Rochdale 6 Chester City 1
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.