Ball gets that vital first touch to win cup clash

Chesterfield's Drew Talbot and Doncaster Rovers' Kyle Bennett.
Chesterfield's Drew Talbot and Doncaster Rovers' Kyle Bennett.
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SUPER sub Jordan Ball secured Doncaster Rovers their place in the Northern Section quarter-finals of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy with his first-ever senior goal for the club.

Rovers’ win ended battling Chesterfield’s hopes of becoming the first side to successfully defend the JP Trophy.

Prior to Ball’s first ever senior goal for Rovers the second round tie looked like heading for a penalty shoot-out.

Rovers made four changes to the side which started in Saturday’s 1-0 League One win over Shrewsbury.

Skipper Rob Jones returned after serving a one-match ban and Paul Keegan, Martin Woods and Robbie Blake all being promoted from the bench. Midfielder David Syers started the game at right-back.

The injury-hit Spireites also showed just one change from Saturday’s first League Two win on the road this season at Aldershot, Craig Clay replacing Mark Allott.

There was no return to the Keepmoat Stadium for skipper Sam Hird, ruled out with a facial injury.

Rovers left-back went down in the box following a tackle by centre-back on three minutes, but referee Adcock, who was well placed to make a decision, waved play on.

Rovers kept possession well and moved the ball about in confident fashion at a pace the Spireites struggled to match.

Striker Billy Paynter, who scored Doncaster’s winner on Saturday from the spot, just failed to get a head to David Cotterill’s cross.

There was a let off for Rovers on 22 minutes - striker Craig Westcarr shooting weakly at keeper Gary Woods when well placed after Jones had failed to cut out a low ball into the box by Micah Evans.

Jones went close with a header from a 24th minute corner. Martin Woods, who had looked eager to impress in the opening half-hour, produced a timely interception to deny Westcott a shooting chance from ten yards out in front of goal.

The lively Kyle Bennett, again playing more of the team role that manager Dean Saunders is wanting, had O’Donnell at full stretch with his angled 25 yarder on 33 minutes.

Rovers, who had lacked a cutting edge in and around the box in the first half, started the second with Chris Brown on for Paynter.

Bennett shot just wide of the post on 52 minutes when letting fly from 25 yards after cutting in from the left.

The game badly needed a goal and both Blake, who tested O’Donnell with a long-range shot just after the hour, and Brown, denied by the keeper from the rebound, both tried to deliver.

Far more prominent this half, Blake got a close-range header on target in the 68th minute.

O’Donnell could only punch clear from a 30 yard effort by Martin Woods.

The Spireites continued to look dangerous on the break, however.

Spireites caretaker boss Tommy Wright made a double change on 75 minutes, veteran Jack Lester and Mark Randall replacing Evans and Clay respectively.

The visitors continued to defend well from set-pieces and Cotterill got no joy from an 80th minute free-kick.

Shots at both ends were blocked for corners.

Teenage striker Jordan Ball, who had replaced Blake seconds earlier, broke the deadlock on 83 minutes, heading home with his first touch from Cotterill’s corner.

Lester fluffed the chance of an equaliser from the edge of the area three minutes later. He also headed over in the 90th minute.

n Rovers: G Woods 6 Syers 6 Jones 6 Spurr 6 Husband 6 Cotterill 6 M Woods 6 Keegan 6 Bennett 7 Blake 6 Paynter* 5. Subs: Sullivan Ball ** 83 Michael Woods Brown *46 Harper

n Chesterfield: O’Donnell 7 Forbes 6 Trotman 6 Darwika ***6 Ridehalgh 6 Evans *6 Togwell 6 Clay **6 Atkinson 6 Talbot 6 Westcarr 6. Subs: Wilson Lester * 75 Boden ***87 Hazel Randall **75

n Referee: James Adcock (Notts)

n Bookings: Blake (Rovers)

n Attendance: 4,030