THRILLER ENDS ALL SQUARE
APULSATING game at Spotland ended with Rochdale and Chesterfield sharing the points despite Dale winning two penalties in as many first-half minutes.
Andrew Tutte’s spot-kick cancelled out Marc Richards’ opener before new signing Scott Hogan gave Dale the lead - only for Gary Roberts to secure a point with a glorious chip.
Dale boss Keith Hill believed the referee made the right call to award his side two penalties within minutes but believed a draw was the right result in the end.
He said:“The referee made the correct decisions, you can’t argue with that. There’s always a furore from the fans but he got them both right.
“It was an excellent game between two teams who wanted to play. I’m pleased we’ve stood up to one of the best teams in the league.We’ll be close and we’re on track.
“People saying that our first goal was sloppy should show more respect, it was a tremendous counter-attacking goal, a great finish.
“For their second goal we just gave the ball away in the wrong area which was careless, but it was a great pass and a top finish from one of the best players in the league, Gary Roberts.”
Chesterfield went ahead on 19 minutes, when Roberts drifted in off the right and floated in a near post cross which Richards headed powerfully home.
Chaos ensued on 29 minutes as Michael Rose was fouled by Samy Morsy in the area but George Donnelly smashed his spot-kick against the upright.
The Spireites joy was shortlived as seconds later Roberts’ clumsy foul gifted the Dale another chance - this time Donnelly coolly sent Tommy Lee the wrong way.
Dale went ahead on 51 minutes, Hogan glancing a long ball to Ian Henderson and collecting the return before skipping past Ryan Edwards and curling his shot into the far corner.
On 65 minutes Chesterfield drew level when Roberts ghosted in behind the Dale defence and lifted a beautiful chip over the onrushing Josh Lillis.
Chesterfield boss Cook believes Rochdale will be a tough side to beat at Spotlands this season and was pleased to have left with a share of the spoils after an enthralling encounter.
He said: “It was a great game with two teams that can score.
“It was a fair result in the end. It had incidents, talking points, good goals, that’s what football is all about.There were two penalties in the space of minutes and it was a big turning point but referees make decisions and I’m not going to get involved in that.
“The first goal was important but they have a strong side and manager and no team will come here and play Rochdale off the park that’s for sure.
“These lads have got the quality there’s no doubting that, we’ve had a solid start and we just want to win games and see where it takes is in the end.”
HIGH FIVES: Chesterfield celebrate Gary Roberts’ goal. Inset: Rochdale's Andrew Tutte scores from the spot