SPIRE­ITES HOLD ON AF­TER ‘DIVE’

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE - By Robert Do­man

GBOLY Ariy­ibi’s dis­puted dive plunged Ch­ester­field into trou­ble but Spire­ites boss Danny Wil­son ad­mits his side showed they are ev­ery bit as ef­fec­tive with their backs to the wall.

Jay O’Shea net­ted a firsthalf opener for Ch­ester­field and though Rochdale hit back through Iain Hen­der­son, Lee No­vak and Syl­van Ebanks-Blake hit quick-fire goals with ten min­utes to go.

How­ever, Ariy­ibi was then sent off – re­ceiv­ing a se­cond yel­low for a se­cond act of sim­u­la­tion – be­fore Rhys Ben­nett’s header made the vis­i­tors sweat.

And Wil­son said: “It was a ter­rific per­for­mance from us.We had a good shape through­out and we bat­tened down the hatches when we needed to.

“We showed a lot of char­ac­ter and in that re­spect I am very pleased.But there was a lot of good foot­ball played by both sides and some ex­cel­lent chances cre­ated by both sides.

“Be­fore we went down to ten men we were to­tally in con­trol but thank­fully that didn’t end up af­fect­ing the re­sult.

“Gboly Ariy­ibi is a hand­ful but I am dis­ap­pointed to see him sent off and he is right to feel ag­grieved.”

Calvin An­drew’s 14th-minute free-kick al­most found the top cor­ner as Rochdale started brightly and a Donal McDer­mott shot then brought Spire­ites stop­per Tommy Lee into ac­tion.

But it was Ch­ester­field who scored first when O’Shea found the bot­tom cor­ner, hav­ing wrong­footed two de­fend­ers from Ebanks-Blake’s 26th-minute pass.

Only the off­side flag stopped them get­ting a se­cond af­ter No­vak got a telling but il­le­gal touch on Ariy­ibi’s ball in. Ariy­ibi fired inches wide soon af­ter and the un­for­tu­nate Amer­i­can saw a strike ruled out for off­side just be­fore the break, sur­pris­ing both teams who were await­ing the restart.

But Rochdale equalised just be­fore the break when Hen­der­son dived in for his tenth goal of the sea­son from Matthew Lund’s teas­ing cross.

Lee then de­nied Hen­der­son with an out­stretched leg but Dan Gard­ner stunned the hosts when he crossed from the by-line for No­vak to turn the ball in on 78 min­utes.

And Ebanks-Blake scored a third when he dis­pos­sessed Jimmy McNulty.

But Ariy­ibi, who looked to have been felled, re­ceived a se­cond yel­low card for div­ing be­fore Ben­nett’s late goal.

Rochdale man­ager Keith Hill said: “The game was too open for my lik­ing. I never felt com­fort­able. I thought we were very lucky to come in at half-time just one goal down.

“Ch­ester­field grew into the game ex­cep­tion­ally well but we gave our­selves an op­por­tu­nity in the se­cond-half and I don’t think we should lose the game from that point.

“Small mar­gins can make a big dif­fer­ence and we should have de­fended Ch­ester­field’s se­cond and third goals bet­ter. “It gave us too much of a moun­tain to climb but our heads didn’t go down and we did have chances to get some­thing from the game.”

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