Chesterfield let two-goal lead slip against Rochdale - how the action unfolded

Chesterfield had to settle for a point after letting a two-goal lead slip to draw 2-2 against Rochdale.
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Tom Naylor headed the Spireites in front early in the second-half before Will Grigg slid in a second just after the hour.

But goals from D’Mani Mellor and Devante Rodney levelled the score with 10 minutes remaining.

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Promotion rivals Bromley lost but Barnet won. It means Town have a 20-point lead at the top with 12 games remaining.

Will Grigg and Ollie Banks celebrate. Picture: Tina Jenner.Will Grigg and Ollie Banks celebrate. Picture: Tina Jenner.
Will Grigg and Ollie Banks celebrate. Picture: Tina Jenner.

The Blues are now winless in three, which is their longest run without a victory this season, which just shows how incredible they have been. They have also now scored 98 goals in all competitions.

There were two changes for Chesterfield from the defeat against Bromley last weekend with Branden Horton and Armando Dobra replacing Bailey Clements and Michael Jacobs.

Financially-troubled Rochdale announced this week that they need an investment of £2m before the end of March otherwise they could be liquidated. They were without former Spireite Jesurun Uchegbulam but Kairo Mitchell started.

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Chesterfield had plenty of possession in the first-half but they failed to work opposition goalkeeper Tiernan Brooks. The Spireites racked up the corners and set-pieces but they could not take advantage of them.

Dobra, Ollie Banks and Horton all had efforts blocked but the Blues struggled to create anything clear-cut.

Rochdale had lost all of their last four going into this clash but they had the best chances. Harry Tyrer was forced to save twice from Mitchell and once from Rodney. Mitchell also lashed a good chance wide just before the break.

But Chesterfield took the lead just two minutes into the second-half. Brooks parried Darren Oldaker’s curling free-kick behind. From the resulting corner, Naylor’s flicked header from Horton’s hook back into the box found its way into the net.

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Naylor came close to grabbing his second goal but his near-post header was saved by Brooks. But just moments later it was 2-0. Banks whipped in a great cross from the right and Grigg slid the ball over the line for his 21st goal of the season.

But Rochdale halved the deficit with 20 minutes remaining when Tyer saved from Mitchell but Mellor finished the rebound.

Town thought they had a third goal when Grigg slotted home but the offside flag was up.

Liam Mandeville then struck just wide before Rochdale equalised when Rodney swivelled and fired in.

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Chesterfield put Rochdale under some late pressure, but they could not find a winner. But it’s another point closer to their end goal. Not long now.

Chesterfield: Tyrer; Sheckleford, Williams, Grimes, Horton; Oldaker (Jones, 82), Naylor; Mandeville (Jacobs, 88), Banks, Dobra; Grigg (Quigley, 82).

Unused subs: Palmer, Hobson.