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Spireites Draw with Pompey

3 March 2014

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Chesterfield and Portsmouth played out a goal-less draw at the Proact in front of the Sky Sports cameras.

Both sides had chances but neither could find the breakthrough as Chesterfield remain top of the League 2 table, two points clear of their nearest rivals.

In a quiet opening to the game it took until the ninth minute for the first real action of the game to happen and it was Portsmouth who had two chances within the space of two minutes. First up Ricky Holmes was found in the area but his snapshot volley was comfortably saved by Tommy Lee. 

The second was an even better opportunity when Jake Jervis found his way into the Chesterfield penalty area, his shot beat Lee but rebounded off the post and the Chesterfield defence were able to clear.

Next to test the Spireites backline was Toumani Diagouraga. Pompey were causing problems down the their left hand side through Jervis and his run and cross was only half cleared, the imposing Malian found himself with time to shoot and his effort was deflected narrowly over. 

Pompey kept up the pressure with a short free-kick which was played to Nicky Shorey who shot low, but his strike was blocked by Chesterfield supporters' Player of the month Ian Evatt.

In the 25th minute Chesterfield had their first effort of the game, Jimmy Ryan with time to shoot from 25 yards out unleashed an effort which Trevor Carson fumbled, the Portsmouth stopper however was quick to react to stop Eoin Doyle capitalising on the follow up. 

The Spireites had another opportunity when Tendayi Darikwa expertly took down a long ball forward, the right back did brilliantly to break into Portsmouth’s penalty area but his final ball was intercepted before it could find a free Sam Morsy. 

Chesterfield were beginning to get a foothold on the game and Gary Roberts attempted an audacious chip from outside the penalty area but his effort was easily saved by Carson. The next chance came from a free kick, Dan Gardner struck his shot low and hard but his effort fizzed past the post with Carson well beaten.

The second half started with a good chance for Chesterfield. Roberts received the ball down the left, the tricky winger made his way into the area before shooting narrowly past the far post. 

With the game struggling for any real chances it wasn’t until the hour mark before the next opening came. Portsmouth winger Jervis and Jed Wallace interchanged well down the right side, into the area Jervis had options to pass but chose to strike at goal and his shot went just past the post.

At the other end Doyle struck a deflected header at goal after Banks crossed into the area but the Portsmouth keeper was not troubled. The best chance of the game came next through Wes Fogden but he found Tommy Lee in fine form. Neat build up play from Pompey saw Nicky Shorey play in Fogden who was one on one with the Chesterfield stopper but his effort was excellent saved. 

Paul Cook made two substitutions within the space of six minutes with Marc Richards and Jay O’Shea both coming on for Gardner and Banks.  But it was Portsmouth who were looking dangerous when they ventured forward and they had another chance when Fogden was played in down the right hand side. He did well to keep the ball in play before moving the ball on to Wallace in the area, but his shot was weak and trickled wide past Lee’s far post.

Cook made his final change of the game with Armand Gnanduillet coming on for the final ten minutes replacing Doyle. With five minutes remaining Chesterfield had found an opening through substitute O’Shea down the left side. He crossed low dangerously into Portsmouth’s box but Holmes cleared brilliantly for the away side.

Chesterfield had their best chance in stoppage time when Roberts crossed into the area finding Richards but his effort was straight at Carson who held onto the ball well. That was to be the final action of the game with both sides talking a share of the spoils. 

Next up for Chesterfield is an away trip to Accrington Stanley at the Crown Ground.

Chesterfield: Lee; Darikwa, Evatt (c), Cooper, Humphreys; Morsy, Ryan, Gardner (O'Shea 75'), Banks (Richards 72'), Roberts; Doyle (Gnanduillet 82').

Subs not used: Dunbavin, Smith, Hird, Togwell.

Portsmouth: Carson, N'Gala, Padovani, Holmes, Shorey, Fogden, Chorley (c), Diagouraga, Jervis (Agyemang 90+1'), Wallace, Devera.

Subs not used: Smith, Ertl, Painter, Bradley, Harris, Racon.

Goals: Chesterfield 0 - 0 Portsmouth

Attendance: 5,807 (547 Portsmouth)

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