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Weight Off Rico's Shoulders

17 March 2013

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Striker Marc Richards couldn't hide his delight after finally ending his goalscoring drought with the winner against Oxford United.

The 30-year-old hitman had been without a goal for nine starts since his brace in the 3-0 win against Northampton Town back in January, but the former Port Vale forward popped up after just five minutes at the Kassam Stadium to give the Spireites their third win in their last four games.

Richards has scored just seven goals in 30 appearances since his switch from Vale Park and after a campaign blighted by injury he is hoping he can finish the season with a purple patch to fire the Spireites into the play-off places.

"It was a massive weight off my shoulders," Rico told Spireites Player after his goal sank the U's.

"I've gone a number of games without scoring, as a striker you're paid to hit the net on a regular basis and i've not done that enough this season for whatever reason.

"I've been injured and inconsistent, but the fact of the matter is i'm paid to score goals and I should do it more often but I was delighted to get on the scoresheet early on.

"It was a good move and a nice through ball from Richard Brindley and obviously as a team we were delighted to score as early as we did."

Rico latched onto Richard Brindley's incisive pass as early as the fifth minute to confidently dispatch past the advancing Luke McCormick and it proved to be the decisive strike as another resolute defensive display from the Spireites ensured they took all three points back to Whittington Moor.

Paul Cook's side have conceded just five goals in 11 games and Richards was impressed with his side's performance at the Kassam Stadium.

"The lads have dug in today on a really poor pitch, it was like a cow field out there.

"At times it made it difficult to play football but we stuck to our guns and Tommy [Lee] made a great save in the first half. Credit to everyone, it's a tough place to come to Oxford and before today they were five points clear of us so we have managed to claw that back a little bit.

"If we can not concede goals then the odds will stack in our favour. The back four and midfield really make it difficult for tough teams like Oxford to break us down."

The win moved Chesterfield to within eight points of the League Two play-off places and a win against Torquay United could move Cook's side to eighth position.

The Gulls have been in free fall since manager Martin Ling was placed on sickness leave, winning just once in 18 games as they have become embroiled in the basement division's dogfight and are among five teams languishing on 40 points.

The Spireites have registered two 1-0 wins in Devon this season against Exeter City and Plymouth Argyle and Rico insists his team-mates won't give up on play-offs.

"The season isn't over until it's mathematically impossible. We'll keep fighting till that day.

"When teams are down there fighting for their lives it's just as hard as playing against teams at the top of the league fighting for promotion.

"We're going to have to be at our best to go down there and beat them but we'll prepare right. We'll travel down on Monday, train when we are down there and have a good rest before the game."

You can watch Rico's interview in full exclusively on Spireites Player

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