A pleasantly mild but satisfyingly moist afternoon greeted the teams like a buxom barmaid, eager to please. Rovers’ recent form has been fairly flaccid, but after a quick toss the match started with Rovers – kicking towards the North Stand’s seething Chesterfield mass – passing it about like Milan in the late 80s.
Six minutes on the watch and Rovers were ahead; Nathan Tyson pouncing on a rebound.
Midway through the half Saturday Santa was spotted on his way to the toilet, unbuttoning his pockets as he went.
On thirty-three minutes it was 2-0, thanks to a gazelle-like Richie Wellens crossing for Kyle Bennet to crash in off the crossbar.
In the half’s dying embers Chesterfield were all over Rovers like a cheap suit and Sam Clucas pulled one back whilst the linesman looked sheepishly on.
Half-time and pork pies all round.
James Coppinger was always a threat, hugging the touchline like DLT at Granada Studios, and on forty-nine minutes rattled the post with a rasping drive.
Shortly after it was 3-1; Jamie McCombe reacting first to stab home after good work from Coppinger.
Chesterfield were back in it on the hour, the prolific Eoin Doyle prodding home an almighty scramble.
The Spirerites’ tails were really wagging and the final ten minutes were as exciting as you could hope for with both sides pressing for another goal.
A wasted chance at the death didn’t enhance Theo Robinson’s reputation, but Rovers had their win and Paul Dickov’s hair was safe for another week.
by Stu Leyland