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Chesterfield Defeat Rovers

1 February 2014

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After two away wins, Chesterfield returned to the Proact Stadium to make it three wins out of three, beating Bristol Rovers 3-1.

Sam Morsy gave the Spireites an early lead before Lee Brown’s sensational effort brought the scoreline level. Ollie Banks restored Chesterfield’s lead just before the break and soon after the restart; Eoin Doyle slid the ball through the goalkeeper’s legs to seal the game.

It only took the Spireites five minutes to open their account for the afternoon as Morsy struck his first goal of the season. Good work from Gary Roberts allowed Eoin Doyle to cross for the midfielder to strike past Bristol Rovers goalkeeper, Steve Mildenhall.

Both Roberts and Dan Gardner were being allowed a lot of time on the ball and the latter tried to delicately chip the goalkeeper from 12 yards on ten minutes, but the ball fell just wide.

After a head injury, Liam Cooper went off to receive treatment and with the Spireites down to ten men, the opposition looked to exploit. Captain, Tom Parkes and Michael Smith had chances, but neither tested Tommy Lee.

The defender returned to the field and the Spireites went in search of more goals. Banks was proving a threat for the opposition defence but his shot on the half hour mark was deflected over.

Ten minutes before the break, the Gas were level through a stunning strike from Brown. The left-back received the ball 18 yards out and sweetly struck his shot past Lee to bring the visitors level.

The goal didn’t affect the Spireites as five minutes later, they regained the lead. Roberts expertly turned one defender and crossed low for Banks to smartly tuck away his fourth league goal of the season.

Chesterfield kicked off the second half as they started the first by extending their lead. Roberts won the ball in the opposition half and fed Doyle who put the ball through the ‘keeper’s leg for his second goal in as many games.

Pressure and dominance followed from the North Derbyshire side as ten minutes later, Mildenhall had to be alert from a Banks free-kick. The attacker was initially fouled and he picked himself up but his kick was well saved as it looked destined for the top corner.

With 20 minutes of the game remaining, Ollie Clarke thundered a shot over the bar and from the break away, Banks was inches from giving Chesterfield a fourth but the goalkeeper managed to scramble the ball away.

Chesterfield made a double substitution after 70 minutes with Marc Richards and Armand Gnanduillet joining the field in place of goalscorers Banks and Doyle.

The visitors continued to press and nearly found a way back into the game. As the cross came in from the byline, John Joe O’Toole headed wide from just six yards out.

With ten minutes remaining, Dan Gardner left the field to a standing ovation as he was replaced by Jay O’Shea. 

The Irishman almost instantly got himself on the scoresheet but for a deflection taking the ball onto the bar. Gnanduillet outmuscled two players in midfield and set up O’Shea to strike but he was unfortunate not to see his shot nestle in the back of the net.

Lee produced a wonder save with only three minutes of the game remaining. Substitute David Clarkson rifled a free-kick towards goal but the goalkeeper was alert to stop the danger.

Gnanduillet had a chance to further extend Chesterfield’s lead just before the break but the Gas defence remained resolute. With the conditions deteriorating, the referee blew the final whistle to the delight of the home support.

Chesterfield: Lee; Darikwa, Evatt (c), Cooper, Humphreys; Ryan Morsy, Gardner (O'Shea 81'), Banks (Richards 72'), Roberts; Doyle (Gnanduillet 72').

Subs: Dunbavin, Hird, Talbot, Smith.

Bristol Rovers: Mildenhall, Smith, Parkes (c), Brown, Beardsley, Clarke, McChrystal, Lockyer, O'Toole, Mohamed (Harrison 52'), Harrold (Clarkson 75').

Subs: Norburn, Harding, Gough, Santos, Keary.

Goals: Chesterfield (Morsy 5', Banks 43', Doyle 47') 3 - 1 Bristol Rovers (Brown 36')

Attendance: 6,048 (236 Bristol Rovers)

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