MATCH REPORT: Chesterfield suffer defeat and injury blow against Middlesbrough
Chesterfield suffered defeat and an injury blow in the final outing of their pre-season tour in Portugal.
Championship club Middlesbrough ran out 2-0 winners at Complexo Desportivo but the big negative for Town was a serious-looking injury for Joe Rowley.
The midfielder left the game in the first half and headed to the hospital with a suspected dislocated shoulder after taking a heavy fall on the Vila Real de Santo Antonio pitch.
Boro took the lead on 15 minutes in somewhat controversial fashion, Town claiming for a foul in their own box that wasn’t given, Cristhian Stuani firing past Joe Anyon.
Chesterfield settled after the goal, without ever getting a grip on possession but nor were they unduly troubled by their opponents.
But the game was disrupted in worrying scenes as Rowley went down under a challenge by Alex Baptiste and remained on the grass in agony.
The teenage midfielder, having been treated by both sets of team medics, was eventually helped from the pitch with his shoulder cradled in a bandage, breathing into an oxygen mask.
Chesterfield had a couple of bright moments and possession in and around the Boro area before Brad Barry was released down the right and his cross was too high for Dion Donohue.
At the other end that had another reminder of Middlesbrough’s attacking threat when a ball over the top was sent flashing over the top by Stuani on the volley.
Gary Caldwell made three changes at the break, bringing on Sam Hird, Charlie Wakefield and Ricky German in place of Ian Evatt, Donohue and Chris O’Grady.
His opposite number Garry Monk took the opportunity to look at a completely different set of players, making 11 changes.
Two substitutes were quickly into the action, Boro’s Gaston Ramirez with two efforts off target and Spireite German getting in behind after a Gozie Ugwu flick on, drawing a good save from Connor Ripley.
Middlesbrough went further ahead 12 minutes after the break, Laurence Maguire getting into trouble in the box and hauling back Adama Traore to concede a penalty.
Patrick Bamford took the spot-kick and sent it high into Joe Anyon’s net for a 2-0 lead.
They could have added to it midway through the half when Town lost the ball in sloppy fashion and Hird had to fly into a block to keep a Ramirez shot out.
There were further changes for Chesterfield, including one enforced swap as German departed with a knock, Jack Brownell taking his place.
As a contest it fizzled out in the second half, Boro well in control of both territory and possession for the vast majority.
Chesterfield had a minor resurgence late on, winning a free-kick and then a corner that was wasted, before Connor Dimaio sent a shot miles over the bar.
Boro had the final say, Bamford blasting over the top to spurn another good chance after good work from Traore and Hird then made a wonderful goalline clearance to deny Harry Chapman in the final incident of note.
Chesterfield: Anyon, Wiseman, Evatt (Hird 46), Maguire (Smith 80), Bradley (McGinn 67), Donohue (Wakefield 46), Rowley (McCourt 36), Dimaio, Reed (Mitchell 67), O’Grady (German 46) (Brownell 80), Ugwu (Brewster 67). Subs: Parkin, McGinn, Smith, Mitchell, Brownell, Brewster.
Middlesbrough: Konstantopoulos; Fabio, Fry, Gibson, Baptiste; Clayton, Leadbitter; Forshaw, Soisalo, Stuani; Gestede. Second half: Ripley, Christie, Ayala, Mahmutovic, Friend, Howson, De Roon, Ramirez, Traore, Tavernier, Bamford.
Goals: Stuani 15, Bamford 57
Yellows: Dimaio 74