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Spireites Beaten by Boro

15 July 2017

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Chesterfield, playing their most accomplished pre-season opponents to date, lost 2-0 against Middlesbrough in Portugal on Saturday evening and, more importantly, lost teenager Joe Rowley.

The 18-year-old was fouled by Alex Baptiste and he fell awkwardly onto the surface, damaging his shoulder.

Though a stretcher was called for, Rowley walked off the pitch but with his shoulder in a support sling.

Middlesbrough took the lead in the 16th minute when Uruguayan Christhian Stuani poked home from close range in the third phase of a corner that was never properly cleared. Prior to the goal, the game had been a midfield battle with Boro just edging the possession count.

Stuani volley just over soon after but then came Gary Caldwell’s major concern as Rowley departed the scene as Spireites struggled to make any lasting impression in their opponents’ box.

Middlesbrough changed their entire XI at the break whilst Chesterfield made just three more changes, though more followed during the second half, most notably when half-time sub Ricky German limped off on 77 minutes. He soon looked alright again, though Jack Brownell had come on during German’s treatment.

German had made a couple of powerful runs and forced a decent save from Connor Ripley, but Boro looked much livelier with their second-half team. After Gaston Ramirez had put a couple wide, Laurence Maguire pulled Adama Traore in the box and Patrick Bamford hammered the resulting 57th minute penalty high above Joe Anyon. Connor Dimaio picked up a rare pre-season yellow when he challenged late on Traore as the Boro man attacked down the right.

Sam Hird, who took the armband from Ian Evatt at half-time, made an excellent block to keep Ramirez out as Garry Monk’s side, Premier Leaguers last season, stepped up the pressure. Bamford hit high from a good opening and Hird cleared off the line from Harry Chapman, the resulting corner being headed over, which was the last action of the game.

Rowley will be the manager’s major concern in what, injuries apart, has been a successful pre-season camp.

Chesterfield: Anyon, Wiseman, Evatt (Hird HT), Maguire (Smith 80), Barry (McGinn 67), Rowley (McCourt 36), Dimaio, Reed (Mitchell 67), Donohue (Wakefield HT), Ugwu (Brewster 67), O’Grady (German HT (Brownell 77). Sub (not used): Parkin.

Booked: Dimaio

Boro (1st half): Konstantopoulos, Fabio, Fry, Gibson, Baptiste, Clayton, Leadbitter, Forshaw, Soisalo, Stuani, Gestede.

Boro (2nd half): Ripley, Christie, Ayala, Mahmutovic, Friend, Howson, De Roon, Ramirez, Traore, Tavernier, Bamford.

Goals: Stuani 16, Bamford (pen) 57

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