Match report: Bristol Rovers 3 Chesterfield 2

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A DEFLECTED 30-yard effort denied Chesterfield a point away at Bristol Rovers despite a debut goal from Brennan Dickenson.

The Spireites came from behind twice but were unable to find an answer to Tom Eaves’ 80th minute strike which gave the hosts a 3-2 win.

New signing Dickenson, on a month’s loan from Brighton, had to make do with a place on the bench as manager Paul Cook kept faith in the same starting line-up from Tuesday night’s goalless draw at Bradford.

But it was Rovers who broke the deadlock with barely three minutes on the clock.

The home side’s ‘keeper Neil Etheridge bombed a ball up to Eaves who controlled and showed good pace to get away from the Chesterfield defence.

His pull back found its way to the back post where Sam Togwell stuck out a leg to direct the ball into his own net.

Chesterfield continued to pass the ball around, however, and there were encouraging signs when Nathan Smith and then Drew Talbot had efforts on goal.

Their efforts were rewarded through Mark Randall’s wide in swinging free-kick which was misjudged by Etheridge, who carried the ball over the line.

Scott Boden then had the chance to make it two in as many minutes when Randall slotted him through on goal.

The striker took the ball in his stride but couldn’t squeeze the ball past Etheridge, on loan from Fulham, who redeemed himself just minutes later.

And the ‘keeper was called into action again when he spectacularly tipped over from Darikwa, before denying Talbot and then Boden in a goalmouth scramble to keep the scores level at half time.

Togwell unleashed a powerful drive from fully 30 yards just after the break which took a deflection before smacking the bar and going over. Etheridge then somehow kept out Forbes from the resulting corner.

Bristol came back though and Eaves hit the post from 25 yards before turning provider again when his left wing cross was tucked in by the onrushing Joe Anyinsah completely against the run of play.

Cook then made a double switch with Jack Lester and new boy Dickenson replaced Randall and Boden.

Dickenson made an immediate impact when he let fly from the corner of the penalty area to claim a debut goal that brought the Spireites level.

But with just 10 minutes to go Eaves’s deflected shot wrong-footed O’Donnell and rolled into the net to edge Rovers in front for the third time.

Forbes and Darikwa were involved in another goalmouth scramble but were unable to get the ball over the line with just minutes left on the clock.

Spireites: O’Donnell; Smith, Forbes, Hird (c), Talbot; Togwell, Clay; Darikwa, Whitaker, Randall (Dickenson); Boden (Lester 65).

Subs not used: Westcarr, Ridehalgh, Atkinson, Mason, Evans.

Rovers: Etheridge; Lund, Parkes, Kenneth (c), Paterson; Broghammer (Richards 65), Brown, Clarkson Riordan (Smith 82); Anyinsah, Eaves.

Subs not used: Walker, Woodwards, Brown, Clarke, Clucas.

Referee: Richard Clark.

Attendance: 5,491 (359)