Report: Chesterfield 4 Doncaster Rovers 0 - Alfie May sent off in poor pre-season closer

Alfie May's sending off ensured Rovers ended their pre-season campaign on a sour note with a disappointing defeat at Chesterfield.

By The Newsroom
Saturday, 29th July 2017, 5:53 pm
Updated Monday, 11th September 2017, 12:44 pm
Matty Blair tussles with Chesterfield's Dion Donohue. Picture: Andy Roe
Matty Blair tussles with Chesterfield's Dion Donohue. Picture: Andy Roe

Goals from Kristian Dennis, Delail Brewster, Gozie Ugwu and Reece Mitchell handed a much deserved win to Chesterfield.

In an encounter largely dominated by the League Two hosts, Rovers were lacklustre and ponderous - a word away from their fine showing against Sheffield Wednesday in midweek.

A rare friendly red card just before the breal kicked some life into the game but, in truth, it was Rovers who needed an injection of energy.

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It would not have been too much of a stretch to say the majority of the starting XI would find themselves in the second string of the Rovers come the start of the season.

And not many of them did themselves any favours with a performance that hardly commanded the attention.

They barely mustered a single shot on target between them with the attacking side of the performance leaving a lot to be desired.

Of the side that faced Wednesday earlier in the week, Marko Marosi, Andy Butler, Craig Alcock, Niall Mason and Matty Blair were the only survivors.

Chesterfield start the better and rarely looked back, adopting a shoot on sight policy.

Jordan Sinnott was the first to try his aim from distance after Mason's misplaced pass but saw his effort deflect over.

Gozie Ugwu then headed over the bar from a Louis Reed cross before the Sheffield United loanee had a go himself, drilling low from 25 yards which Marosi saved well.

Their best opportunity drew an excellent save from Marosi when Chris O'Grady smashed a shot which the Slovakian youth international tipped over superbly.

The trigger for May's downfall came on the half hour mark when he failed to receive a decision from the officials after a tussle with Ian Evatt.

Moments later he flung himself into a challenge from behind on Jordan Sinnott, which would likely have earned more severe punishment in a competitive game than the yellow card he was shown.

It sparked a few fiery moments with May becoming the pantomime villain and Sheffield United loanee Reed earning brownie points from the home support by clattering into the forward.

Chesterfield's defence niggled away at May and it told. Charging after the ball on the touchline with Bradley Barry, May finished second in the race, brought the full back down and appeared to stamp on his leg.

Referee Mark Heywood darted over and flashed the red card.

Chesterfield pushed to make the advantage count before the break with Joe Wright and Butler both getting in blocks to deny Dennis and Ugwu.

The second half proved to be more of a fitness exercise for Rovers than anything else as they chased Chesterfield around the pitch.

Sinnott brought down a long ball with a superb touch and drilled a shot which Marosi did well to parry.

But Chesterfield finally broke the deadlock on 55 minutes. The ball fell kindly for Dennis in the middle of the box and he rattled the post with a shot before reacting quickest to turn in the rebound.

Marosi produced another fine save to deny Sinnott but, with 18 minutes left, Chesterfield made sure of the win.

Full back Dion Donohue cut through the Rovers defence with ease before squaring to substitute Brewster who slotted home from close range.

If the game was one way before, it became a procession afterwards with Chesterfield camped in the Rovers half.

And they grabbed a third with seven minutes left. Ugwu received a pass in the area, turned and drilled a rising shot which went through the hands of young substitute keeper Louis Jones.

The icing was put on the cake for the hosts two minutes later when Paul McGinn got in behind the Rovers defence and cut back to Mitchell who slammed in first time.

Chesterfield: Anyon (Lee 61), O'Grady (Wakefield 71), Barry (Mitchell 61), Evatt (Maguire 88), Weir (Brewster 57), Ugwu, Hird, Sinnott (McGinn 70), Dennis (McCourt 57), Donohue, Reed. Subs not used: Dimaio.

Rovers: Marosi (Jones 65), Blair (Walker 46), Wright (Townrow 84), Butler (Fletcher 46), Alcock, Mason (Garratt 46), Middleton, Ben Khemis (Fielding 66), McSheffrey, Williams (Scattergood 76), May.

Referee: Mark Heywood (West Yorkshire)

Attendance: 1,867 (350 away)