CHESTERFIELD came from behind to win to give hopes of a miraculous escape.
Chesterfield, with a brace of wins behind them, started with the same 11 for the third time on the bounce, a rare luxury for the side that sat two places and one point ahead of Dale at kick-off time.
Jones was presented with the game’s first opportunity, played through by Thompson, but he curled his shot wide from a great position.
Randall delivered the first on-target effort from 25 yards but Edwards gathered.
Tutte’s box-edge effort was no problem for Lee as the game continued in a tense atmosphere.
Akpa Akpro headed wide from an offside position and Widdowson saw a driven cross-shot tipped over by Lee as Dale looked the more dangerous side.
Mendy broke forwards and found Bowery whose shot on the turn was deflected inches wide but the resulting corner was cleared with ease.
As the visitors continued to push on, Thompson had to make a fine block to halt Kennedy who’d found far too much space in the box. From the corner routine, Ford picked up a head injury and had to leave the field for a stitch or two as Orient took the lead against Yeovil.
Lee had to gather from Tutte ahead of Robertson replacing Ford for the hosts.
Whitaker replaced Westcarr for Chesterfield and Adams came on for McConville for the visitors.
Walsall re-took the lead in Devon. Randall made a pig’s-ear of a clearance allowing Jones to shoot and the effort deflected on to the post with Lee static but the keeper gathered the rebound with Tutte poised to convert.
Boden came on for Randall.
Walsall were pegged back again but a major nail into the relegation coffin was hammered in by Dale. AKPA AKPRO picked up the ball midway in the Chesterfield half and made ground far too easily before cutting in and sliding home from the 18 yard line. Adams forced a fine Lee save, diving right, after a partially cleared header as the visitors continued to look the more dangerous side.
Robertson delivered into the box, Bowery nodded down and BODEN beat Edwards to the ball to give the hosts some faint hope.Orient went two up but Walsall fell behind to rekindle some hope that was all but dead and the noise rose to a crescendo as Moussa hammered against the bar and WHITAKER followed up to put Chesterfield in front with just five minutes remaining.