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Spiretes Fight Back for Proact Point

31 January 2015

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A determined Spireites performance saw the hosts recover from an early two goal deficit to draw 2-2 with Doncaster Rovers at the Proact Stadium.

Rovers marched into a two goal advantage after just ten minutes when captain James Coppinger and defender Andy Butler scored for the visitors.

The Spireites then pulled a goal back through Eoin Doyle before the break, and midfielder Jimmy Ryan headed a late equaliser after a clever Doyle knock down to snatch a point.

Chesterfield faced an in-form Doncaster side who themselves are looking to mount a playoff challenge, whereas the Spireites were hoping to maintain their own lofty fifth place position.

What looked set to be an explosive battle between two good League 1 sides did not disappoint in the opening stages, as the first meaningful attack from either side proved to be the first goal, Doncaster grabbing it. 

A hopeful ball forward from Northern Ireland international Luke McCullough found Coppinger in acres of space in the right-hand side of the area, and the midfielder kept his nerve and smashed the ball past Tommy Lee.

Chesterfield responded well to that early Rovers goal and moments later they could have found themselves level, but after great work from Dan Gardner out wide, his cut back found Sam Clucas who could only drag his effort wide of the goal.

The Spireites had been unable to settle since the deadlock was broken and they found themselves two down within ten minutes when this time Coppinger turned provider, his corner kick to the back post was met by Butler and the defender met the ball with a firm header into the bottom corner.

Recent fixtures have shown that no matter what score the Spireites find themselves trailing by, they are still capable of turning it around. They nearly pulled one back through skipper Sam Morsy as he let fly from the edge of the area, but his fierce drive narrowly missed the target.

Despite Chesterfield posing more of an attacking threat as the contest went on, gaps continued to appear at the back, and if it was not for a brilliant Sam Hird challenge on Coppinger, the two-nil deficit could have read three.

The persistent Spireites continued to search for a route back into the game, and they should have cut Rovers’ lead in half midway through the first period, but following clever link up player between Doyle and Sam Clucas, Jay O’Shea could only divert Clucas’ cross over the crossbar from inside the six yard box.

A strong end to the half by the hosts saw Doncaster’s goal come under bombardment from all sorts of angles, and it was only for a stunning Stephen Bywater save from substitute Ian Evatt which maintained the South Yorkshire side’s two goal lead.

However, the two goal lead was eventually halved when the ever-prolific Doyle finally stuck the ball past Bywater, as he expertly brought down a Morsy cross on his chest before sliding the ball into the net.

The visitors came out of the blocks quickest after the break and immediately had the opportunity to increase their lead on the counter, but as Curtis Main weaved his way down the right flank, his curling effort was straight at Lee.

Rovers squandered that chance but yet again they were causing problems for Chesterfield on the break and this time it was Harry Forrester who found himself in a two-on-two situation, the forward opted to shoot from the edge of the area but his shot was well stopped.

Doncaster were piling on the pressure but thankfully for the Spireites Lee was in electric form, as Curtis Main bustled his way through on goal but there was Lee to deny the Rovers number 11 from making it 3-1.

Paul Dickov’s side were very nearly made to rue that clear-cut opportunity, as just seconds later Morsy mustered up enough space for a shot on goal from range, but Bywater got down well to parry the midfielder’s effort round the post.

Missed chances were proving to be the theme of the half and for the second time in as many minutes, Lee denied Doncaster in a one-on-one situation, as this time Rovers debutant Uche Ikpeazu latched on to a Kyle Bennett through ball, only for Lee to spread himself again and save brilliantly.

Ikpeazu was proving to be a menace for the Spireites back line, and after he muscled out Evatt 20 yards from goal, his fine shot this time beat Lee but not the post, as it bounced off of the woodwork and fell to safety.

However, Doncaster were made to pay for their missed chances as there was one final twist in a dramatic game, when a Hird centre found Doyle in the area, where he nodded across for an onrushing Ryan to steam in and level with a close range header.

Chesterfield: Lee (gk) - Darikwa, Raglan, Hird, Jones (Harrison 46’) - Morsy (c), Ryan, Gardner (Evatt 29’), O’Shea (Humphreys 64’), Clucas - Doyle

Subs not used: Wright (gk), Banks, Ariyibi, Dieseruvwe

Doncaster Rovers: Bywater (gk) - Wabara, Butler, McCullough, Stevens - Keegan, Wellens, Coppinger (Bennett 31’, Tyson 64’), Forrester - Main, Ikpeazu (Furman 73’)

Subs not used: Marosi, McCombe, Wakefield, Robinson

Chesterfield: Doyle 43’, Ryan 87’

Doncaster Rovers: Coppinger 4’, Butler 9’

Attendance: 7,839 (away fans 1,806)

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