Rochdale 6 Chester City 1

Rampant Rochdale simply swept aside an inept Chester and could have won by an even more convincing margin but for the woodwork and for the bravery of visiting keeper John Danby.

The home side took the lead on 13 minutes with an individual goal from striker Chris Dagnall as he curled a 20-yard effort into the roof of the net. Dagnall added a second on 33 minutes following a terrific run and pass from teenager Joe Thompson.

Chester's cause was not helped just before Dagnall's second goal when young defender Glenn Rule was dismissed for a lunge at Thompson.

Chester pulled a goal back on 53 minutes when Ryan Lowe's free kick from the left-hand side took a wicked deflection off home defender Rory McArdle.

The goal though only served to spark Rochdale into further life and they soon added a third with Dagnall completing his hat-trick after good work from Lee Thorpe and Thompson.

A fourth goal arrived on 63 minutes when Thompson missed a cross from full-back Tom Kennedy but Thorpe was lurking behind him to head home.

Within minutes of coming on for hat-trick hero Dagnall, substitute Adam Le Fondre made it five when he controlled a wonderful pass from Kennedy and produced a clinical finish to beat the on-rushing Danby.

The goals just came on coming and just a minute later, after Thompson's effort had been cleared off the line, Le Fondre's goal-bound effort was turned in from close range by Will Buckley.

Still the home side wanted more and in the final minutes Danby produced a great save to deny Le Fondre and efforts from the edge of the penalty area from Buckley and Ciaran Toner rattled the upright.