Rochdale striker Bobby Grant scored the equaliser before seeing red as his side shared the spoils with Chesterfield.
Jay O'Shea gave the Spireites the lead in the second half, side-footing home from the left of the penalty area.
Grant sliced in a 25-yard curler to level the match - the first goal Dale have scored since Keith Hill returned as manager last month.
But the forward received a straight red with five minutes to go for a challenge on Sam Togwell in the centre circle.
Chesterfield appealed for a penalty late on, after Marc Richards was brought down in the box, but it was waved away by referee Andy Haines.
VIEWS FROM THE DRESSING ROOM
Rochdale manager Keith Hill told BBC Radio Manchester:
"Chesterfield put us under a lot of pressure but we withstood that. There wasn't any real goalmouth action for both sides.
"I'm pleasantly surprised because, when you go a goal down, you don't know what reaction you'll get. It was a positive reaction and they showed a lot of courage out there.
"Even when we went down to 10 men, we looked as though we were capable of scoring."
Chesterfield manager Paul Cook told BBC Radio Sheffield:
"From taking the lead I really thought we would go on (and win).
"I felt we had the quality to open them up again and maybe get the second goal, obviously that never happened with Rochdale getting a fantastic equaliser.
"I felt it was a stonewall penalty and I never criticise referees, but it's not a hard decision.
"Then seconds later we could have got beat 2-1, so for me as a manager the biggest thing that disappoints me is the concentration levels, to concede that chance at that stage in the game, as we could have lost that game."
Live Text Commentary
Full Time The referee signals the end of the game.90:00 +5:09
Brian Barry-Murphy takes a shot. Save by Tommy Lee.90:00 +4:36
George Donnelly is ruled offside. Tommy Lee takes the free kick.90:00 +1:31
Close range headed effort by Conor Townsend clears the crossbar.89:25
Armand Gnanduillet challenges Brian Barry-Murphy unfairly and gives away a free kick. Kevin McIntyre restarts play with the free kick.88:47
Handball by Marc Richards. Josh Lillis takes the direct free kick.88:12
The assistant referee flags for offside against George Donnelly. Direct free kick taken by Tommy Lee.85:44
Direct free kick taken by Liam Cooper, Armand Gnanduillet takes a shot. Save made by Josh Lillis.85:44 Dismissal
Dismissal Red card for Bobby Grant.85:19
Foul by Bobby Grant on Sam Togwell, free kick awarded.84:28 Substitution
Substitution Armand Gnanduillet on for Danny Whitaker.83:39
Marc Richards concedes a free kick for a foul on Brian Barry-Murphy. Free kick taken by Josh Lillis.83:15
George Donnelly challenges Nathan Smith unfairly and gives away a free kick. Tommy Lee takes the free kick.82:53
Mark Randall takes a shot. Save made by Josh Lillis.81:57 Substitution
Substitution Brian Barry-Murphy joins the action as a substitute, replacing Shane Cansdell-Sherriff.80:35
Danny Whitaker fouled by Kevin McIntyre, the ref awards a free kick. Mark Randall crosses the ball in from the free kick, clearance by Rhys Bennett.79:33
Unfair challenge on Bobby Grant by Sam Hird results in a free kick. The free kick is delivered right-footed by Andrew Tutte from own half, Josh Lillis makes a save.77:26
Kevin McIntyre concedes a free kick for a foul on Danny Whitaker. Mark Randall takes the indirect free kick.75:28
Shot from deep inside the area by George Donnelly clears the crossbar.74:28
George Donnelly takes a shot.
