Spireites match report: Chesterfield 2 Bristol Rovers 0

Spireites
Spireites

Two second half goals saw Chesterfield to a comfortable 2-0 win over Bristol Rovers.

Jay O’Shea’s thunderbolt opened the scoring for the Spireites before Armand Gnanduillet doubled the host’s advantage with another piece of individual brilliance.

Richard Brindley and Jack Lester came into the side in place of Drew Talbot (illness) and Marc Richards (bench), as Paul Cook made two changes to the starting line up that lost 1-0 to Cheltenham Town on Tuesday night.

On a bitterly cold afternoon at the Proact, Gnanduillet almost brought the home faithful to their feet after a good interchange between Sam Togwell and Brindley presented the forward with an opportunity from just inside the penalty area.

The Ivorian shaped to shoot but was quickly closed down by the Rovers defence.

The visiting contingent, meanwhile, thought their side had taken the lead moments later when Elliot Richards let fly from fully 35 yards.

The Spireites were thankful Tommy Lee managed to get the slightest of fingertips to prevent the midfielder’s shot from nestling in the keeper’s top right hand corner.

The save seemed to inspire Chesterfield and Sam Hird escaped the attention of JJ O’Toole to head straight at Steve Mildenhall from Conor Townsend’s corner.

Gnanduillet showed flashes of skill in tune with his lime green boots.

It was one of the home side’s other creative players, O’Shea, who fashioned an opportunity for Togwell with a neat turn and through ball for the midfielder to hit a first time shot straight at Rovers’ keeper.

O’Shea then found space and chipped an inviting ball to the back post for Hird to power a header that Mildenhall did well to keep out from point blank range.

Gnanduillet then stretched his legs from midway inside his own half, but his effort from the edge of the area didn’t trouble the visitor’s stopper as the half drew to a close.

Both sides struggled to maintain possession during another scrappy first 45 minutes at the Proact Stadium.

Joe Anyinsah, who has been struggling with a hamstring injury of late, was replaced by Fabion Broghammer.

Then, out of the blue, Chesterfield took the lead.

A loose pass from the visitors presented the ball to O’Shea who ran unchallenged towards the edge of the area and unleashed an unstoppable shot into the top corner.

The Irishman suddenly found his first touch and began running past defenders.

The Spireites almost doubled their advantage moments later when Lester glanced a header wide of the post from three yards out, after Liam Cooper had met Townsend’s corner.

And the second soon came from another piece of individual magic, this time from emerging fan favourite Gnanduillet.

The front man deservedly got his name on the score sheet after cutting in from the left, ghosting past a couple of challenges and defying the odds by slotting home from an acute angle to make it 2-0 to Chesterfield.

Richards forced Lee into making a smart save diving low to his right from 18 yards before the home support were again brought to their feet, this time to show their appreciation for Gnanduillet who was replaced by Marc Richards.

Mildenhall tipped an O’Shea shot over the bar as the Spireites picked up a much-needed three points.

Spireites: Lee; Brindley, Smith, Trotman, Cooper; O’Shea, Townsend (Whitaker 84), Togwell, Hird (c); Lester (Darikwa 72), Gnanduillet (Richards 80)

Subs not used: Barrington, Clark, Randall, Henshall

Rovers: Mildenhall; Smith, Woodards (Hitchcock 52), Perkes (c), Richards, Brown, Norburn, Anyinsah (Broghammer 45), Brunt (Tounkara 71), McCrystal, O’Toole

Subs not used: Patterson, Harrison, Gough, McDonald

Referee: Mick Russell

Attendance: 4,814 (640)