Town leave themselves too much to do against Rotherham United
A disastrous four-minute spell in the first half left Chesterfield with too much to do in a friendly with Rotherham United that ended in a 3-1 defeat.
Town found themselves 2-0 down before the midway mark of the opening period and although the Millers added a goal late in the second half, Chesterfield were vastly improved after the break and found the net themselves through Chris O’Grady.
Half-time substitutions sparked a revival and plenty of chances for Town - but just the one goal.
Rotherham made a flying start, coming agonisingly close to the lead inside a minute, Jon Taylor driving a shot across the face of goal that Joe Anyon did well to touch past the post.
The Millers laid seige to the Town penalty area in the opening five minutes, Lee Frecklington curling a low shot wide and Michael Ihiekwe seeing his effort cleared off the line by Sam Hird.
Another curled shot from Frecklington didn’t miss by much before, unsurprisingly, Rotherham took the lead.
Town will have been kicking themselves at the manner in which they conceded, a quick throw in allowing Kieffer Moore to steal in behind Laurence Maguire and slide the ball across the area where David Ball arrived to score, via the post.
The second goal had even more calamity about it, a high ball tempting Anyon out to the edge of his box where he collided with Maguire, Jon Taylor with a simple header into an empty net.
Gary Caldwell responded to the goal by withdrawing the struggling Maguire and sending on trialist Ellis Plummer in his place - but not before Ian Evatt had drawn a fine save from Richard O’Donnell with a powerful downward header.
The half-time break brought three more changes for Town, Jak McCourt, Louis Reed and Gozie Ugwu coming on to replace Connor Dimaio, Brad Barry and Delial Brewster.
And Chesterfield started quite brightly, a ball up to Chris O’Grady allowing him to turn and shoot at goal, the effort always rising however. Seconds later Mickael Latour put a cross to the back post and Scott Wiseman sliced his half volley off target.
The resurgence continued and should have resulted in a goal, Ugwu linking up with O’Grady and running onto his strike partner’s delightful through ball before seeing his shot blocked for a corner.
The Spireites were like a different side and spurned another glorious chance when Ugwu was played in on the right and squared across the box to Charlie Wakefield who put it over when a shot on target would have resulted in a goal.
Despite all their possession and attacking play, Chesterfield found themselves further behind after Rotherham’s first real attack of the second half - a lightning quick counter that saw Anthony Forde rampage down the left, hold off Latour and whip in a ball that Ryan Williams dinked over Anyon beautifully.
But there was a late reward for Town’s second half endeavour, a ball in from the right causing problems for the visiting defence, O’Grady pouncing to tuck the ball past O’Donnell.
Chesterfield: Anyon, Wiseman (McGinn 70), Evatt, Hird, Barry (McCourt 46), Maguire, Latour (Mitchell 81), Wakefield (Donohue 67), Dimaio (Reed 46), Brewster (Ugwu 46), O’Grady. Subs: Lee.
Rotherham United: O’Donnell, Emmanuel, Mattock (Purrington 54), Ajayi, Frecklington (Dom Ball 74), Ball (Williams 71), Taylor (Yates 71), Potter (Forde 66), Ihiekwe, Newell (Vaulks 66), Moore (Clarke-Harris 71). Subs: Wood, Fisher, Price, Belaid.
Referee: Mr James Adcock. Assistants: Mr Mark Jones, Mr Gareth Myers.
Goals: O’Grady 87; Ball 17, Taylor 21, Williams 79
Attendance: 2,498 (650 away)