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Lester Reflects on Stevenage Loss

24 December 2017

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Spireites boss Jack Lester has urged his stretched squad to move on quickly from yesterday’s 5-1 loss to Stevenage at the Lamex Stadium.

It was a miserable day in Hertfordshire for Town, with goals from Danny Newton and Dale Gorman giving the hosts a 2-0 lead after 28 minutes. Kristian Dennis got his 14th of the campaign to give the Spireites hope, but Newton got his second via a deflected effort a minute before the break to restore Stevenage's two-goal lead. Matt Godden’s second half double then put the game out of reach.

To make matters worse for Town, captain Ian Evatt added to the growing injury list after withdrawing from the match with a knee injury in the first half.

Lester said of the defeat: “It was down to everybody not competing enough, we probably could have scored three or four but that still wouldn’t have been enough to get something out of the game.

“We haven’t got four defenders on the pitch, we’ve got a central midfielder [Jak McCourt] playing right back and we don’t have a squad here that’s balanced, so you’re chucking together a back four and we’ll have to pull together. We’ve got two good home games coming up and then we’ll be into January.

“Evo’s [Evatt] gone off with a knee injury, I don’t know the extent of it, but it doesn’t look a good one, we’re down to the bones and it just keeps being defenders and that’s reflected in the score line.”

Lester made two changes from last week’s match with Wycombe Wanderers, handing a recall to striker Chris O’Grady to replace the ill Robbie Weir, while Jake Eastwood made his debut in goal, after joining on an emergency loan from Sheffield United on Thursday

“Chris has trained really well and he deserved to play,” Lester said. “I thought he was a handful up front today, but we didn’t really have many options anyway.

“I don’t think he [Eastwood] made a mistake really, he didn’t get much help with the quality of back passes coming to him but he wasn’t at fault for the goals and he made some good saves.”

Lester’s absentee list will decrease ahead of the Boxing Day clash with Crewe Alexandra at the Proact (3pm), with Weir set to return after recovering from tonsillitis.

Tuesday’s visitors also lost yesterday, but Lester still expects a tough fixture, but despite the injury concerns he expects his team to give a positive reaction in front of the Town faithful.

“It’ll be a strong challenge,” he added. “But we’re the home team and we’ll take the game to them.”

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