Chesterfield gave debuts to three players at Leyton Orient today, bringing in Jimmy Juan, James Hurst and David Davis, while Scott Boden was also given a start. The men replaced were Mark Allott, Jack Lester, Alex Mendy And Jack Lester. Positional changes were made to enable this starting line-up:
Hurst, Trotman, Robertson, Ridehalgh
Talbot, Juan, Davis, Whitaker
Fleming, Smith, Niven, Mendy, Lester.
Chesterfield showed first and Forbes had to come across the area to deal with a decent cross from Ridehalgh in the second minute. The Spireites' early line-up appeared to have Bowery on his own up front, with Boden wider on the left and Whitaker playing at the tip of a diamond, just behind the front men.
Orient had the opportunity to get the ball into the box from a free kick on 3 but a foul in the area negated this. Whitaker took the visiting side's first corner after good work by Hurst on 5 and aimed for Talbot, but the ball was cleared.
Chesterfield were trying to move the ball quickly from flank to flank but control was sometimes an issue among players not yet completely familiar with eachothers' games.
Chesterfield brought everyone but Bowery back for Orient's first corner, on 13. Trotman cleared and Whitaker got the ball to halfway. Orient were looking better but a quick Chesterfield break saw a Bowery cross to Boden near the back post headed down, but Whitaker couldn't get to the ball before it was cleared by Forbes.
Orient demanded a penalty when Ridehalgh's challenge on Smith appeared to win a bit more than just the ball, but the officials showed no interest and judged the Chesterfield man's play to be fair. Lee was tested on 18 when Lisbie drove a shot goalwards from short range. Lislbie again had a chance on 19, but shot wide; Orient were getting into the gaps between full-back and central defence and causing problems to the Chesterfield rearguard.
Cuthbert was bloodied by a Bowery challenge on 20. Orient won a free kick after Ridehalgh used an arm on Mooney on the edge of the area, on 25. Lee came but didn't get, but fortunately, Smith's touch was slight and a goal kick resulted. Chesterfield remained on the back foot with Lisbie looking dangerous, but the visitors battled to keep their hosts at bay. Whitaker took a free kick down by the corner of the Orient end on 34 but the keeper gathered with ease. Boden came close on 35, sending a curling shot just over after good work by Juan set him up.
Orient took the lead on 41 through Mooney, when he converted Cook's pass from close range. Chesterfield replied with a corner on 44; Whitaker's cross was flicked on by Juan at the near post but was cleared by an overhead kick from Cross. Davis went into the book on the stroke of halftime for a foul on Cox.
Halftime: Orient 1 Chesterfield 0.Attendance: 4174 (330 from Chesterfield.)
After using three in centre midfield for the first half, Chesterfield emerged with a more conventional 4-4-2 for the second. Orient came closest in the early exchanges, though, when Cook fired a shot just over the bar on 51. The visitors appeared to be functioning well enough on a defensive level, but they were lacking the power going forward to trouble the Orient defenders. As if to illustrate this, Boden took the ball after neat play on 58 but his attempted pass to Talbot was just too hard and was intercepted by Butcher in the Orient goal.
Bright play down the left involving Davis created a half-chance for Boden but the ball was cleared for a throw in. Lee was forced into a fine save by Lisbie's break through the defence on 63.
Each side made a substitution on 67. Laird replaced Cook for Orient, and Lester replaced Bowery for Chesterfield. Within seconds, Lester had a hand in Chesterfield's equaliser. Jack set up Ridehalgh for a cross that JIMMY JUAN converted in the centre after controlling the ball well. The game went up a notch in quality and effort from both sides. Orient won a corner on 70 that Trotman cleared. Cox almost scored from nothing when he thundered a shot against the post from 25 yards on 72.
Lester was making a difference on and off the ball, urging his team-mates on. Juan fired a shot from around 30 yards and Butcher had to hold it, with Lester closing in for any loose stuff.
Orient replaced the dangerous Lisbie with Tehoue on 74. Talbot was forced to concede a corner as Orient pressed to restore their lead. Laird won the ball thirty yards out and found Mooney, whose curling effort was caught well by Lee. A ball over the top was not dealt with by Forbes, and Boden was just unable to intercept. Orient got the ball forward again and penalty shouts went up for handball against Robertson when the ball rolled down his chest.
Chesterfield were having to scrap for everything, but were doing so with more conviction than had been displayed in many previous games. Jamie Cureton, who often had the "evil eye" on Chesterfield while a Colchester player, came on for Mooney with seven minutes left.
Hurst fouled Tehoue 25 yards out and Cox floated it in; Trotman's clearing header was intercepted and Robertson had to block a shot on the line. Boden cleared the resulting corner and Lester laid it in for Whitaker. Chicksen was quicker to the ball but Whitaker won it back, only for the move to break down on the edge of the Orient area. The O's pressed forward but Lee took command, coming out to the edge of his area to claim the ball and calm things down.
A cross deflected off Hurst for an Orient corner on 89. Cox's corner was gathered by the imperious Lee. An intended cross from Cureton clipped the top of the bar and went out for a goal kick as the game entered the first of three minutes of stoppage time. Hurst again conceded a corner as the Chesterfield fans' nerves were stretched like guitar strings. Chesterfield couldn't get the ball away until McSweeney's cross was blocked by Ridehalgh. Orient tried to come back into Chesterfield's half again but the last moment of the game saw Whitaker bomb the ball away as Chesterfield held on for a hard point, well-earned and well-deserved.