CHESTERFIELD took the lead through Jay O’Shea but had to settle for a point after Dale equalised.
Ref Andy Haines was assisted by his team of Messrs Cook and Wright, the latter’s first name being Peter rather than Tommy, from Merseyside, though the senior linesman was indeed one Mr Paul Cook, not from Merseyside, but from East Yorkshire!
Following a hero’s welcome back for ex-Barnsley boss Keith Hill, billed over the tannoy as “The most successful manager in the history of Rochdale Football Club” Spireites enjoyed the better of the early play.
Togwell and Whitaker had shots blocked before, after five minutes, O’Shea received after a neat build up only to see his 20 yard shot strike the frame of the goal with Lillis rooted to the spot.
The gold shirted Spireites were pressing well, looking much more like the home team.
Lee had to work at the feet of Adebola in a rare Dale sortie but soon after his distribution was poor and Trotman had to intervene to concede the game’s first corner that was cleared.
Adebola’s cross was well blocked and Grant’s caught by Lee but, on 55 minutes, the visitors grabbed the lead. Randall and Whitaker combined well on the box-edge and the latter fed O’SHEA whose angled rising shot beat Lillis.
Cooper was booked after two rapid fouls and Richards’ 30 yard free-kick hammered into the wall before parity was restored on 66 minutes.
Tutte played the ball for GRANT, a player respected highly by Paul Cook, and from the right corner of the penalty area he lifted the ball above Lee for a quality equaliser.
Randall’s low shot was gathered in by Lillis as both sides went for a late winner. Then Dale scorer Grant’s day ended unhappily when he was red carded for an aerial challenge on Togwell.