Despite the weekend’s disappointment and an ever-growing injury list, Rovers named an unchanged starting eleven for the visit of Chesterfield and former manager Dean Saunders, still yet to convince the Spirite faithful.
A nondescript first half was notable only for Rovers 72% possession rate, but again the lack of end product took the shine off matters, especially given Chesterfield’s only two chances had both times almost resulted in a goal.
In contrast, the opening of the second half proved a lively, end to end contest of near misses and counter attacks, before Rovers once again began to dominate. After a prolonged period of one-way traffic, the inevitable breakthrough came when Felipe Mattioni broke into the box and won a soft penalty for handball. Nathan Tyson’s spot-kick hit the keeper but thankfully he was first on hand to convert the rebound.
Saunders’ reaction was to make a triple substitution – booed by the visiting fans – switching to an ambitious 3-4-3 in order to redress the deficit. However this also left them vulnerable, and on 69 minutes, another quick Rovers counter from Cedric Evina split the defence, Andy Williams making no mistake with the pull-back.
Essentially this was game over, Chesterfield’s efforts fading away and Rovers cruising towards the whistle. This was epitomised in injury time when substitute Cameron Stewart pounced on a defensive howler, leaving him in acres of space to slot home a third, securing Rovers’ biggest win of the season for which they were more than good value.