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CFC Crash Out Of The Cup!

By Lauren Walton
August 26 2004

Chesterfield crashed out of the 1st round of the Carling Cup away at Millmoor on Tuesday night. The spireites were hoping that the unbeaten record against the millers was to be extended and this looked to be the case when Mark Allott struck for the visitors early in the 1st half with his first goal. There was really no difference between the two teams, in fact Chesterfield looked the better side as they outclassed, outplayed and outshone the so called Championship side outfit! Chesterfield were the favourites last night before this fixture was played and it all looked to be going our way until some rather shifty defending allowed them to equalise just before the break! Mark Debolla coming close for the visitors, his shot rebounding off the crossbar and out of play. If it had have been lower, Mike Pollitt would have been beaten and this game could have looked a lot different. Caleb Folan didn’t feature in this derby clash due to him being granted compassionate leave. Debolla and N’Toya starting for the Blues. There was even the return from injury for Steve Blatherwick who came on as a sub, replacing the tiring O’Hare.

This derby clash had everything and was definitely not a game for the lighthearted, the Millers were a little over physical throughout the game, and the ref almost seemed to favour them. It seemed to be a case of, they tackle, we fall over and then there awarded the free kick. This certainly infuriated the travelling number of fans that had made the short journey, even more so with the return of ex Spireite Mike Pollitt!

Rotherham created very little until they equalised, which was nothing that they deserved. A fair tackle from one of the Chesterfield back four of, O’Hare, Nicholson, Evatt and Bailey saw the ref unfairly reward the home team with a free kick just on the edge of the box. From, which they went on to score. Carl was helpless and there was very little the back four could do other than watch the ball end up in the back of the net. Even then, Chesterfield remained the dominant force upfront, and in every other area. At halftime, the away support were baffled as to how exactly we were drawing, as we had many chances to wrap things up. By this time, we should have been at least 3 or 4-0 up from the chances that were on offer to us.

Debolla was unlucky to get on the score sheet last night, he ran his socks off and unfortunately to no avail and no reward, this time. I am sure when he gets one goal, this will kick start his season and he will go on to get many, many more. He was by no means quiet, the Rotherham big boys had a restless night, and the pace of Debolla and N’Toya seemed untouchable at times, except for the last gasp defending from Rotherham!

This game could have been one to remember but unfortunately the ref was not allowing this to happen. The linesmen were not aware of when the ball was in and out of play, the offside rule or which colour represented which team, I’m sure, well so it seemed anyway. Anyway the Spireites battled and gave it all their worth. Innes coming close with some solo efforts, his shots could have been directed a little better but still a valuable contribution.
The Spireites started the second half as they left the first, Rotherham looking rattled, but they certainly started to gain more possession. This was to be expected, however, with them supposedly being the ‘bigger’ club, this was not about to phase Chesterfield though! Carl came to the rescue to deny the home side anything to shout about for as long as he could but the more the game went on, the more Rotherham started to take control of the ball. That goal inevitably came after some spectacular play from Muggleton, but nothing could deny Rotherham this time, but the defence were at sixes and sevens. We had 10 minutes to get something from this game, remembering that if we could get it back even then we still had a chance to progress through to the next round. The scores remaining level, would be followed by extra time, then penalties.

Mark Debolla was replaced by Adam Smith who looked very lively when he came on, many were saying that he should have been put on at an earlier stage when the Spireites needed an injection of new activity upfront. He made his usual surges upfront, trying to play in N’Toya who had a busy night. Jamal, trying to inject some ideas into midfield, at times there looked not to be one but he wouldn’t stop until the final whistle. The visitors took some more solo efforts from Tcham and Innes, again but Pollitt was unfortunately having a blinder, and as we knew so well that it was going to take something pretty spectacular to beat this, once a favourite in the promotion winning season for many Spireites fans. He had some comfortable saves to make, even thought the Spireites fans tried to deter him, their efforts were not successful.

Final score: Rotherham 2 Chesterfield 1, the Millers now go into the second leg, away to Notts Forest.

Verdict: A very pleasing performance from all involved tonight. We played with steel and looked the better side through 90% of the game. If the chances that were created and there were plenty had been supported with class A finishes then this game would not have ended the way it did. This was a match we didn’t deserve to lose but we will play teams with less calibre than Rotherham have, and beat them, especially the manner in which every player that played treated the game. The support was very pleasing, and the atmosphere was second to none, very encouraging to the players. Whether Rotherham just deserved that win will be questionable, I thought they were very lucky and didn’t, also the money that this run would have inevitably generated would have been gladly welcomed but I guess now we’ll never know. We now need to concentrate our efforts on this weekends clash away at Valley Parade where the Spireites will be hoping to put this cup exit behind them and pick up 3 all important points at Saturday! Wayne Allison also looks set to be ready for selection for this weekend but will he make the first 11? Your guess is as good as mine!

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