Spireites Exit the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy.
Chesterfield exited the Johnstone's Paint Trophy following defeat against Rochdale by a 2-1 scoreline at Spotland on Tuesday night. Scott Tanser's first-half strike and Lewis Alessandra's thunderous effort in the second period rendered Ashley Eastham's own-goal as meaningless.
Dean Saunders made a total of five changes for this particular encounter, as Drew Talbot, Sam Hird, Dion Donohue, Jake Orrell and Armand Gnanduillet took the places of Chris Herd, Ian Evatt, Sam Morsy, Dan Gardner and Jay O'Shea.
In the opening moments, Peter Vincenti latched onto a loose ball on the edge of the area before firing straight into the stands when expected to force a save from Tommy Lee at the very least. Nathaniel Mendez-Laing delivered a forceful cross from the left-hand side, only for Daniel Jones to clear any remaining danger with a towering header.
With 18 minutes on the clock, the home side took the lead through Tanser's strike from distance that deflected against the body of Talbot before nestling into the top left-hand corner of the net. Vincenti squandered a second opportunity, after firing wide of the post from 12 yards when firmly expected to hit the target.
Former Spireite Donal McDermott found himself with a clear route towards goal and prepared to shoot, but was denied in the end by Hird's resolute block near the penalty spot. Vincenti met another incisive cross and looked almost certain to score, but the midfielder failed to test Lee for a third successive time.
Just before the half-time whistle, Mendez-Laing evaded his marker before striking against the body of Charlie Raglan who cleared the ball to safety.
After the break, Sylvan Ebanks-Blake tried his luck from range with a curled effort that never troubled Josh Lillis in the slightest. Alessandra thought he'd doubled the Dale's advantage with a simple tap-in following Vincenti's neat through-ball, but the linesman's flag was already raised for off-side.
On 65 minutes, Eastham turned Ebanks-Blake's low cross into his own net to level the scoring between the two sides. One minute later, Alessandra received the ball just inside the area and finished past Lee with absolute precision as the ball nestled into the bottom right-hand corner of the net.
As the game entered its closing stages, O'Shea took up free-kick duties on the left-hand side and forced a strong one-handed save from Lillis who tipped the Irishman's effort behind for a corner-kick. During the four minutes of additional time, Emmanuel Dieseruvwe met a driven cross and watched his glancing header sail narrowly wide of the post.