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Spireites Dig Deep to Tame Lions

21 February 2017

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Chesterfield showed their battling qualities by holding promotion chasing Millwall to a 0-0 draw at the Den.

It was a game both sides will feel they could have won, but certainly a performance the Spireites can take plenty of confidence from. 

Chesterfield’s best chance fell to Liam Grimshaw in the first half while they also have Thorsten Stuckmann to thank after he made a couple of fine saves. While there was also a full ninety minutes for Angel Martinez to the delight of everyone connected to Chesterfield. 

The hosts started brightly and could have gone in front after just three minutes when Byron Webster almost turned home Mahlon Romeo’s corner but he miskicked his effort and the ball was cleared. 

They continued to pile on the early pressure and came close again when David Worrall beat Sam Hird and got his shot away. The ball beat the on rushing Stuckmann but Dan Jones did well to clear off the line. 

The Lions again should have gone ahead when Lee Gregory found himself with too much space in the box but he blazed his effort well over the bar. 

The Spireites created their first opportunity after 12 minutes and it was a glorious one. 

Reece Mitchell did excellently well on the left beat to Millwall defenders and get to the by-line and pull the ball back to Grimshaw whose attempt was cleared off the line. 

Chesterfield grew into the match, Mitchell in particular looking lively and creative on the left. After some pressure, Millwall hit back and came close again after 35 minutes when Gregory’s header from Fred Onyedinma’s cross was tipped over the crossbar by Stuckmann. 

The last ten minutes of the half petered out with little action and the Spireites went in level after a solid first 45. 

The first real shot on goal of the second half came courtesy of a Shaun Williams free-kick but his effort from 25 yards curled just wide of the post. 

Onyedinma had one of the best chances of the half when the ball was cut back to him in the penalty area but his shot was straight at Stuckmann and it was a routine stop for the German. 

After that the game became stretched with ten minutes to go. Chesterfield had a couple of good breaks but lacked that final pass to open up the Lions defence. 

Millwall had one of their own when Gregory won the race with Evatt to latch onto to a ball over the top but his effort hit the side netting from a tight angle. 

Chesterfield carved a good chance for themselves after some tidy football on the left in the 90th minute when substitute Jake Beesley slid in Kristian Dennis but his low cross across the six yard box was turned behind. 

Millwall went straight down the other end from the resulting corner and Gregory found himself one on one with Stuckmann but couldn’t beat him with his low shot. 

It was almost heartbreak with the last kick of the game as the ball was flashed across the face of the Spireites goal but it went behind, and the Spireites held on for a crucial point. 

Millwall: King, Hutchinson, Craig (C), Williams, Worrall (Ferguson), Thompson (Butcher), Gregory, Onyedinma, Romeo, Webster, O'Brien (Smith).

Subs not used: Girling (gk), Cummings, Martin, Abdou

Chesterfield: Stuckmann, Jones, Hird, Evatt (C), Gardner (Dimaio), Angel, Ebanks-Blake (Simons), Mitchell (Beesley), Faupala, Dennis, Grimshaw.

Subs not used: Allinson (gk), Kakay, Humphreys, Brown.

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