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Chesterfield Suffer Defeat Against Town

7 August 2012

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Chesterfield continued their pre-season preparations with a 3-0 defeat against Championship new boys Huddersfield Town, but manager John Sheridan will certainly take the positives from a much improved second-half display.

The home side found themselves two goals down inside 23 minutes courtesy of goals from veteran striker Alan Lee and strike-partner Jimmy Spencer, but the Spireites continued to plug away and were unfortunate not to breach the visitors' resistance on several occasions after the break.

Second-half substitute Jordan Sinnott also added a harsh gloss on the scoreline with just three minutes remaining, as the Terriers demonstrated a masterclass in clinical finishing to inflict the Spireites' second successive pre-season defeat.

Sheridan chose to name an unchanged side from the one that suffered a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Conference National side Alfreton Town on Friday night and talisman Jack Lester returned to the bench after suffering from fitness problems last season.

But it was Huddersfield who flew out of the traps and they took the lead after just six minutes courtesy of giant forward, Lee. He had earlier come close with a header and the former Crystal Palace man was on hand to give the Yorkshire side the lead when he followed up Jimmy Spencer's shot, which had bounced back off the upright.

It was a disappointing opening for the Spireites, but they conjured up their first half-chance through playmaker Mark Randall in the 20th minute, when he fired over after receiving the ball in space from Drew Talbot.

The visitors soon asserted themselves on the game once again though and just three minutes later, they doubled their advantage. Terriers striker Lee this time showed his ability in the build-up, glancing a header out wide for Scott Arfield to beat Terrell Forbes and cross for Spencer to angle his header past a despairing Tommy Lee.

Simon Grayson's side had yet to win in pre-season so far, but with a mouth-watering clash against Barcelona's second string at the John Smith's Stadium on Wednesday evening they had shown all the hallmarks of top class finishing having scored from their only two chances.

The League Two side responded immediately after falling two goals down, however, and skipper Sam Hird was unfortunate not to direct Randall's free-kick goalwards before Talbot denied Lee his second with a superb header following Spencer's teasing cross.

The full-back then showed his attacking prowess minutes later, galloping down the right after exchanging passes with Craig Westcarr and when his cross eventually found Sam Togwell, the former Scunthorpe United midfielder sent his curling effort narrowly wide with Town stopper Ian Bennett at full-stretch.

Danny Whitaker then forced Bennett into his first save just after the half-hour when he got the better of right-back Tom Clarke, but he could only whip his effort straight into the clutches of the 40-year-old keeper.

Sheridan's side had began to show more promise since falling two goals behind, but they were fortunate not to concede a third just before the break when Lee's clever flick found strike-partner Spencer but he could only smash his effort over after he had rolled Hird's challenge.

The manager plumped to make just one solitary change at the break, introducing Tendayi Darikwa in place of striker Jordan Bowery, as both Westcarr and Talbot shuffled further forward and it was so very nearly a masterstroke as Talbot saw his effort crash back off the face of the crossbar when Grayson's side failed to clear Togwell's long throw-in.

Talbot was certainly the Spireites' most attacking threat and he went close again 10 minutes after the restart when met Whitaker's corner with a downward header, but Town had enough red shirts in the six-yard box to scramble the danger clear.

Chesterfield had begun the second-half much the better side and would have pulled a goal back, had it not been for a terrific double-save from Bennett. Firstly, he palmed away Whitaker's low drive at the near post after the former Latics winger burst through on the far side and he was up on his feet quickly to deny Westcarr's follow up.

But with Mark Allott on in place of Randall and Scott Boden replacing the quiet Marc Richards, the Spireites probed for a route back into the game and Whitaker once again came close when drifted infield before dragging his shot wide of the far post.

Lester returned to action with 10 minutes remaining to rapturous applause from the Spireites faithful, but it was Huddersfield substitute Sinnott that would have a fairytale introduction after he beat Darikwa with a deft touch before his shot squirmed beneath the sprawling Lee to condemn the home side to defeat.

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