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Match Previews

Preview: Fleetwood Town

23 October 2012

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Overview –

Chesterfield head into Tuesday night's game following an impressive 1-0 away win at Exeter courtesy of Huddersfield loanee Chris Atkinson's 32nd minute header.  The Spireites had been in otherwise disappointing form before that, having lost three out of their last four matches in October. 

The young Terrier gave Tommy Wright's side all three points against struggling Aldershot a fortnight prior and had Craig Westcarr, Tendayi Darikwa and second-half substitute Mark Randall not found Exeter keeper Artur Krysiak in such inspired form, they could have won much more handsomely in Devonshire.

Fleetwood, meanwhile, have been in impressive form since their promotion from the Conference last season and the Cod Army currently find themselves occupying third spot in League Two.

Micky Mellon's side make the trip to Derbyshire without a win in their last three games, however, having been held to a 1-1 home draw with struggling AFC Wimbledon on Saturday. Simon Gillespie gave the home side the lead after just nine minutes at Highbury, but Byron Harrison's seventh goal of the season ensured a share of the spoils for the Dons.

The Lancastrians had suffered a 1-0 reversal at home to Wycombe Wanderers, after coming back from 2-0 down to salvage a point against Cheltenham Town at Whaddon Road.

Team News –


Caretaker manager Tommy Wright is boosted by the return of striker Marc Richards, who has finally recovered from the ankle injury he sustained in the 4-3 win over Accrington Stanley over a month ago. The former Port Vale frontman made the long trip to Devonshire on Saturday and may even make the bench this evening.

Goalkeeper Tommy Lee is also closing in on his return, although he will have to work hard to replace former Sheffield Wednesday goalkeeper Richard O'Donnell, who was sublime at St James Park.

Craig Clay made his first league start for two years against The Grecians and the Scotsman is likely to keep faith in him, while fellow academy graduate Tendayi Darikwa should remain on the right after constantly tormenting Paul Tisdale's side on Saturday.

Veteran striker Jack Lester made a late cameo off the bench against Exeter, while Neal Trotman and Danny Whitaker also had to be content with a place amongst the substitutes. Mark Allott remains sidelined with a hamstring problem he picked up against Aldershot.

Fleetwood Town

Fleetwood expect to welcome back captain Steve McNulty. The Centre-back missed the Cod Army's back-to-back home games against Wycombe and AFC Wimbledon with a calf injury but is fit to return at the Proact.

Experienced midfielder Damien Johnson remains doubtful with a hamstring injury, while Shaun Beeley faces a late fitness test on the thigh problem that ruled him out of Saturday's 1-1 draw with AFC Wimbledon.

However, Dean Howell is set to continue at left-back having completed 90 minutes on his comeback from an ankle problem although Andy Mangan (knee) remains sidelined. Jon Parkin missed out on Saturday due to family reasons, but he could be set for a return in Derbyshire.

Last Time Out –


Exeter City 0-1 Chesterfield (Atkinson 32)

Chesterfield (4-2-3-1) - O'Donnell; Talbot, Hird (c), Forbes, Ridehalgh; Clay (Randall 65), Togwell; Atkinson (Smith 77), Darikwa, Boa Morte; Westcarr (Lester 80)

Unused Subs - Wilson, Trotman, Whitaker, Evans.

Fleetwood Town

Fleetwood Town 1-1 AFC Wimbledon (Gillespie 9; Harrison 62)

Fleetwood - Davies, McLaughlin, Mawéne, Edwards, Howell, Barkhuizen (McGuire 46), Johnson © (Nicholson 46), Fowler, Brown (Milligan 84), Ball, Gillespie.

Unused Subs - Maxwell, Goodall, Titchiner, Kinsella.

One to Watch -

Steven Gillespie

27-year-old striker Steven Gillespie arrived at Highbury in June and has notched three times in 12 appearances for the Cod Army.

He began his career with hometown club Liverpool after having a proven goalscoring record amongst schoolboy ranks, braking Robbie Fowler's goal-scoring record for Liverpool Schools before that was later broken by a youngster by the name of Wayne Rooney.

After struggling to impose himself at Melwood, he was released by the Reds and was quickly snapped up by then League One outfit Bristol City in 2004. However, he also struggled to find first-team opportunities at Ashton Gate and after scoring just once in 12 appearances, he joined Cheltenham Town on loan.

He immediately impressed for the Robins, scoring four goals in his first five appearances at Whaddon Road before adding a further five at the start of the 2005/06 season.

Gillespie signed a two-and-a-half year deal at Cheltenham but after bagging 21 goals in 67 appearances, he was sold to fellow League One club Colchester United for a club record fee of £400,000 after handing in a transfer request.

However, his first season in Essex was ravaged by injury despite banging in three goals in his first three starts for the U's. He struggled to make an impact under Aidy Boothroyd at the Community Stadium the following season, but when former Cheltenham boss John Ward took over, Gillespie returned to form with nine goals in 10 appearances.

He finished the 2011/12 season with 12 goals in all competitions, before joining the League Two newcomers in June.

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