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Youngsters Progress To Semi-Final

10 January 2013

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Chesterfield's youth team booked a place in the Midlands Youth Cup semi- final after progressing from the group stages following a 1-1 draw away at Lincoln City.

The young Spireites, who only needed a draw to qualify due to their superior goal difference, came from behind with Cormac Noel grabbing the equaliser.

It was sweet revenge for Chesterfield who were beaten 3-0 by Lincoln on last year's Midlands Youth Cup final at the Proact Stadium.

Chesterfield created a decent chance in the opening minute when Bradley Bowland showed great vision to pick out a clever run from Fabian Johnson. He went one-on-one with keeper Aaron Myles, who made a smart save.

Alex Hewitt then had an effort which was tipped out for a corner and Bowland also went inches away.

City responded well with midfielder Matt Cotton finding space on the edge of the box and curling a superb shot towards the top corner before it was clawed away by keeper Josh Barrington.

Bentley's boys should have taken the lead in the 21st minute after midfielder Mark Fereday found Bowland with a pin- point cross but his glancing header went just past the post.

Despite the young Spireites being in control of the game they fell behind. Fereday lost possession after Barrington had done superbly to deny Cotton and Aaron Rice found Jordan Thomas who spun past defender Tim Whittaker and smashed the ball into the roof of the net.

Bentley's team responded well and minutes later grabbed a deserved equaliser. Bowland tried to put Noel through and after the ball was initially blocked it rebounded off defender Luke Weaver and into the path of the pacy Noel who calmly slotted past Myles.

Bowland could have put Chesterfield in the lead just before half-time when a cross from Jamie McNicholas took a huge deflection into the path of Bowland who stretched out a leg but saw his effort go over the bar.

Despite the bright start to the match the second half turned into a battle of the midfield players as both teams couldn't find the decisive pass and the game turned scrappy.

City probed for the decisive goal and Thomas caused confusion in the defence as he bustled past Whittaker and unleashed a shot but it went high and wide as the home team's frustration grew with only a quarter of the game left.

Bentley brought on midfielder Ben Partridge for Johnson to try and freshen the game up but he, along with his team- mates, struggled in the final third of the pitch.

Rice went on a surging run deep in the Spireites' half but despite showing good pace and trickery his effort sailed harmlessly into the Stacey West Stand.

Midfielder Rob Taylor did well to jinx past McNicholas on the far right but despite creating space he scuffed his shot and to the relief of Barrington went harmlessly into the side netting.

In the last few minutes, Lincoln bombarded the Spireites defence but they stood firm and will now face a difficult semi-final tie at Walsall, who knocked Chesterfield out of the Youth Alliance Cup this season.

Bentley's team get back to domestic competition this weekend as they face a difficult trip to table-topping Hull City.  

Chesterfield: Barrington; Edridge, Broadhead, Whittaker, McNicholas; Fereday, Scully, Hewitt, Noel; Bowland, Johnson (Partridge 70). Subs: Slack, Partridge, Brock.

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