Chesterfield: 1 (Ariyibi 18’)
Rovers: 1 (Rowe 6’)
Tuesday 19th April
Proact Stadium, Chesterfield
SkyBet League One
Rovers made the short trip to Chesterfield following a fantastic 3-1 victory over league leaders Wigan at the weekend and Darren Ferguson would have been hoping for a similar performance against a Spireites side that lost 3-0 to Sheffield United just days ago.
The sides last met back in November at the Keepmoat Stadium and Rovers ran out 3-0 winners thanks to goals from Nathan Tyson, Andy Williams and Cameron Stewart.
Rovers picked up where they left off from Saturday and took the lead just six minutes in. Gary McSheffrey added another assist to his name when he delivered an in-swinging corner to the back post. As it missed every defender, Tommy Rowe was there at the back post to tap in from six yards.
The home side looked to get straight back in it however and got forward well but Rovers defence held firm despite being pressured.
However, Chesterfield did get their equaliser on 18 minutes. A shot from distance forced the save from Remi Matthews, but he could only parry it as far as Gboly Ariyibi who somehow squeezed in the rebound off the post.
The equaliser gave the home side a boost but Rovers didn’t get disheartened. Luke McCullough and Richard Chaplow were exceptional in midfield covering every area of the pitch.
There were huge shouts for a penalty for Rovers when Mitchell Lund played a great ball down the line for McSheffrey. The striker beat his man brilliantly and broke into the area. Getting the right side of the defender he was bundled over before being able to square the ball for Williams, but the referee waved play on much to everyones amazement.
Sam Hird forced Matthews into a brave save shorty before half time as he came storming in at the back post following a corner, but the Rovers keeper came confidently and made the save.
The visitors came agonisingly close to taking the lead on the stroke of half time. More brilliant interplay between Coppinger and Rowe found Chaplow in space on the left. Delivering a perfect ball in for Andy Williams, the striker somehow put his header into the side netting from three yards.
HALF TIME: Chesterfield 1-1 Rovers
Rovers started the second half brightly and had a goal disallowed just a few minutes in. Confusion in the box saw twoChesterfield defenders collide with each other, as the hosts failed to clear the ball Coppinger fired home past Tommy Lee but the referee blew for a foul in the box and no one knew why.
Jay O’Shea went close for the hosts as his free kick from 25 yards curled over the wall but just narrowly missed the crossbar.
After a Chesterfield attack broke down, a huge clearance from Chaplow set McSheffrey free. With Coppinger unmarked to his right he played the Rovers captain in but as he cut inside looking to shoot, two advancing defenders did enough to get a block in, a real chance for Rovers.
The ball then fell to Coppinger seconds later as he struck one from outside the box but it was just wide of Lee’s post.
There were some frustrating times for Rovers as they pushed and pushed for a second goal. Rowe continued to be excellent in midfield, as did McSheffrey but they couldn’t break down the Chesterfield back four.
Nathan Tyson and Riccardo Calder were introduced to the game with ten minutes to play. They linked up well as Calder won a string of corners for the visitors. Andy Butler went close before Tyson headed just wide with seconds to play as Rovers had to settle for a point at the Proact despite their dominance.
FULL TIME: Chesterfield 1-1 Rovers
Chesterfield: Lee, Hird, Liddle (c), O’Shea (Herd 90’), Novak, Campbell-Ryce ( Ebanks-Blake 74’), Raglan, Anderson, Banks, Talbot, Ariyibi
Unused Subs: Dimaio, Donohue, Chapman, Simons, Slew
Cautions: Novak 88'
Rovers: Matthews, Alcock, Butler, Evina, Lund, McCullough, Rowe, Chaplow (Calder 82’), Coppinger ©, Williams (Tyson 82’), McSheffrey
Unused Subs: Stuckmann, Mandeville, Stewart, Middleton, Taylor-Sinclair
Cautions: Chaplow 81’, Lund 88’
Attendance: 6,461 (905)