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Match Report


Posted Sat 27 Feb 10 at 18:19 PM

Spireites 0 Shots 1

Chesterfield opted to remain unchanged from the side that won at Crewe on Wednesday. The visitors were the first to show and might have taken the lead in the first three minutes; Lee slipped when taking a goal kick and the ball screwed to Straker, who ran it back towards the edge of the penalty box before shooting. Lee redeemed himself with a neat diving save. From the resulting corner a Hilton header was saved on the line by Lee.

The Shots put five in midfield to begin with, so Chesterfield appeared to counter by dropping Allott to just in front of his own back four, perhaps trying to invite the Shots' midfield to push on and leave space between themselves and their own back line. The Shots encouraged Harding to sit in front of his centre-halves, too; he mopped a lot of the long ball up and, for most of the half, Charles and Winfield had little to do.

Charles shot over the bar from close range on 8 and Chesterfield fashioned their best chance of the half a minute later, although there was an element of luck in it. Whaley's cross rebounded off a Shots defender at the far post and Talbot directed a header goalwards, but Henderson stood firm to push it away; Allott drove the loose ball narrowly over the bar.

Goodall made an important block on 22 to deny Hilton. Aldershot were setting the agenda and seeing more of the ball but were being forced to shoot from distance, and Lee was able to cope with everything that came his way.

Talbot broke on 24 and found Whaley, whose shot was deflected but safely held by Henderson, and a Rundle shot was tipped over for a corner on 29. For the most part, though, Chesterfield were unable to do much to threaten Aldershot's comfort in a lacklustre first half.

Halftime: 0-0. Attendance 3583.

Chesterfield began the second half with a little more purpose. A Whaley free kick was headed out for a corner while the same player received a short free kick from Rundle and struck the ball goalwards, only to see it blocked by the wall for another corner. Rundle crossed to Page at the back post and he headed back across goal, just out of the reach of the despairing Talbot.

Aldershot brought Jackson on for Hudson after 62 and his first involvement led to a cross that Hilton headed goalwards without the impediment of a Chesterfield challenge: the ball squeezed in between Lee and the post to give Aldershot the lead.

Niven and Boden replaced Green and Conlon as Chesterfield changed their approach. Hilton was booked for delaying a free kick on 69. Niven headed a decent Whaley cross wide on 72. Spencer came on for Hilton after 76.

Small replaced Rundle after 82 and Chesterfield mounted a late attempt to recover something from the game; Whaley had a cross charged down for a corner on 87 and the same player's driven crossed passed a yard from the Aldershot goal without anyone applying the finishing touch. With full time approaching Whaley set Goodall up for a shot that flashed narrowly wide, despite the full-back's admirably composed effort.

The final whistle brought unmuted celebrations from the Aldershot side, while their correspondents rated the win as their best performance of the season. That is no consolation, of course, but it does indicate how far Chesterfield have come since the days when below-par performances against a visiting five-man midfield were reluctantly accepted by supporters as the norm. A few boos rang out in frustration but the obvious disappointment of Chesterfield's players on leaving the field told its own story.

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