Leaders Chesterfield beat Rochdale to secure seventh win on bounce for first time in 56 years - how the action unfolded
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Town went ahead on six minutes when Armando Dobra turned in an excellent cross from Michael Jacobs.
Former Spireite Kairo Mitchell equalised on 13 minutes after getting on the end of a defence-splitting pass but the visitors restored their lead on 25 minutes when Tom Naylor headed in Liam Mandeville’s cross from a short corner.
The Blues were professional in the second-half at Spotland as they secured a seventh successive win for the first time since 1967.
Rochdale, relegated from the EFL last season, came into this clash seventh in the table having only lost one of their last eight so this is a statement win.
Chesterfield came flying out of the blocks in the opening stages and only a smart stop from goalkeeper Louie Moulden stopped Ryan Colclough from putting them in the lead after bursting through one-on-one.
The Spireites’ pressure continued and they went ahead on six minutes when Jacobs whipped in a great cross from the right and Dobra applied the finish.
Mitchell gave the visitors a warning when he beat the offside trap but Jamie Grimes did enough to put him off before he pulled the trigger.
But moments later a brilliant pass from deep from impressive teenage defender George Nevett, aged just 17, cut right through the middle of the Blues and Mitchell slotted past Harry Tyrer to level the score on 13 minutes.
The hosts were getting some joy with passes through the centre of Chesterfield and this time Adam Clayton picked out Mitchell but he dragged his shot wide.
The away side were still threatening and Moulden saved from Colclough before they went back in front again. They played a short corner and Mandeville’s delivery was headed in by Naylor for his fourth goal of the season. That assist also takes Mandeville to 12 goal involvements in 12 matches.
As the half grew on, Grimes and Tyrone Williams recovered really well after allowing Mitchell to get between them for the first goal, while Colclough had Kwaku Oduroh tied up in knots at times, and Mike Jones, as always, battled like a warrior.
There was a chance for Town to grab a third early in the second-half but Dobra overhit his pass into Colclough and the opportunity was lost.
As the game reached the hour-mark, territory had been about even, with the game more settled and less frantic.
With 20 minutes remaining, Paul Cook made a double change as James Berry and Will Grigg replaced Colclough and Joe Quigley.
The next 10 minutes become scrappy with very little goalmouth action.
In the final stages, Jones was booked, his fifth of the season, meaning he will be suspended for the trip to Maidenhead United on Saturday.
Berry had a decent shout for a penalty at the start of five minutes of stoppage time but thankfully it did not matter as Chesterfield made it a magnificent seven.
Chesterfield: Tyrer; Mandeville, Williams, Grimes, Freckleton; Jones, Naylor; Jacobs, Dobra (Banks, 85), Colclough (Berry, 69); Quigley (Grigg, 69)
Unused subs: Palmer, King.