Millers Lose Out In Last Minute
New York Stadium
3 October 2017 7.00pm
Attendance: 2,043 (227 Spireites)
Rotherham United made ten changes from the starting eleven that beat Northampton at the New York Stadium at the weekend with Paul Warne giving Manny Onariase and Academy player Akeem Hinds their debuts for the Millers.
After a slow start to the game the Millers got a free-kick on five minutes which Richie Towell took but saw his shot go wide before a ball from Jonson Clarke-Harris a minute later saw Jerry Yates beaten to it by Chesterfield 'keeper Joe Anyon. The visitors first real foray up field on nine minutes saw Diego De Girolamo get the ball on the edge of the area and looking up lobbed Millers' 'keeper Richard O'Donnell to open the scoring for the Spireites. On thirteen minutes the Millers got their first corner which Anthony Forde got into the area to Hinds who saw his shot well blocked by a blue shirted defender and going to safety. Forde got on the end of a loose ball and was pulled back for his troubles by Bradley Barry with the free-kick coming to nothing before a Flores cross for Chris O'Grady at the other end was intercepted by Semi Ajayi before the former Millers striker did well a minute later to get a shot away which was saved by O'Donnell. Some good work from Forde saw him send a ball towards Hinds whose shot was put behind for a corner which went straight out. On the half-hour mark Will Vaulks was fouled on the edge of the area by Robbie Weir with Clarke-Harris smashing the free-kick into the visitors wall and when the tall striker got it back he fouled Ian Evatt in the process. Five minutes before the break Josh Emmanuel raced down the pitch putting a cross just too far over which Hinds did well to get hold of but Barry did well to put the ball out for a throw. Minutes later Emmanuel sent the ball towards Towell but Anyon was there before him. After a crunching tackle from Vaulks on De Girolamo the resulting Spireites free-kick was headed away by Ajayi before a diving header at the other end from Evatt from a Forde cross kept the hosts out. In time added on a foul on Alex Bray saw a good cross from Forde again headed away to safety by Evatt.
The Millers started the second half with youngster Ben Wiles, making his debut, taking over from Richie Towell. The first chance of the half saw Jordan Flores lay the ball off for Jak McCourt who put his shot high from twenty yards out. Seven minutes in and substitute Wiles did well to cut inside but saw his shot go just wide of the post. At the other end a Bradley Barry throw in found Diego De Girolamo whose shot was blocked but fell to Chris O'Grady whose effort was well blocked by Semi Ajayi. Jonson Clarke-Harris had a header off target after beating Ian Evatt in the air to a cross from Will Vaulks. The first Chesterfield substitute of the night saw Jordan Sinnott replace Joe Rowley. On the hour mark the Millers had a good chance to level when Wiles slid the ball in for Clarke-Harris whose shot was saved by Joe Anyon. The final substitutes for the hosts saw Joe Newell replace Alex Bray with Clarke-Harris making way for David Ball. Newell was straight into the action taking a corner which was sliced away by O'Grady before Robbie Weir managed to boot it clear. At the other end a McCourt free-kick was headed back across goal by Evatt to O'Grady whose blocked shot went back to Evatt whose cross across goal found no-one. A minute later a shot from Jordan Sinnott appeared to be well saved by O'Donnell but the referee gave a goal-kick. The two hundred visiting supporters applauded Diego De Girolamo when he was replaced by Kristian Dennis. On seventy-one minutes some good work by Josh Emmanuel found Newell at the back post who stepped over the ball once, then twice before sending the ball to Will Vaulks who only had to tap the ball over the line from five yards out doing a somersault by way of a celebration. And it could have been two five minutes later when some good work from Forde got the ball across goal towards Jerry Yates but the young forward couldn't quite connect before the hosts won a couple of corner that came to nothing. Ball probably should have scored in the final ten minutes when Will Vaulks set Yates on his way who in turn found the Millers substitute whose shot went just wide before Anyon getting to a ball before Wiles a minute later. At the other end some good work from Dennis looked to set O'Grady up but the ball went behind him before Newell did well to get away from his marker to win a corner off Evatt. With the corner cleared the visitors counter-attacked with Flores and Sinnott doing well to get the ball out to McCourt who in turn found Dennis who shot over from some twenty-five yards out. When it looked like the game would be going to penalties Chesterfield went back into the lead with a minute to go when a Flores cross found the head of McCourt who put the ball into the net.
After a poor first half the Millers were much the better side in the second half and got back into the game so it was disappointing to lose the game in the final minute of the game.