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Match Report


Posted Sat 03 Oct 09 at 18:19 PM

Spireites 1 Stanley 0

John Sheridan began the match with an unchanged line-up, allocating a place on the bench to new signing David Perkins.

Of the two sides, Chesterfield looked more interested in attacking, with Stanley working hard at containment and breaking. Having said that, The Spireites seemed to lack a cutting edge to the stylish home play of recent weeks. Allott won an unproductive corner with a deflected shot after three minutes, but two of the game's three opening chances fell to Stanley players, with Symes seeing a shot deflected for a corner and Miles producing a shot from 25 yards that Lee saved.

Lester and Small made diverting runs on 16 that pulled the defence apart for McDermott, but his shot went over. Robertson was fouled on the left touchline on 19 but got up, won the ball back and put over a well-flighted cross that bounced in the six-yard box with no forwards close enough to show interest. A Stanley man fumbled the ball on the bye-line, though, and a corner resulted. Small broke through on 21 but his last touch was just too heavy and Dunbavin saved with his body, at the expense of a corner.

Referee Ilderton turned a blind eye to some shirt-pulling and Chesterfield claims for free kicks, and one sensed that he'd have done the same for both sides, but it led to frustration on Chesterfield's part, and when Page reacted angrily to the award of a Stanley free kick for a fair tackle by Niven on 25, he talked his way into the referee's notebook.

Lowry took the ball into the Stanley box on 28 and looked set to shoot, but cut the ball back intelligently for Small, whose placed shot was saved.

McDermott followed Page into the book on 29 for a foul on Winnard, born out of frustration rather than malice. Lowry chased a lost cause on 44 and crossed; the effort took Dunbavin by surprise, perhaps, for he was able only to palm the ball onto one of his own players. It was set to deflect into the waiting goal and Niven closed in to make sure, but a Stanley man cleared off the line.

Halftime: 0-0. Attendance: 3104 (91 from Accrington.)

Phil Picken was lucky to escape without any form of punishment when he brought Symes down on the edge of the penalty area, on 49. The wall stood firm against the ensuing free kick. Chesterfield were trying to up the pace and Kee was yellow-carded when he stood in front of a Chesterfield free-kick on 50. The ball was worked to Robinson for a cross that found Small; his shot crashed into the ground and up, nearly clearing the keeper, but Dunbavin's despairing fingertips just touched the ball over the bar.

David Perkins replaced Derek Niven on 61. Initial confusion between him and a team-mate let Stanley in and Lee was forced into a brave double-save to prevent the visitors from taking a lead from either Ryan or Kee.

Drew Talbot came on for Jack Lester after 70; Jack had chased the play across much of the park All afternoon, and Drew's fresh legs introduced extra width to the efforts to stretch Stanley. Perkins came more into the game after a skirmish with two Stanley men near the Pop Side and picked out Robertson with a fine ball; Gregor's cross was cleared for a corner.

Chesterfield were pressing, but showed no greater likelihood to score. Small broke the defence and raced clear on 78, only to blaze wide after doing the energetic side of the job. Stanley's defenders were blowing a bit, by now, and Symes was yellow-carded for kicking the ball away at a free kick.

Turner replaced Kee on 85. When a Stanley move broke down Small broke into the penalty area and went down under Dunbavin's challenge; a penalty resulted, and a yellow card for the keeper. Lamie Lowry blasted the ball hard, but easily within Dunbavin's reach, and he saved; Perkins was first out of the pack for the rebound, but he blazed over the crossbar.

Just as Chesterfield's chance seemed to be wasted, Wade Small won the game. In the 91st minute he took a fine McDermott pass on and lashed the ball past the stranded Dunbavin from around 12 yards. In a lacklustre game of few real chances, It was the only time the Stanley defence had really switched off, and they were punished for that. This was very much the sort of difficult game that The Spireites would have contrived to draw or lose in recent seasons and had Stanley been willing or able to match their defensive surety with more attacking endeavour, then the points might have gone back over the Pennines. As it was, Sheridan's Chesterfield side, which has shown us it can win handsomely, may also have found the knack of winning "ugly," too, and have climbed to sit just three points off the play-off places.

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