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Chesterfield Earn Tough Oldham Athletic Draw

18 April 2015

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Chesterfield moved another point closer to the play-off promised land with a hard-fought 0-0 draw at Oldham Athletic.

In a match of few chances, Sam Clucas came closest to breaking the deadline when his glancing header ame back off the post. However, results elsewhere left the Spireites a step closer to their play-off target.

There was a late switch in the Spireites' squad as defender Sam Hird was forced out of it, having suffered a slight thigh strain and it being decided not to risk him for the match.

After a composed Spireites start Oldham went close to grabbing the opener on 20 minutes when Connor Brown swung in a strong half volley from 20 yards that Lee saved well, there were further worries from the corner as Lee came to claim, fumbled and the ball span marginally wide, the score remaining goal-less. 

Midway through the half and there was a Spireites change in formation, Dan Gardner coming off and the oncoming Armand Gnanduillet taking a striking position alongside Clucas, Chesterfield switching to a 4-4-2 formation.

Oldham created the best opening of the half on 29 minutes, when a loose ball bounced to Rhys Murphy, Ian Evatt blocked the striker's first effort bravely, but in bounced back to Murphy who volleyed this time, well saved by the diving Lee.

The Spireites growing into the game, Gnanduillet fired a shot well wide after a good burst of pace and Gary Roberts then found Clucas who found space and bent in a shot that Latics 'keeper Joel Coleman saved easily at his near post.

With the Ryan and Morsy fulcrum starting to win possession with more regularity Chesterfield were starting to be the ones to create the chances, Charlie Raglan swivelled to strike a half volley from 18 yards that was saved, as was a Gnanduillet 30-yarder that was well struck but too close to the 'keeper - the first half finishing as it started, without a goal.

The second half began with the Spireites looking to impose themselves on the game more than in the first. A Jay O'Shea free kick threatened as Raglan glided in at the back post, but the Latics hacked the dropping ball away.

On a bobbly and bouncy Boundary Park surface both sides were struggling to play flowing attacking football. Mike Jones played an intelligent low ball back from a Latics freekick for Brian Wilson to strike, though it was well blocked by the Spireites rearguard.

Chesterfield then broke at pace and with Roberts at the head of the attack only a poor first touch prevented the wide man from being in on goal, Roberts only able to win a corner instead of getting a clear shot away.

The game forever struggling to get into its stride, the Spireites pushed in the final ten minutes. Evatt forced a strong instinctive save from Coleman as he pounced on a loose ball in the area.

Chesterfield then went closer still as Clucas rose to flick a header that agonisingly came back off the face of the Latics' post, Gnanduillet following up but shooting off target under considerable pressure.

Still threatening, a Gnanduillet knockdown was volleyed beautifully by Clucas from 23 yards in the 88th minute, only a stunning save from Coleman keeping the Latics level.
 
That was the way it stayed as despite Chesterfield pressure late on the result ended 0-0 at Boundary Park.

Oldham Athletic: Coleman (gk), Brown, Dieng, Kelly (c), Jones, Philliskirk, Winchester, Wilson, Gerrard (Elokobi 76'), Murphy (Bove 75'), Wilson

Subs not used: Kean, Mellor, Lockwood, Tuohy, Jacobs

Chesterfield: Lee (gk), Jones, Evatt, Raglan, Darikwa, Morsy (c), Ryan, Roberts, O'Shea, Gardner (Gnanduillet 22'), Clucas

Subs not used: Flatt, Carter, Humphreys, Banks, Ariyibi, Harrison

Attendance: 4,557 (1,254 Chesterfield fans)

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