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12:37 17th July 2013

Bristol Rovers earned a solid point against Chesterfield at the Memorial Stadium this afternoon.

It was a slow start, but both sides upped the tempo and played some good football in the second half.

With five minutes to go Chesterfield were reduced to 10 men after Eoin Doyle was given a second yellow for a challenge on Alefe Santos.

John Ward made two changes to the side that lost to Accrington in midweek.

Eliot Richards and Alefe Santos came into the side to replace Ellis Harrison and Alex Henshall, who both dropped to the bench.

Both teams looked edgy and slow to settle in the early stages of the game.

The first real effort from Rovers came after some good work down the right, but John-Joe O’Toole fired over from the edge of the area.

At the other end, Steve Mildenhall was called to make an easy save, as he came to gather a cross from Jamie Devitt.

A free kick for Chesterfield saw a quality ball played into the box, but it managed to evade everyone and go wide of the upright.

There were very few incidents to report in the first half, with lot of play in the middle of the park, but not much action at either end.

Gary Roberts tried to chip Mildenhall, but the keeper palmed his effort out for a corner, and was able to easily gather from the set piece.

Chesterfield began putting the pressure on towards the end of the half, but Rovers managed to stay strong and go in 0-0 at the break.

Rovers’ first effort of the second half again fell to O’Toole, but the midfielder was not able to get his shot on target.

Chesterfield responded immediately, Eoin Doyle found himself one on one with the keeper, but he fired over.

Rovers won their first corner with the hour mark approaching, but the goalkeeper plucked the ball out of the air unchallenged.

Chesterfield nearly took the lead after a mix up in the Rovers’ box. Lockyer let the ball go over his head, Doyle nipped in between the defender and the keeper, but the ball eventually went out for a free kick.

Mildenhall then pulled off a fantastic save to deny Gary Roberts for the visitors with his outstretched leg, before the follow up shot was blocked by a Chesterfield player.

It was real end to end stuff as the game approached the 65 minute mark, with both teams upping the tempo, and the crowd responding.

Lockyer did well to keep the ball in down the left, crossed into the penalty area, but the Chesterfield goalkeeper beat the Rovers players to the ball.

Some good play between Santos and Smith, saw the ball crossed into the box, but the keeper easily gathered.

Then Ryan Brunt let fly with a first time effort from the edge of the box, but it kept rising and flew into the Blackthorn End.

James Ryan appeared out of nowhere to shoot from 35 yards for the visitors, but Mildenhall was able to punch away, and Will Packwood cleared.

Chesterfield were then reduced to ten men with five minutes to go after Doyle picked up his second yellow for his challenge on Santos.

Ollie Clarke had a fantastic effort on the 90 minute mark, but his powerful shot was palmed out for a corner by the keeper.

Bristol Rovers: Steve Mildenhall, Michael Smith, Tom Parkes, Will Packwood, Tom Lockyer, Ollie Clarke, John-Joe O'Toole, Seanan Clucas, Alefe Santos, Ellis Harrison, Ryan Brunt.

Substitutes: Conor Gough, Oliver Norburn, Pat Keary, Mitch Harding, Josh Southway, Ellis Harrison, Alex Henshall.

Chesterfield: Tommy Lee, Tendayi Darwika, Ian Evatt (Sam Hird), Liam Cooper, Ritchie Humphries, Jamie Devitt (Marc Richards), Sam Morsy (Oliver Banks), Jame Ryan, Eoin Doyle, Gary Roberts, Armand Gnanduillet

Substitutes: Aaron Chapman, Nathan Smith, Ryan Edwards, Gary McShefferey


    For the first 50 years of their existence, England played their home matches all around the country.