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Stalemate at Highbury

23 August 2014

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The Spireites remain unbeaten at Fleetwood's Highbury Stadium after a 0-0 draw on the seaside.

Substitute Armand Gnanduillet hit the post in added time, but that was as close as Chesterfield came to what would have been a deserved three point away haul.

An even start almost swayed towards the hosts early on following a vicious Evans corner, but forward Jamie Proctor’s glancing header narrowly missed the far post.

However it was Chesterfield who nearly grabbed the opener midway through the first-half, as Eoin Doyle’s deflected effort somehow bundled its way to goal, but Chris Maxwell in the hosts’ net was able to scramble his way back and collect the ball on the goal line.

The Spireites were gathering momentum in their search for the opening goal, and the moment nearly arrived following impressive build-up play throughout the pitch. Daniel Jones’ driving run left the Fleetwood defence for dead before his cut back found Jay O’Shea on the edge of the area, but his side-footed volley was struck straight at Maxwell.

Chesterfield’s possession play was cutting Fleetwood to ribbons at times, but the best chance of the match occurred from Lee’s goal-kick, as Roberts ran beyond the defence but he was unable to lob the ball over Maxwell and into the goal.

Fleetwood were struggling to get hold of the ball as the chances kept falling to the Spireites, and it was Maxwell again who was keeping the visitors at bay. Good pressing from Chesterfield created an opening for Roberts, but his fierce shot was saved well by the goalkeeper.

A dominant Chesterfield were creating opportunities at will but were struggling to put the ball in the back of the net, as an ever-growing frustration was settling in to the Fleetwood players, with Proctor’s late challenge before the break forcing the referee to brandish a yellow card.

The second half began in exactly the same fashion as the first half ended, with Chesterfield continuing to dominate in both possession and creating chances, as O’Shea’s curling effort drifted just wide.

The Cod Army reacted well to the sluggish beginning after the restart as Evans found himself in a pocket of space before drilling the ball wide of the mark.

Evans was proving to be a thorn in the Spireites’ defence and it was his run which caused havoc amongst the visitors, as his stunning run brought an opportunity for Joshua Morris on the pull-back, only for Lee to produce an outstanding diving safe from 12 yards to keep the scores level.

In an attempt to break the deadlock, Armand Gnanduillet was summoned from the bench by Paul Cook, and it was the big forward who began to cause Fleetwood problems, holding the ball up well bringing the likes of Roberts and Doyle into play.

The Spireites were inches away from conceding late on following a Fleetwood set-piece, as Schumacher’s delivery evaded everyone, including Lee, and nearly crept in at the back-post.

Despite Chesterfield’s impressive display they entered stoppage time with nothing to show for it, but the three minutes added on granted the Spireites a lifeline in their pursuit of all three points at the Highbury Stadium, as an incisive break away allowed Ollie Banks to cut inside and fire at goal, only to be denied by Maxwell, Gnanduillet was there to follow up, but his instinctive shot could only come back off the post, the Spireites so close to finally taking a lead their play had warranted.

The visitors continued to push forward and Chesterfield were the width of a crossbar away from snatching the three points deep into stoppage time. Jones yet again drove forward and delivered the ball into the box, but his cross looped over Maxwell and bounced on to the woodwork.

Chesterfield will leave Lancashire undoubtedly disappointed after such a fantastic performance, but the point picked up is another point on the board for Paul Cook’s Chesterfield.


Fleetwood: Maxwell (gk) - McLaughlin, Hogan, Pond (c), Crainey - Morris, Schumacher, Ball (Campbell) - Proctor, Sarcevic (Blair)

Subs not used: Davies (gk), Murdoch, Creswell, Allen, Hughes

Chesterfield: Lee (gk) - Darikwa, Evatt (c), Hird, Jones - O’Shea (Gnanduillet), Boco, Morsy, Ryan, Roberts (Banks) - Doyle

Subs not used: Chapman (gk), Gardner, Raglan, Dawes, Banks, Johnson

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