Chesterfield were unable to maintain their unbeaten League One away record as a battling performance was not enough to deny Doncaster all three points.First-half goals from Nathan Tyson and Kyle Bennett sent Rovers on their way before Sam Clucas reduced the score-line with a close range finish.
Jamie McCombe stretched the host’s lead further after the break, and Eoin Doyle was on hand to continue his sensational goalscoring form for the Spireites, although Paul Cook’s men were unable to convert their dominance into another late comeback.
Following the stunning turnaround at Preston, Paul Cook was adamant that the Spireites needed to start well at the Keepmoat Stadium in order to bring the points back to Derbyshire, and the Spireites nearly took the lead in the opening minutes as a positive run from Jimmy Ryan created an opening, but he could only drill wide from the edge of the area.
However, the strong start did not seem to put off the hosts, as Rovers’ first attack of the game gave the Spireites yet another early deficit to overcome, as full-back Reece Wabara was able to beat Ritchie Humphreys to the ball out wide, before crossing to the head of Nathan Tyson who nodded the ball past a diving Tommy Lee.
Wabara and Rovers were having a lot of joy down the right-hand side, and Wabara again found space down the flank to deliver for Tyson, but this time the forward’s header was gathered comfortably by Lee in the Chesterfield goal.
As the midway point approached in the first-half, the Spireites began to play some of the football the fans are so accustomed to, and Daniel Johnson very nearly levelled the scores when his rasping left-footed drive beat Jed Steer in the Rovers goal, but also narrowly beat the post.
Despite Chesterfield finding their groove, it was Doncaster who grabbed the next goal, meaning the Spireites would need to produce another stunning comeback if they were to get anything out of the game.
Tricky play by winger James Coppinger allowed him to pull the ball back to the onrushing Bennett, who smashed the ball in off of the crossbar to double the home side’s lead.
The goal did not seem to put-off a battling Spireites as moments later Paul Cook’s side were back in it through a first Chesterfield goal for Clucas.
Following a period of sustained possession from the visitors, Johnson was able to cut inside and fire at goal before watching his effort cannon back off of the post, only for Clucas to tap home and give the Spireites fresh hope going into half time.
Moments after the second half began it was the woodwork that came to the Spireites’ rescue as a fierce drive from Coppinger rattled the crossbar from the edge of the area, leaving Lee to breathe a sigh of relief in the visitors’ goal.
However, just seconds later Doncaster did grab their third goal of the afternoon, as the towering centre back Jamie McCombe reacted quickest following a smart reflex save from Lee and was able to tap in from close range.
Cook’s side have demonstrated their fast flowing football in recent weeks, and it was a lovely Spireites move which nearly reduced the score-line, as Doyle’s teasing delivery to substitute Armand Gnanduillet was struck home, but fortunately for the home-side the striker had roamed into an offside position.
The introduction of Jay O’Shea and Gnanduillet appeared to have swung the momentum in favour of the Spireites, and the Chesterfield pressure eventually took its toll as Doyle continued his sensational form by scrambling home on the goal line.
Marvellous play by Gnanduillet brought about a great save out of Steer in the Doncaster goal, but Doyle was on hand to prod home to bring Chesterfield back into the game and score his seventh goal in just three games.
Doyle’s goal sparked the Spireites into life as Cook’s side were creating chances at will, and it was only a stunning Steer save that stopped Chesterfield from equalising, as Evatt latched on to Johnson’s corner but the outstretched leg of Steer denied the skipper.
Since Johnson’s introduction to the side, he has made the attacking midfielder role his own, and the Aston Villa loanee had a glorious opportunity to complete another brilliant comeback, but his scuffed right-footed shot hit the side netting as opposed to the back of the net as
despite the Spireites’ dominance in the second period it was Doncaster who had the chance to seal the game late on after numerous ricochets in Chesterfield’s area, but substitute Theo Robinson could only blaze over from a tight angle.
Chesterfield continued to battle in their pursuit of another dramatic late equaliser, but hot-shot Doyle failed to direct Tendayi Darikwa’s cross into an unguarded goal, and Doncaster took all three points.
Doncaster Rovers: Steer (gk) - Wabara, McCombe, McCullough, Evina - Coppinger (c), Furman, De Val (Keegan 64’), Wellens, Bennett - Tyson (Robinson 83’)
Subs not used: Marosi (gk), Wakefield, Peterson, Askins, Ferguson
Chesterfield: Lee (gk) - Darikwa, Raglan, Evatt (c), Humphreys (O’Shea 51’) - Ryan, Morsy (Banks 22’), Clucas, Johnson, Boco (Gnanduillet 55’) - Doyle
Subs not use: Chapman (gk), Gnanduillet, O’Shea, Broadhead, Lamb, Gardner
Doncaster Rovers: Tyson 7', Bennett 32', McCombe 50'
Chesterfield: Clucas 42', Doyle 61'
Attendance: 7,941 (2,411 away supporters)