Millers manager Paul Warne gave the clubs fringe players & a couple of first year pros the chance to impress in this evenings tie with near neighbours Chesterfield at NYS this evening. There were debuts for left back Akeem Hinds & centre back Emmanuel Onariase & the line up featured 10 changes from the weekends win over Northampton, only loanee Richie Towell remained. The atmosphere in a virtually empty New York Stadium (attendance 2043, the lowest crowd at NYS since it opened in 2012) bordered on eerie on a cold October evening.
League 2 strugglers Chesterfield under new boss Jack Lester started very well & deservedly gained the lead on 9 minutes after hesitancy between Onariase & Millers keeper O’Donnell allowed Spirites striker De Girolamo to lob the keeper & put his side one up. Chesterfield continued to dominate the rest of the first 45 minutes without creating much but their experienced centre back partnership of Ian Evatt & Scott Wiseman were keeping the Millers inexperienced strikers Clark-Harris & Yates very quiet. The Spirites could even have doubled their lead just before the interval but Midfielder Jak McCourt shot over the bar from a good position.
HT Rotherham 0 Chesterfield 1.
The Millers introduced their third debutant of the evening for the second half, young midfielder Ben Wiles replacing Towell. The second half started in the same vein as the first with Chesterfield in control, repelling the Rotherham attacks with relative ease. Warne must have seen enough as just after the hour mark the ineffective Clark-Harris & equally disappointing winger Alex Bray were replaced by first teamers Joe Newell & David Ball. After 71 minutes of drudgery the Millers had their first meaningful effort on goal but Yates shot straight at Chessy keeper Anyon but suddenly in the next attack, good work from Antony Forde down the right who squared the ball to be swept into the net by midfielder Will Vaulks & the Millers were level.
Soon after a sliderule Jerry Yates ball saw sub David Ball shoot inches wide & the young Millers side looked to be gaining the upper hand, but after they had three successive corners without reward they were cought with a classic 88th minute sucker punch when a Jordan Flores quick break & cross was headed in by McCourt to give Chesterfield the win that in truth they deserved. From a Millers fans point of view it was disappointing that some of the fringe players didn’t take their chance to impress but there were positives in the form of Akeem Hinds at left back & the fine second half performance of midfielder Ben Wiles, both academy graduates.
FT Rotherham 1 Chesterfield 2