On Saturday 1st October 2011 I was back at the B2Net Stadium to watch Chesterfield face Colchester United in League 1.
It was a gorgeous hot day in Chesterfield and felt more like a game at the height of summer than a match at the start of October!
After going 4 games unbeaten and winning 3 in a row, Chesterfield had slipped up away against top of the table Charlton last week, losing 3-1. However, I was not too disappointed as Charlton were always going to be tough opponents and so I was still very positive about today’s game at home to Colchester.
The U’s hadn’t had the best of starts to the new season, but they came into this game full of confidence after beating Walsall last 1-0 Saturday and they were a place higher than the Spireites in the League 1 table.
We arrived at the stadium just as the Colchester players coach arrived, and as they were getting off the bus I had pictures with U’s manager John Ward and player Michail Antonio. We then went and bought our tickets for next week’s game at Hillsborough, where Chesterfield takes on rivals Sheffield Wednesday. After a short time we entered through the turnstiles and took our seat ready for another league game at the B2Net Stadium.
I felt that this was a game that both sides would feel they could win. Chesterfield had made just one change from the side that had hammered Carlisle 4-1 in the last home game, with Dean Holden replacing the injured Simon Ford in the centre of defence. Meanwhile, Colchester’s side included massive forward man Kayode Odejayi, who scored the winner Barnsley against Chelsea in the 2008 FA Cup quarter final, and he was certainly one to watch for the U’s.
The game got underway in front of a crowd of 6,295 and Chesterfield started the game at a good pace. However, Colchester’s 4-5-1 formation helped them get men behind the ball and the Spireites struggled to find an opening. Goalkeeper Ben Williams, who had previously played on loan for Chesterfield, nearly gifted the home side an early lead when he completely missed his kick from a back pass and the ball only narrowly rolled past the post.
The game was quite even with neither side looking more dangerous than the other. Colchester took the lead on the half hour mark through Michail Antonio, who fired in from the edge of the area after a corner was poorly dealt with by the Chesterfield defence.
Right on half time Craig Westcarr had an excellent chance to equalise but his effort was well saved by Williams who managed to keep the U’s ahead until half time. During the break we met up with friendly Colchester fan Martyn Stimson and had a picture and a chat, before returning to our seats for the second half.
It was nearly level immediately when Alex Mendy broke in to the box beating the Colchester defenders but his effort sailed just wide. A few minutes later, Clarke had probably Chsterfield’s best opportunity of the game when he met a low cross in the 6 yard box but he only managed to hit the post and another chance went begging.
I was starting to feel that it just wasn’t going to be for the Spireites as they had plenty of possession and chances but just couldn’t convert any of them. Mark Randall came on just after the hour and he played well in central midfield, but the Spireites still couldn’t find an equaliser.
As the 5 minutes of stoppage time was announced, the Spireites had changed to a 4-3-3 formation with Bowery, Boden and Clarke up front but the home side were still unable to break down the solid Colchester defence and the U’s became only the 6th side to win a league match at the B2Net Stadium.
After the game I got pictures with Chesterfield players Drew Talbot, Tendayi Darikwa and Matt Needham. I also met Colchester players Brian Wilson, John White, Magnus Okuonghae, Ian Henderson, Kayode Odejayi and Matt Heath before heading home.
Despite losing today, I felt that Chesterfield didn’t play that badly and had a few chances. If we had converted them then it would have been a different story, but it wasn’t to be. The next league game is away against Sheffield Wednesday, I can’t wait.