MATCH REPORT: Chesterfield 1 Rotherham United 1

Chesterfield V Rotherham United 'Millers Garth Evans wins the ball from Terell Forbes
Chesterfield V Rotherham United 'Millers Garth Evans wins the ball from Terell Forbes
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Both managers rightly claimed their respective teams had done enough to win.

But a draw was just about the right result in an enthralling encounter that featured thunder, lightning, monsoon-style rain, warm sunshine and some more than decent exciting football.

Chesterfield v Rotherham United 'Millers Boss Steve Evans

Chesterfield v Rotherham United 'Millers Boss Steve Evans

The hosts took the lead just 125 seconds into the game while the Millers levelled early in the second half of a game that threatened a winning goal but, having provided just about everything else, couldn’t quite spawn one.

Jordan Bowery, who’d had a myriad of shots in the opening two league games without success, converted his easiest opportunity early on. With the rain falling, at this stage at a non-biblical level, a low ball from Sam Togwell down the right channel looked straight forward for keeper Scott Shearer to exit his box and clear.

However, a couple of yards short of reaching the ball, the Glaswegian slipped, allowing the Spireites’ great chaser of lost causes, Drew Talbot, to gather and his cross in made Bowery’s task simple.

Lionel Ainsworth, in his first Millers start, thought he’d equalised in the ninth minute. Gareth Evans whipped in a cross from the left and it fell for the winger, but referee Drysdale, positioned well, blew for handball as the ball crossed the line.

Chesterfield’s management and fans were seething when the ref didn’t spot a last-minute block from the arm of Ian Sharps, who early on looked to have been nursing a groin injury, as Jack Lester shot from close range.

United’s equaliser was all about Kayode Odejayi’s power. Sharps, in his 19th game against Chesterfield, headed forwards and his striking colleague reacted quickly, rolling round home skipper Sam Hird. He held off a determined challenge to retrieve the ball while making 20 yards and slipping the ball beyond Tommy Lee to delight the 1,978 travelling fans in a noisy Proact Stadium.

There were plenty of opportunities to add to the scoreline. Both teams reached the teens in numbers of shots while the Millers had the edge in the corner count, 10 to six. Lee made the pick of the saves. Seconds before the break, and 25 minutes into the tropical storm, the highly-rated keeper flung himself high and right to fingertip Ben Pringle’s 16-yarder over the bar.

Millers boss Steve Evans described the intervention saying: “I’m going to use an expression we all use too often, but that save was world-class.”

Lee also had to work well at the feet of Ainsworth and, in the second half, dive full length to deny the same player after a lovely Odejayi backheel.

While Lee may have worked well to keep his side in the contest, the woodwork was Millers’ saviour on a couple of occasions.

Left-back Nathan Smith deftly delivered an acute angled cross that hit the inside of the far post but was bundled away before any of his colleagues could take advantage.

Bowery also saw the near post intervene. He broke clear and hit a low shot that Shearer managed to get a touch to. The ball carried on to strike the upright.

Incredibly close calls apart, there were plenty of very near-misses as well. Chesterfield got in a series of blocks, Danny Whitaker from Ainsworth and Neal Trotman from the effervescent Pringle the two most notable, and Sharps headed within a whisker after a rare Lee juggle.

For the Spireites, the target was missed by inches by Marc Richards, Whitaker and Togwell while Shearer had to work well to keep out Richards and Bowery.

There was also plenty to watch on the touchline, with manager Evans giving his usual show of emotion. That culminated in a final warning from the referee after 70 minutes, clearly indicating that there was a spare seat in the stand a few rows back!

Spireites boss John Sheridan, still searching for an opening win said: “I thought we played quite well, created opportunities, but once we get that lead it’s about being disciplined, having a bit of know-how and seeing the game out.”

Evans undoubtedly felt his side deserved the maximum points: “We’ve dominated for spells in the second half,” he said.

“We showed a lot of character and we go away the more disappointed.”