Rochdale 3 Chesterfield 1: Spireites fall apart after McGinn cracker gives them a flying start
Chesterfield slid out of the EFL Cup at the first hurdle as hosts Rochdale came from behind at the break to secure a well-deserved victory.
Sub Nathaniel Mendez-Laing converted Calvin Andrew’s driven cross with 12 minutes to go to complete a disappointing 3-1 defeat for Danny Wilson’s men.
Boss Wilson made three changes to the side which had drawn their League One opener at Oxford at the weekend.
Sam Hird returned to the heart of the defence, while across the middle, former Chelsea youngster Reece Mitchell was awarded his full debut.Conor Dimaio was also given the chance to stake a claim.
It was an even first period awith both sides creating chances. Ched Evans again looked a class act, but there was one real highlight - Paul McGinn’s piledriver just past the half-hour mark.
It was an opening goal that came out of nothing, with the summer capture from Dundee cracking home a super strike from approximately 30 yards.
It was a goal fit to win any game, but there could have been others in that opening period.
Ian Evatt should have scored in the opening minutes when he planted a point-blank header straight at grateful Dale ‘keeper Josh Lillis.
Gboly Ariyibi then saw a sweet shot blocked by defender Jim McNulty, before Evans - looking fit and sharp - fired in a cracking angled effort that fizzed past the angle of post and crossbar.
Calvin Andrew had Dale’s first chance, glancing a header narrowly wide from a Joe Rafferty cross. Back came the Spireites, with Evans again in a decent position as he flicked a header just past the outstretched arm of Lillis.
Former Chesterfield midfielder Donal McDermott came close to an opening goal for Dale just before McGinn’s belter, seeing a well-struck shot deflected just wide.
Less than two minutes of the second half had passed when
Rochdale levelled less than two minutes into the second half and it was a poor goal to concede as the unmarked Ian Henderson was able to nod home Jamie Allen’s cross.
It got even worse six minutes later as Dale turned the match on its head.Central midfielder Andy Cannon was perfectly placed at the far post as he converted a low cross from McDermott.
The quick goals seemed to stun the Spireites somewhat, and they sunk into their shells a little.
Henderson almost made it 3-1 as he forced Ryan Fulton into an excellent stop.
The Spireites finally responded with just over 15 minutes to go, at which point Evans thought he’d scored when his half-volley was superbly palmed over the top by Lillis.
That was just before Mendez-Laing’s late clincher, while Andre also struck the crossbar for Dale.
Rochdale (4-2-3-1): Lillis; Rafferty, Canavan, McGahey, McNulty; Allen, Cannon; McDermott (Thompson, 80), Andrew (Bunney, 90), Odelusi (Mendez-Laing, 69); Henderson. Subs not used: Tanser, Camps, Diba-Musangu, Morley.
Chesterfield (4-4-2): Fulton; McGinn, Hird, Donohue, Evatt (Raglan, 59); Mitchell (Morrison, 64), Dimaio, Liddle, Ariyibi; Evans, O’Shea (Simons, 71). Subs not used: Dennis, Allinson, Daley, Graham.
GOALS: Henderson 47, Cannon 53, Mendez-Laing 78 for Rochdale; McGinn, 31 for Chesterfield.
Referee: Nigel Miller (County Durham).