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Match Reports

Sky Blues Defeat Spireites

1 January 2018

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Chesterfield succumbed to a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Coventry City at the Ricoh Arena, courtesy of an early first half goal from Marc McNulty.

Town defender Scott Wiseman was later sent off after a second bookable offence.

Manager Jack Lester kept the same XI from the 0-0 draw with Colchester United at the weekend and the first half was a scrappy affair. The Spireites struggled to get to grips with a pitch regularly torn up by the scrums of Coventry’s fellow tenants Aviva Premiership rugby side Wasps, with several passes in the final third being misplaced in the opening minutes.

Fourteen minutes into the match it was Coventry who took the lead, through their top scorer McNulty. He received the ball just outside the area and opened his body to curl a beautiful shot into the bottom corner past the outstretched Jake Eastwood, to put the Sky Blues ahead.

It wasn’t until the 25th minute that the Spireites had their first shot on goal. After a good run, Andy Kellett took aim just outside the area, but Lee Burge got down well to stop his low effort with Kristian Dennis unable to get to the loose ball.

As half time approached a dangerous Jordan Shipley free kick found Michael Doyle at the back post, he headed across goal but Jerome Binnom-Williams managed to clear his lines from inside the six-yard box.

On the stroke of half time Coventry went on the attack again. A cross from Devon Kelly-Evans fell too the feet of Tom Bayliss whose shot was blocked by Connor Dimaio.

After the interval the Spireites immediately came out fighting. Joe Rowley ran down the right-hand side after a Jak McCourt pass and his cross almost caught Burge by surprise, unfortunately for Town it struck the outside of the post and went out for a goal kick.

The Sky Blues came forward again and a great passing move sent Bayliss through deep into the box, fortunately his shot was blocked by the feet of Wiseman.

Coventry continued their assault, a loose ball fell to full back Chris Stokes 18 yards out, he took aim with a beautiful volley forcing Eastwood into a brilliant save, tipping his dipping effort onto the cross bar.

Then the Spireites had their best chance, Rowley’s cross was cleared as far as Kellett. He took a touch before firing wide of the target.

Eastwood was forced into another good save. A neat ball from a quick counter attack set McNulty through on goal, one on one, Eastwood got down well to push away his shot.

Substitute Diego De Girolamo had an opportunity to make an immediate impact, meeting a Robbie Weir cross with a header, but it failed to trouble Burge.

Ten minutes from time, any hope of an equaliser was extinguished after Wiseman was sent off for a second bookable offence for a foul on the half way line, reducing the Spireites to ten men.

With the clock ticking down McNulty attempted to grab his second, just outside the area he let fly and forced Eastwood to tip his effort wide.

A swift counter attack then saw McNulty bearing down on goal again, but as he let fly Binnom-Williams got down well to block his low effort, ending the contest 1-0 to the hosts.

Coventry: Burge, Grimmer, Stokes, Willis, Doyle (C), Biamou (Ponticelli 66), McNulty, Davies, Devon Kelly-Evans, Shipley (Haynes 79), Bayliss.

Substitutes not used: O’Brien (gk), Hyam, Dion Kelly-Evans, Maycock, Stevenson.

Chesterfield: Eastwood, Binnom-Williams, Hird (Maguire 46), Wiseman, Dennis (De Girolamo , Rowley, Dimaio (O’Grady 67), Kellett, Reed, McCourt, Weir (C).

Substitutes not used: Parkin (gk), Mitchell, German, Ofoegbu.

Attendance: 7,402 (460 from Chesterfield)

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