Chesterfield’s six-match unbeaten run in Sky Bet League Two came to an end this afternoon, after a 1-0 defeat at Wycombe Wanderers.
Chairboys midfielder Luke O’Nein scored the only goal of the game in the 54th minute.
Scott Wiseman was the only change to Jack Lester’s side, coming in for Bradley Barry at right back. Cameron Dawson continued in goal for his first away trip in a Spireites shirt, with Adams Park a venue the young keeper is familiar with, having made one appearance during an emergency loan spell last season.
Dawson was tested early into his return as Wycombe had the first chance after two minutes. Craig Mackail-Smith forced the keeper to smother his shot after a cross fell to him at the edge of the box.
Town had their first opening after five minutes as Joe Rowley was played through by Louis Reed, but his low cross from the right was failed to pick out a white shirt.
Shortly after, neat build up play from Town involving Rowley, Jak McCourt, saw Andy Kellett played into the box, sadly he couldn’t keep his feet and Wanderers were able to clear.
On 17 minutes, Jerome Binnom-Williams gave away a foul. Akinfenwa got his head to the resulting freekick, but his header was straight at Dawson. Bizarrely, the referee ordered the freekick to be taken again following a tangle in the box. It was Akinfenwa again who met the ball, but his header slipped harmlessly out for a goal kick.
On 25 minutes Dawson pulled off a fantastic double save to maintain the deadlock. A cross from the left wasn’t cleared, allowing the ball to fall to Akinfenwa. The outstretched Ian Evatt did well to prevent the shot, but was helpless to stop the ball falling to Mackail-Smith. Step up Dawson who made a brilliant left-handed point blank save and then did well to stop an onrushing Nathan Tyson striking the rebound.
The home side went close again as Tyson blazed over on 29 minutes following a period of head tennis in the Chesterfield penalty area.
Despite the home side’s chances, Chesterfield were growing into what was a scrappy game, with the marauding Rowley and Binnom-Williams both finding space to get in behind the Wycombe back line. Rowley had a couple of crosses blocked and Binnon-Williams, following a twisting run had a cross blocked for a corner.
In the resulting melee Spireites fans were calling for a penalty after Kristian Dennis tumbled in the box, but their calls fell on deaf ears as referee Nicholas Kinseley waved play on.
On 44 minutes, Spireite hearts were in their mouths as a foul was given away by Robbie Weir in a dangerous area; dead centre of the goal and 25 yards out. Sam Saunders bent the resulting kick against the top of the bar, but luckily Town were able to clear the bouncing ball.
Wycombe were the brighter in the initial stages of the second half, Jak McCourt was booked for dissent and Dawson was forced into conceding a corner after dropping a bouncing ball. But the Spireites defence continued to look resolute as they started to forge their own chances.
Their best of the game, to that point, came shortly after, as Wiseman received the ball out wide following a brilliant passing move involving Rowley, Reed and McCourt. Dennis looked like he would get a toe on the low cross, but was denied by ‘keeper Scott Brown.
It was an opportunity Town would rue shortly after, as they fell behind on 54 minutes after O’Nien drove low past a hapless Dawson from the edge of the box.
Despite falling behind, the goal seemed to spur Chesterfield into action; McCourt disappointingly drove wide and the lively Binnom-Williams earned a free kick when he was brought down after another mazy run. Unfortunately, Louis Reed saw his effort from 25-yards out, bounce back off the wall.
Akinfenwa was continuing to look dangerous for the home side and brought the ball down well, held off the approaching Spireites defenders, luckily, the impressive Dawson parried his effort from the left.
Play stopped temporarily on 66 minutes following a clash of heads between Rowley and O’Nien. Fortunately, both players were able to continue. Town continued to plug away, enjoying good spells of possession in the Wycombe half, frustratingly they just couldn’t seem to find the final ball.
Wycombe nearly doubled their lead through Eberechi Eze on the break, who curled wide of Dawson’s goal after a knock down from Akinfenwa.
On 70 minutes, Chris O’Grady replaced Kellett as Lester switched to a 4-4-2 in an attempt to find an equaliser. Reed moved out to wide left.
It looked like the elusive attempt on goal would come five minutes later, as Binnom-Williams played a fine pass to Dennis on the halfway line, he fed Rowley on the right who then advance before shooting over from the edge of the penalty area; his appeals for a corner were waved away.
Frustration got the better of Dennis on 79 minutes as he was booked for preventing Brown from taking a goal kick; it was annoying for Spireites fans as the Wycombe ‘keeper continued to take his time over every kick.
It was Dennis’s last involvement as he was replaced for the final 10 minutes by Ricky German. The final Spireites change came on 85 minutes as Connor Dimaio replaced Robbie Weir.
Dimaio’s first involvement was to take a freekick, received after Binnon-Williams was fouled by Sido Jombati, unfortunately his cross from the left was narrowly out of Brown’s reach and wide of the post.
Town continued to push for the equaliser and were rewarded with another freekick after Paris Cowan-Hall went in hard on O’Grady; again Reed’s effort failed to test the keeper.
Despite the approach of the final whistle, Chesterfield were patient with their passing and remained camped in the Wycombe half, but could still not find a breakthrough.
Their high pressure was nearly punished as the ball broke for Cowan-Hall and his pace took him past the Spireites backline and into the box. Hearts were in mouths as he was brought down by the onrushing Dawson, thankfully the whistle was blown for offside.
Six minutes additional time were shown, but the Cowan-Hall chance was the final real action of the match, as Chesterfield’s attempts, largely longball’s from the back were thwarted. Brown did receive a booking for his extended goal kicks, but the whistle sounded fulltime moments later.
It was frustrating and arguably undeserved way to end the unbeaten streak.
Wycombe: Brown, Jombati, Jacobson, Stewart, El-Abd (C), O’Nien, Saunders, Eze (Bloomfield 85'), Mackail-Smith (Southwell 90'), Akinfenwa, Tyson (Cowan-Hall 73').
Subs: Ma-Kalambay, Gape, Freeman, Scarr.
Chesterfield: Dawson, Binnom-Williams, Hird, Wiseman, Evatt (C), Dennis (German, 80'), Rowley, Kellett (O’Grady 70'), Reed, McCourt, Weir (Dimaio, 85').
Subs: Parkin, Mitchell, De Girolamo, Brownell.
Attendance: 4,522 - 289 from Chesterfield.