Liam Hoden: How in Chesterfield v Doncaster Rovers we finally got a sequel that lived up to the hype

Paul Keegan tackles Jimmy Ryan

Paul Keegan tackles Jimmy Ryan

0
Have your say

Sequels are rarely as good as the first instalment.

The first meeting between Rovers and Chesterfield this season was an epic. It had everything you could want from a compelling story: tension, action and plenty of drama. A sure-fire nominee for best game of the season.

Chesterfield vs Doncaster - Chesterfield manager Paul Cook and Doncaster manager Paul Dickov before the game - Pic By James Williamson

Chesterfield vs Doncaster - Chesterfield manager Paul Cook and Doncaster manager Paul Dickov before the game - Pic By James Williamson

Saturday’s reunion at the Proact had a lot to live up to. And, in the main, it delivered.

Just ten minutes in, it became an underdog story as the Spireites looked for a way back from falling two goals down through veteran players James Coppinger and Andy Butler.

Given a ray of hope through a goal back from superstar Eoin Doyle before half time, there were plenty of heart-in-the-mouth moments as Rovers went close on several occasions to killing off the Chesterfield challenge.

And then there was the last act drama. A late equaliser from ever-reliable Jimmy Ryan and even chances for a dramatic win for the hosts of an enthralling contest.

Chesterfield vs Doncaster - Doncaster's Luke McCullough holds off Jay O'Shea - Pic By James Williamson

Chesterfield vs Doncaster - Doncaster's Luke McCullough holds off Jay O'Shea - Pic By James Williamson

The main factor as to why the sequel failed to live up to the original was that both sides were not at their blistering best as they had been back in September.

Rovers lacked a killer touch and were disappointingly content with their early two goal blast rather than chasing an insurmountable lead.

And the Spireites, while excellent in midfield, struggled to create many clear cut chances throughout the 90 minutes.

What they did have however, was a star very much in the spotlight.

Doyle has emerged as one of the division’s most talked about names and he is likely to remain that way until at least 11pm tonight.

While predictably a threat on Saturday, it was his goal that highlighted just what a star he is.

It was not flashy, it is unlikely to get on many highlight reels but it was pure class. Controlling a lofted ball into the box from the brilliant Sam Morsy, under pressure, and slotting home into the corner.

Doyle is the glistening icing on a very tasty Chesterfield cake.

If he can be held onto beyond tonight’s transfer deadline, the Spireites’ top six hopes will have received a major boost.

How Rovers must have looked on enviously at seeing Doyle in Chesterfield blue.

What has developed into a very good side this season with a resolute defence and incredibly creative midfield is still lacking the real hero in attack to provide the goals. So ruthless in the first ten minutes, increasingly Rovers looked unfortunately toothless as the game wore on.

At the final whistle, a draw felt like a fair result. But on looking back at the plethora of missed chances from Doncaster, it really ought to have been their day again.

A one-on-one miss from the Curtis Main, who continues to frustrate as his performances fail to hit the high notes, was the best opportunity. But new boy Uche Ikpeazu rattled the post and missed a more difficult one-on-one of his own.

In Ikpeazu, Rovers have added something new to their arsenal, someone awkward, strong and rather skillful. If he can start to find the net he could be the inspiration behind Rovers joining Chesterfield in a play-off push.

Though supporters of both sides will have left with some degree of frustration that the game was not won, they will nevertheless departed the Proact thoroughly entertained.

Anyone who would sneer at the thought of watching League One football should be forced into watching a box set of Rovers v Chesterfield 2014-15. They would have trouble turning their noses up again.