Chesterfield 1 Doncaster Rovers 1: Darren Ferguson urges players to keep believing

DONCASTER ROVERS manager Darren Ferguson has told his players to keep believing despite seeing their hopes of staying up dealt a blow by a Chesterfield side moving closer to survival.

BLEAK TIMES: Doncaster Rovers manager, Darren Ferguson

The League One relegation battle at the Proact Stadium ended 1-1 and leaves Doncaster five points adrift of safety with three games left, while Chesterfield are five points clear of the bottom four.

It looked so good for Doncaster when they scored in the sixth minute through Tommy Rowe, but Chesterfield hit back in the 18th minute when Gboly Ariyibi fired in off a post from 10 yards.

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“It’s a disappointing result but not a disappointing performance,” said Ferguson.

“Apart from a 10-minute spell after they equalised I thought we were completely dominant and find it hard to believe we didn’t win.

“I thought we should have had a penalty and don’t know why the goal was disallowed but I don’t want to moan too much about the officials.

“I felt we had to win our last five games and we certainly need to win the last three to give us a chance but that will give us a chance. I think if we win the last three we can stay up.

“The performances are good but we have to get the wins. I’ve said to the players to keep believing and getting to this level of performance.”

After a bright start from Rovers, static Chesterfield defending allowed forward Rowe to volley home at the back post. But Ariyibi found the leveller on 18 minutes as the American youth international reacted quickest to turn home after Jay O’Shea’s initial effort was saved by Remi Matthews.

Rovers had strong shouts for a penalty just after the half-hour mark when a challenge on Gary McSheffrey sent him sprawling, but referee David Webb immediately waved away the protests.

Andy Williams wasted a glorious chance just before the break as he headed Richard Chaplow’s wide from just a few yards out. Much-needed luck was definitely not on Doncaster’s side as they were denied a goal on 49 minutes as James Coppinger’s effort was ruled out for a foul.

Chesterfield: Lee, Raglan, Hird, Anderson, Talbot, Campbell-Ryce (Ebanks-Blake 73), Banks, Liddle, Ariyibi, O’Shea (Herd 90), Novak. Unused substitutes: Dimaio, Donohue, Chapman, Simons, Slew.

Doncaster: Matthews, Lund, Alcock, Butler, Evina, McCullough, Coppinger, Rowe, Chaplow (Calder 82), Williams (Tyson 82), McSheffrey. Unused substitutes: Stuckmann, Taylor-Sinclair, Mandeville, Stewart, Middleton.

Referee: David Webb.