Full time: Chesterfield 2 Doncaster Rovers 2

Jimmy Ryan equalises for Chesterfield as they come from 2 down to level it up late in the game. Photo: James Williamson
Jimmy Ryan equalises for Chesterfield as they come from 2 down to level it up late in the game. Photo: James Williamson
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A late Jimmy Ryan goal saw the Spireites bounce back from going two goals down to earn a point against fellow play-off chasers Doncaster.

Rovers roared into action with two goals inside the first nine minutes from James Coppinger and Andy Butler, leaving Chesterfield shellshocked at the Proact.

Andy Butler heads Doncaster into a 2-0 lead at Chesterfield: Photo:   James Williamson

Andy Butler heads Doncaster into a 2-0 lead at Chesterfield: Photo: James Williamson

Eoin Doyle pulled a timely goal back before the break and second half pressure from the Spireites told as Ryan nodded them level with three minutes to go.

Neither side found their full stride during the game but it would ultimately prove a breathless contest between to sides hunting for the top six.

Coppinger scored after just three minutes before Butler added a second six minutes later to leave Chesterfield shellshocked at the Proact.

And there will be plenty of questions asked about the manner of the defending for both goals from the hosts.

James Coppinger celebrates his opening goal for Rovers. Photo: James Williamson

James Coppinger celebrates his opening goal for Rovers. Photo: James Williamson

First, veteran Coppinger was in acres of space as he brought down Luke McCullough’s long ball over the top and darted into the area before drilling into the far top corner on the angle.

The Chesterfield defence were left static as they appealed for offside but to no avail as Coppinger was given the freedom of the Proact to put his side in front.

And after debutant Uche Ikpeazu won a corner after chasing a lost cause, Butler rose at the back post under little pressure to double Rovers’ lead with a header from cloe range.

Between the two goals, the Spireites’ best opportunity came by Jay O’Shea cut a pass back from the byline only for Eoin Doyle to scuff his shot horribly wide from 15 yards.

Eoin Doyle pulls one back for Chesterfield. PihotoL James Williamson

Eoin Doyle pulls one back for Chesterfield. PihotoL James Williamson

Sam Morsy had Chesterfield’s first effort on goal on 17 minutes. The midfielder charged forward and fired a shot from 20 yards which Stephen Bywater parried out wide.

And after Doyle put the ball back into the middle, Sam Morsy again struck, drilling just wide from the edge of the box.

Both sides made changes during the first half. Ian Evatt’s introduction for Dan Gardner for Chesterfield appeared to be a tactical response to falling two goals down.

But Coppinger was forced off through injury for Rovers, replaced by Bennett.

Chesterfield should have had a goal back nine minutes from the break.

Sam Clucas charged to the byline and cut a cross back for Jay O’Shea who met the ball on the volley but sent it over from inside the six yard box.

Chesterfield had a penalty shout soon after. Clucas darted into the box and fell under challenge from Paul Keegan but referee Darren Deadman was unmoved.

It took a stunning save from Bywater to keep the Spireites out on 41 minutes. Clucas whipped in a free kick from the left, Evatt rose to head on goal but Bywater clawed the ball off the line with a one-handed stretch.

There was little Bywater could do about Chesterfield’s goal back on 42 minutes.

Morsy clipped a ball into the box, Doyle chested down and slotted a low shot past Bywater.

Rovers almost immediately restored their two goal cushion. Ikpeazu was released out wide and crossed low for Curtis Main who fired wide under challenge from Evatt.

Main really should have restored Rovers’ two goal cushion early in the second half.

Main battled well to go one-on-one with Tommy Lee but fired his shot straight at the Chesterfield keeper.

His effort was one of a few early second half chances for Doncaster - who led 2-0 with early goals from James Coppinger and Andy Butler before Eoin Doyle pulled a goal back just before the break.

Main himself was involved with the first chance, curling a shot from the edge of the box which proved a simple stop for Lee.

And then Harry Forrester charged from within in his own half and fired on goal with Lee saving well.

Chesterfield themselves then roared back. Sam Clucas went for goal from range, firing low and drawing a fine stop from Stephen Bywater.

And Jimmy Ryan looked to pounce on a Jay O’Shea cross only to see the ball turned behind for a corner.

Uche Ikpeazu should have marked his debut with a goal on 59 minutes as Rovers went on a rapid counterattack. Kyle Bennett played him in well but Lee rushed out to deny the towering forward.

Ikpeazu could not have gone much closer to scoring on the hour mark. He turned to find space on the edge of the box and curled a shot which ricocheted out off the upright.

The Spireites had much the better of possession in the later stages as they searched for an equaliser. But they struggled to test Bywater.

That was until Ryan struck on 87 minutes.

Sam Hird’s long ball into the box was nodded back across goal by Doyle and Ryan charged in at the back post to head home.

In the remaining time, the Spireites looked much more like grabbing a winner but Rovers hung on for a point.

Chesterfield: Lee, Darikwa, Raglan, Hird, Jones (Harrison 46), O’Shea (Humphreys 65), Ryan, Morsy, Clucas, Gardner (Evatt 29), Doyle.

Subs not used: Wright, Banks, Dieseruvwe, Ariyibi.

Doncaster: Bywater, Wabara, Butler, McCullogh, Stevens, Coppinger (Bennett 31, Tyson 65), Forrester, Keegan, Wellens, Main, Ikpeazu (Furman 72).

Subs not used: Marosi, McCombe, Wakefield.

Referee: Darren Deadman (Peterborough)

Cards: Yellow: O’Shea 32, Morsy 73 (both Chesterfield), Bennett 41 (Rovers)

Att: 7,839 (1,806)