A LATE goal sentenced Rotherham United to defeat against League Two strugglers Chesterfield in the Checkatrade Trophy.
Trailing to Diego De Girolamo’s early strike, the Millers hit back to equalise through Will Vaulks in the second half only for Jak McCourt to swoop to hand the visitors a 2-1 win in front of a crowd of only 2,043 at the AESSEAL New York Stadium.
Only Richie Towell was retained from Saturday as Paul Warne gave squad members time to impress. There was a debut for centre-half Emmanuel Onariase, the summer signing from Brentford, and Academy product Akeem Hinds was also given a start.
No-one pressed their case in a dire first half in which the only action of note was the opening goal, lobbed in by Bristol City loan man De Girolamo after nine minutes.
It took young Ben Wiles, brought on for his debut at half time, to provide a bit of inspiration with a lovely ball that set Jonson Clarke-Harris free, only for the striker to stab straight at the keeper.
The fresh legs of Joe Newell and David Ball added extra impetus and Newell was involved in the equaliser on 71 minutes. Josh Emmanuel crossed deep and Newell knocked the ball back for Vaulks to slam in from close range and then treat the fans to his trademark somersault.
Rotherham were on top and Chesterfield, urged on by new boss Jack Lester, posed only the occasional threat until they stitched together a good 89th minute move that ended with Jordan Flores crossing for McCourt to nod beyond the dive of Richard O’Donnell.
The result left the Millers with two defeats from their opening two Group F games.
Millers: O'Donnell; Emmanuel, Hinds , Ajayi, Onariase Bray (Newell 64), Vaulks, Towell (Wiles 46), Forde; Clarke-Harrisn (Ball 64), Yates
Chesterfield: Anyon, Barry, Kellett, Wiseman, Evatt, Rowley (Sinnott 57), De Girolamo, Flores, McCourt, O'Grady, Weir
Referee: D. Handley
Attendance: 2,043 (227 visitors)