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Match Report


Posted Tue 22 Feb 11 at 22:25 PM

Bantams 0 Spireites 1

Deane Smalley's first half strike proved vital as John Sheridan's side extended their lead further at the top of League Two, although Chesterfield were made to work for the three points as Peter Taylor's side inflicted some serious pressure late on.

After an impressive display at Sincil Bank at the weekend, the Spireites were forced into change heading into the Bantams fixture. Defender Simon Ford was the only casualty from Saturday's winning starting XI as he missed out with a calf strain picked up during the Imps clash.

The former SPL player was replaced with Deane Smalley as the in-form forward returned back from his brief suspension picked up during the recent Bury encounter.

Manchester City loanee Javan Vidal returned back amongst the substitutes bench after overcoming a virus, pushing first year pro Craig Clay back out of contention. Regular duo Dwayne Mattis and Mark Allott also missed out with injuries for the second consecutive match.

After impressing in just his second start of the season on Saturday against the Imps, striker Scott Boden was rewarded with his third as winger Drew Talbot maintained the captain's armband and his 'new' right back position.

Within the opening few minutes Chesterfield made their intentions felt as Deane Smalley cut inside the Bantams back four after some neat foot-work and fired a rasping effort goal bound, but the chance was diverted wide via the leg of Tom Adeyemi.

Ian Morris tried his luck from distance moments later as the Bantams defence gifted the Iron loanee masses of time to unleash a 35-yard shot, but the ball flew past the fully stretched Lenny Pidgeley and his left hand side post.

Gareth Evans had the first inkling of the evening for Bradford on 10 minutes but Tommy Lee was more than equal to the lowly driven shot just inside the Spireite 18-yard-box.

The breakthrough came just six minutes later when Kieran Djilali's expert 'Championship' vision picked out the on running legs of Smalley on the opposition flank, who proceeded to smash the ball first time past the helpless Pidgeley.

Kieran Djilali

Gregor Robertson was unlucky not to pick up an assist after his dangerous in-swinging cross beat the Bantams defence, but unfortunately for the Spireite left-back his team-mates failed to connect.

Kevin Ellison struck the Spireite woodwork just after the half-hour mark when his cross-turned-shot caught Lee off guard but luckily avoided the Chesterfield goal mouth as the ball was cleared to safety.

Off the resulting clearance Craig Davies looked certain to make it three in three after cutting inside for a trademark Davies strike but Chesterfield's leading marksman failed to beat Pidgeley in the Bradford goal.

The Spireites continued their dominance and should have doubled their lead when Davies' flick on found Djilali at the back post unmarked, but the Palace loanee fired the ball straight into the goalkeeper's arms.

John Sheridan's side ended the first half the better of the two and with a deserved lead to complement their first half performance.

HT: Bradford City 0 Chesterfield 1

The home side came out of the re-start with a more positive approach on the game and instantly forced Lee into action when the Bantams captain, Michael Flynn, fired an effort straight into the keeper's arms.

Goalscorer Smalley almost turned provider when his whipped ball went straight across the Bantams six-yard box causing Bradford problems, but the cross was eventually turned away for a corner before a white shirt could react.

Substitute Jack Speight came close to levelling the match up when he easily turned his white marker and fired a shot over the bar.

Bradford had Lewis Hunt to thank for not being two down when Boden played Djilali in on goal but the centre half timed his tackle to perfection to deny any such possibility.

Speight again came close to breaking Bradford's deadlock when Luke O'Brien's long throw picked out the lively sub inside the Chesterfield penalty area, but the chance was wasted as his volley rocketed over the bar.

Adeyemi latched onto James Hanson's headed flick moments later but Lee was on guard to deny any such Bradford opening as the home continued to enjoy their brightest spell of the match yet.

With the clock counting down Bradford proceeded to push forward and put the Spireites under a considerable amount of pressure during the final stages of the match but Sheridan's side held their cool to break the 60 point mark in League Two.

FT: Bradford City 0 Chesterfield 1

Att: 10,782 (446 away)

Match Report: Adam Hulme…Follow Adam on Twitter @adamhulmecfc

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