Spireites 0 Rochdale 0: Chesterfield stalemate

Sam Morsy holds off a Rochdale player - Pic By James Williamson
Sam Morsy holds off a Rochdale player - Pic By James Williamson

A goalless draw between two committed sides, neither of whom were quite at the top of their games.

Sylvan Ebanks-Blake came closest to scoring in a largely uninspiring first half.

Donal McDermott made a fine run and his shot was deflected by Sam Hird for a corner that Callum Camps over hit.

Sam Morsy earned a corner after a powerful drive forwards, Dan Gardner’s left sided flag-kick found Ian Evatt’s head but Josh Lillis gathered.

Gardner rifled a long range free-kick high and wide and Novak’s cross was deflected for a corner with Dan Jones curled in and the ball flew just wide of the far post.

McDermott and Callum Camps both saw shots blocked in the same attack which led to a run of three Dale corners, Tom Kennedy’s left footed half volley being the closest the visitors came from that pressure.

Ollie Lancashire robbed Sylvan Ebanks-Blake on the edge of the six and Evatt headed Gardner’s resulting corner just over.

Morsy fouled Bunney, who limped off and was replaced by Calvin Andrew, and Camps’ free-kick from 30 yards was easy for Tommy Lee to gather.

On 44 the half’s best chance was carved out. Novak delivered a great cross from the right for Ebanks-Blake to meet with some force with his head but flying keeper Josh Lillis somehow scooped out the goalbound ball from off the line. Ebanks-Blake reached the rebound first but dollied his second header into the keeper’s arms.

Rafferty delivered a teasing low cross from the right and Henderson got onto it but was unable to divert it into the net from close range.

Gardner’s cross was somehow scrambled away as three blue shirts waited in the six, then there were shouts for a penalty as Novak was bundled over in the box but the ref called it right as the rain began to bucket down after a sun drenched first half.

O’Shea found Ebanks-Blake who immediately brought in Novak to shoot but the ball was hit at Lillis who gathered in front of his face.

Chesterfield conceded a corner after Lee let it roll out assuming it was a goal kick but Dale didn’t take advantage of their good fortune.

A Hird slip up allowed McDermott to nip in but Hird recovered and did enough to allow Lee to pounce ahead of the onrushing Henderson. Hird tackled the lively McDermott for a corner, Dale made a double change before it was taken, Bennett and Eastham replacing Camps and Lancashire; the corner was hit straight into touch for a goal kick.

Ariyibi came on for Gardner and his first touch found Ebanks-Blake who put the ball across the six but Angel didn’t anticipate and the chance was lost. Another Ariyibi cross caused palpitations in the Dale defence but no-one got a touch.

Novak needed treatment after he tackled Kennedy as Jim McNulty reappeared with a head bandage and fresh shirt after an accidental clash with Ebanks-Blake. Novak was unable to continue and was replaced by Banks.

Evatt robbed Vincenti as he made good ground and then Talbot blocked a cross for a corner that was poor.

Henderson received the game’s first yellow for a foul and Jones curled a free-kick just wide of the far post.

Gnanduillet replaced Ebanks-Blake as Dale again over hit a corner. Lee had to dive left to parry away a McDermott 30 yard free-kick as full-time approached. Evatt was carded before Andrew was booked for a foul on Hird.

Ariyibi teased out a corner at the start of the extra five minutes but McNulty headed clear. Ariyibi hit the side netting after some magical twisting but the long missing goalless result came along.

Chesterfield: Lee, Talbot, Hird, Evatt, Jones, Morsy, Angel, Gardner, O’Shea, Novak, Ebanks-Blake. Subs: Cairns, Raglan, Humphreys, Banks, Gnanduillet, Ariyibi, Harrison.

Rochdale: Lillis, Rafferty, McNulty, Lancashire, Vincenti, McDermott, Allen, Camps, Kennedy, Bunney, Henderson. Subs: Collis, Bennett, Eastham, Andrew, Allesandra, Tanser, Rose.

Ref: Keith Hill (Hertfordshire)

Attendance 6254, 389 from Dale.