalscorers Banks and Gnanduillet left the field to the applause of the crowd as they were replaced by Marc Richards and Tendayi Darikwa.
Henderson had a chance for the visitors late on, but Chesterfield goalkeeper Lee was equal to the shot and it’s the Spireites that are in the hat for Saturday’s draw.
Chesterfield: Lee; Talbot, Evatt (c), Hird, Cooper; Ryan, Banks (Darikwa 80’), Humphreys, Roberts, O’Shea (Doyle 87’), Gnanduillet (Richards 80’).
Subs not used: Chapman, Togwell.
Rochdale: Lillis; Eastham, Lancashire (c), Vincenti (Cummins 54’), Tutte (Allen 66’), Hogan, Vidal (Rose 17’), Done, O’Connell, Dicker, Henderson.
Subs not used: Thomson, Bunney.
Goals: Chesterfield (Banks 45+2’, 78’, Gnanduillet 72’) 3 - 0 Rochdale
Attendance: 2,897 (174 Rochdale)