In an end to end start, Henderson showed Talbot a clean pair of heels before Hird was well placed to clear.
Chesterfield soon settled and a move down the left involving Humphreys and Roberts saw the winger with the opportunity to cross. His centre took a slight deflection on its way into the box and Lillis had to be quick off the mark to dive bravely at the feet of Richards.
The Dale keeper took a knock for his troubles but was given the all clear to continue.
Another flowing move from the back saw Roberts goal-side of his marker only for Tutte to bring him down. Roberts adhered to his manager’s shouts to tempt Lillis with the cross but the keeper left it for his defenders to clear, which they eventually did.
Humphreys sent a looping header wide of the target before a neat, flowing move involving Talbot and O’Shea released Roberts, who cut inside his man and tried to catch Lillis out at the neat post that the keeper was equal to.
And on 20 minutes the visitors took the lead.
Roberts’ in swinging ball from the right deceived O’Connell and Richards was on hand to divert the ball home with his head from eight yards.
Lund had the better of Hird and crossed into a dangerous area but Edwards was well placed to clear the danger.
Then two penalties in as many minutes sparked a chaotic finish to the first half.
Morsy was caught in possession on the edge of his penalty area and was adjudged to have pulled Rose back. The referee pointed to the spot and booked the Chesterfield man. Donnelly stepped up confidently and smacked Lee’s right hand post, but from the follow up Lee tripped an on rushing forward and the linesman flagged for another spot kick.
Lee was cautioned and Roberts saw yellow for his protests. Tutte took responsibility this time and sent Lee, who dived to his right, the wrong way to level.
The Spireites winger then produced a pin-point through ball behind the Dale back four to release Richards but the striker’s shot was well saved by Lillis.
Vincenti tested Lee before Hogan turned Hird on the edge of the box and from the kick, Lund hit the top of the wall. Hird went into the book and was lucky not to have received another cauwhen he conceded another free kick on Hogan.
Lee had to be on his toes to tip Vincenti’s header on to the bar.
Hogan mis-control deceived Edwards and his ball inside was cut out by Smith covering before Donnelly had chance to pull the trigger.
Ryan felled Tutte 25 yards out and Rose curled a left-footed effort well over the bar from the resulting free-kick.
The hosts had the better of things after the break and Hogan terrorised the Chesterfield defence once more, this time knocking the ball past Edwards and slotting the ball into the far corner of the net to give Dale the lead.
Doyle was introduced for Smith as the Spireites switched to a 4-4-2 formation and the extra support up front almost paid immediate dividends when Richards had an attempt that was wide of the mark.
Roberts sent a free kick over the bar from a promising position on the left after Richards was fouled moments later before the visitors equalised.
O’Shea tracked back to win the ball after a promising move broke down. The ball broke for Ryan, who chipped an inch perfect pass over the top of the Dale back four for Roberts to run on to and lob the onrushing Lillis.
Ryan unleashed a powerful drive that sailed wide of the target from distance.
Hird then stood tall to block Hogan’s goal-bound strike from point blank range after the striker had reacted first to Donnelly’s knock-down.
Roberts was brought down by Rafferty from an inviting position that tempted Ryan to try his luck from distance. His fiercely struck effort was sent high and wide of the Lillis’ goal, though.
Humphreys had to be on hand to clear from underneath his cross bar to clear Rose’s dangerous centre, after the left back had linked up well with Henderson.
Doyle tried a speculative effort from wide on the left that had Lillis scrambling but was wide of the mark.