Match Analysis: Doncaster Rovers 3 Chesterfield 2

Ian Evatt keeps close to Nathan Tyson Pic by: James Williamson

Ian Evatt keeps close to Nathan Tyson Pic by: James Williamson

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Purely on this evidence, Doncaster Rovers and Chesterfield should not have too much to worry about in League One this season.

The near neighbours served up a footballing feast at the Keepmoat Stadium; a frenetic, free-flowing encounter that had pulses racing. This was no typical third tier encounter.

Sam Clucas is congratulated by Jimmy Ryan as Chesterfield pull a goal back Pic By: James Williamson

Sam Clucas is congratulated by Jimmy Ryan as Chesterfield pull a goal back Pic By: James Williamson

This was two wholly committed sides going hammer and tongs at each other, non-stop, for ninety minutes in relentless, basketball-like, breathless fashion - both sides displaying an attacking flair that this league’s lesser lights, you’d imagine, would struggle to handle.

Admittedly some of the defending on show left both Paul Dickov and Paul Cook covering their eyes in disbelief. Both camps will be keen to address those issues this week.

But Rovers and the Spireites can both take plenty of positives from what ultimately was a cracking game of football from the very first whistle to the last.

Doncaster really did dig deep to record their first home win since March. A few doubts might have crept in on the terraces, and won’t go away overnight, but this group of players still look like they are prepared to run through brick walls for Dickov.

Sam Morsy looks for a way pastJames Coppinger Pic by: James Williamson

Sam Morsy looks for a way pastJames Coppinger Pic by: James Williamson

Right from the off Rovers were bright on the ball, committed in the tackle and, unlike in recent home games, they showed a genuine spark in the final third. Nathan Tyson never stopped running, while stand-in skipper James Coppinger oozed class.

Chesterfield’s openness and willingness to get men forward unquestionably helped Doncaster get the home hoodoo monkey off their back. The Spireites weren’t prepared to just park the bus.

But that’s full credit to Cook and his vibrant team, whose no fear approach could mark them out as genuine dark horses this season.

The visitors will be upset at the rate they are conceding goals, and the nature of the three they leaked against Rovers.

Nathan Tyson celebrates with teammates after opening the scoring pic by: James Williamson

Nathan Tyson celebrates with teammates after opening the scoring pic by: James Williamson

But in the likes of Daniel Johnson, Armand Gnanduillet and Eoin Doyle - who made it seven goals in three games with his second half strike - Chesterfield have the forward threat to cause any team at this level major problems.

The game started at a hectic pace, and rarely dropped in tempo all afternoon.

Doncaster set their stall out to make a positive start and it paid dividends when they broke the deadlock after just seven minutes.

There had been an early warning for Chesterfield when marauding right back Reece Wabara burst forward and crossed for Kyle Bennett, who failed to make a clean contact.

For it was from another excellent Wabara centre that Doncaster assumed control, Tyson rising well to head down and over the line. The linesman flagged for the goal; Tyson stuck home the rebound just to be sure.

It took until the midway through the first half for Doyle - attempting to become only the eighth player in the history of English football to score three successive hat tricks - to get his first sniff. From a knock down Doyle came alive but Jed Steer, who shone in goal for Rovers, was alert to the danger.

Chesterfield had had their moments but Doncaster had looked more threatening up to this point.

Bennett cut inside and lashed an effort just wide, while Tyson should have doubled his side’s advantage when he latched onto Cedric Evina’s perfect through ball but dallied, allowing Tommy Lee to smother his effort.

Sandwiched in between those efforts, Johnson showed good feet on the edge of the box and curled just wide. Moments later it was 2-0.

This time it was Coppinger and Wellens causing havoc in the right channel, the latter eventually laying it back for Bennett to smash home with aplomb.

But any hopes Rovers had of just cruising their way to victory were extinguished just before the break when the visitors grabbed a lifeline. Steer superbly tipped a Johnson shot onto the post but Sam Clucas was in the right place at the right time to tap home. Doncaster appeals for offside fell on deaf ears.

The second half started at a similar breakneck speed.

Coppinger had already flashed a superb cross across the face and then smacked the bar from inside the area before his header was parried and Jamie McCombe popped in the rebound to give Rovers a valuable two-goal cushion.

The goal restored Doncaster’s confidence and the home side pushed for a killer fourth.

It did not arrive, and from the moment big Gnanduillet came off the bench, Rovers were somewhat clinging on for their dear lives.

Gnanduillet had the ball in the net shortly after coming on, latching onto Doyle’s cross, but his effort was ruled out for offside.

Nevertheless, it did not take long for Chesterfield to find the net again as a pulsating encounter took another twist.

This time it was Doyle. Who else? The striker on hand from close range to score his 12th of the season after Steer had parried Jay O’Shea’s shot.

All of a sudden Rovers were under the cosh again.

Steer made an excellent save to deny Ian Evatt from a corner, Johnson fired wide after doing all the hard work and Jimmy Ryan saw an audacious attempt from the half way line drift just wide.

Substitute Theo Robinson wasted a good chance to seal victory for the home side in stoppage time before Doyle came close to a last-gasp leveller - but Doncaster held on.

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