Referee – Mr James Adcock
Attendance – 4,030 (1,096 visitors)
A cold but clear night was the setting for this battle of the Trophy Winners, the Rovers having been the first to win the Johnston’s Paints version and Chesterfield are the current holders.
Both sides made changes from Saturday, mainly because of injuries although Iain Hume, for the Rovers, was on international duty with Canada.
The Rovers kicked off, whilst defending the South Stand end, and proceeded to pass the ball around and keep possession without making much inroad on goal. In the 9th minute Martin Woods got in a shot from the edge of the penalty area that O’Donnell pushed away for a corner. The match continued to be played at a sedate pace, with the Rovers enjoying most of the possession. There was a scare at the Rovers end in the 21st minute but no blue shirt could get on the end of the cross and Gary Woods collected easily. The Rovers then won a couple of corners, the first of which Jones headed over. A poor pass from Keegan nearly let in Chesterfield but Spurr saved the day. Past the half hour and a good shot from Bennett to the left of goal was pushed away by O’Donnell diving to his left. Darikwa then got down the visitors right and crossed for Atkinson but his glancing header went wide. Minutes later Martin Woods put wide from 30yards. Into a minute of added time and from a Rovers corner Jones headed wide. Whilst the Rovers, with a majority of the possession, had stroked the ball around the park they hadn’t found a cutting edge, consequently the shots that had been made at goal had all been from distance.
Half Time – Doncaster Rovers 0 Chesterfield 0
The Rovers brought Brown on for Paynter for the start of the second half. Two minutes in and Bennett got in a low strike from 25yards but the keeper saved easily. In the 53rd minute, a good run by Bennett and a 1-2 with Blake gave him a shot from 25yards that was just wide. Chesterfield forced a corner but it was cleared and on the hour Westcarr, on the visitors right, passed inside to Atkinson but his shot was deflected for another corner. This was cleared and was received by Blake who struck a terrific shot from 35yards that O’Donnell could only beat away to Brown but the keeper saved his shot. Minutes later and a cross by Syers from the Rovers right to the far post was met with a header by Blake but the keeper saved. In the 71st minute a free kick on the Chesterfield right was cleared out of the Rovers defence to Bennett, who set off on a good run for the visiting goal but a wayward pass to Cotterill brought an end to any chance. Two minutes later and good work by Syers on the Rovers right got him into the Chesterfield penalty area before he pulled the ball back for Martin Woods to get in a fierce drive that O’Donnell beat away. Then Cotterill from the left had a low shot saved. Chesterfield had a corner but that was cleared. In the 83rd minute Cotterill got in a cross from the right that was headed out of the Chesterfield defence to Keegan who hit a good shot that was deflected for a corner. Before the corner could be taken BALL was introduced into the fray and from close range headed the corner kick into the net. His first touch in a competitive match for the Rovers and his first goal for the first team. Chesterfield sparked into life for the remainder of the game and had a good chance in the 88th minute when Jones made a mess of heading back to Gary Woods but Lester also made a mess of the chance to shoot thus sparing the blushes of the Rovers captain. It was hard work but the Rovers came away with a win to go into the next Round.
Result – Doncaster Rovers 1 (Ball 83 mins) Chesterfield 0
Teams – ROVERS – Gary Woods; David Syers, Rob Jones ©, Tommy Spurr, James Husband; David Cotterill, Paul Keegan, Martin Woods, Kyle Bennett; Robbie Blake, Billy Paynter
Subs used – Chris Brown for Paynter 46 mins; Jordan Ball for Blake 83 mins;
Subs not used – Michael Woods, James Harper, Neil Sullivan gk
Caution – Blake 49 mins;
Chesterfield – Richard O’Donnell; Drew Talbot, Terrell Forbes, Neal Trotman, Liam Ridehalgh; Tendayi Darikwa, Craig Clay, Sam Togwell ©, Chris Atkinson; Micah Evans, Craig Westcarr
Subs used – Jack Lester for Evans 75 mins; Mark Randall for Clay 75 mins; Scott Boden for Darikwa 87 mins;
Subs not used – Jacob Hazel, Ben Wilson