Shot from deep inside the area by Bobby Grant clears the crossbar.72:41
Marc Richards concedes a free kick for a foul on Rhys Bennett. Phil Edwards takes the free kick.70:12 Substitution
Substitution Conor Townsend on for Craig Clay.70:12 Substitution
Substitution Andy Haworth joins the action as a substitute, replacing Ashley Grimes.68:49 Booking
Booking Ashley Grimes is cautioned.68:40
Ashley Grimes concedes a free kick for a foul on Sam Hird. Sam Hird restarts play with the free kick.67:38
George Donnelly takes a shot.65:56 Substitution
Substitution Dele Adebola goes off and George Donnelly comes on.65:03
The assist for the goal came from Andrew Tutte.65:03 Goal scored
Goal! - Bobby Grant - Rochdale 1 - 1 Chesterfld Goal scored by Bobby Grant from just outside the penalty box to the top left corner of the goal. Rochdale 1-1 Chesterfield.62:44
Phil Edwards is penalised for a handball. Indirect free kick taken by Marc Richards.60:38 Booking
Booking Liam Cooper booked for unsporting behaviour.60:11
Foul by Liam Cooper on Bobby Grant, free kick awarded. Bobby Grant restarts play with the free kick.59:24
Marc Richards concedes a free kick for a foul on Rhys Bennett. Josh Lillis takes the direct free kick.58:38
Liam Cooper gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Jason Kennedy. Jason Kennedy takes the free kick.56:31
Kevin McIntyre gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Danny Whitaker. Indirect free kick taken by Sam Hird.54:42
Assist on the goal came from Danny Whitaker.54:42 Goal scored
Goal! - James O'Shea - Rochdale 0 - 1 Chesterfld James O'Shea gets on the score sheet with a goal from deep inside the penalty box to the bottom left corner of the goal. Rochdale 0-1 Chesterfield.49:38
The official flags Marc Richards offside. Josh Lillis takes the free kick.48:18
Bobby Grant produces a right-footed shot from just outside the penalty box that misses to the left of the goal.48:06
Free kick awarded for a foul by Sam Togwell on Andrew Tutte. Kevin McIntyre takes the free kick.47:37 Substitution
Substitution Mark Randall replaces Tendayi Darikwa.45:01
The referee gets the second half underway.45:00 +1:05 Half time
Half Time The players leave the pitch at half time.45:00 +0:25
Andrew Tutte gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Liam Cooper. Liam Cooper restarts play with the free kick.44:45
Dele Adebola takes a shot. Blocked by Liam Cooper.43:29
Dele Adebola handles the ball and concedes a free kick. Liam Cooper takes the free kick.40:57
The assistant referee flags for offside against Ashley Grimes. Direct free kick taken by Tommy Lee.40:00
Jason Kennedy takes a shot. Tommy Lee makes a save.39:37
Danny Whitaker takes a shot.39:15
Sam Togwell takes a shot.38:45
Bobby Grant takes a shot. Tommy Lee makes a save.38:00
Free kick awarded for a foul by Dele Adebola on Neal Trotman. Neal Trotman takes the direct free kick.36:21
Ashley Grimes takes a shot. Save by Tommy Lee.35:13
Free kick awarded for a foul by Shane Cansdell-Sherriff on Tendayi Darikwa. Sam Hird restarts play with the free kick.31:52
Nathan Smith challenges Bobby Grant unfairly and gives away a free kick. Indirect free kick taken by Bobby Grant.30:54
Shot from a long way out by Shane Cansdell-Sherriff goes wide of the left-hand upright.30:19
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Bobby Grant by Nathan Smith. Joe Rafferty takes the free kick.27:51
Shot from just outside the box by Danny Whitaker misses to the left of the goal.26:21
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Rhys Bennett by Neal Trotman. Josh Lillis takes the free kick.25:04
Phil Edwards concedes a free kick for a foul on Marc Richards. Free kick taken by Danny Whitaker.24:08
Shane Cansdell-Sherriff fouled by Marc Richards, the ref awards a free kick. Shane Cansdell-Sherriff takes the free kick.23:07
Corner taken by Andrew Tutte, Rhys Bennett produces a header from inside the area that goes over the crossbar.22:47
Andrew Tutte takes a shot. Save by Tommy Lee.18:16
The referee blows for offside against Dele Adebola. Tommy Lee takes the free kick.16:08
Inswinging corner taken by Bobby Grant from the right by-line, save by Tommy Lee.13:37
James O'Shea takes a shot. Save by Josh Lillis.13:10
Shane Cansdell-Sherriff gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Craig Clay. Indirect free kick taken by Sam Hird.12:28
Marc Richards takes a shot. Josh Lillis makes a save.10:13
The referee blows for offside. Liam Cooper takes the free kick.9:15
The official flags Marc Richards offside. Josh Lillis takes the direct free kick.7:35
James O'Shea produces a left-footed shot from deep inside the penalty box which goes wide of the right-hand upright.6:12
Ashley Grimes takes a shot. Liam Cooper gets a block in.5:28
Effort on goal by Joe Rafferty from just outside the area goes harmlessly over the target.5:05
James O'Shea takes a shot.3:27
Danny Whitaker takes a shot. Blocked by Jason Kennedy.1:41
Sam Togwell takes a shot. Shane Cansdell-Sherriff gets a block in.0:11
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Kevin McIntyre by Marc Richards. Free kick taken by Josh Lillis.0:00
The game gets underway.
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