On Saturday 15th October I went to the B2Net Stadium to watch Chesterfield play Notts County in League 1.
Chesterfield came in to today’s game sitting just above the relegation zone on the back of a poor run of form while opponents Notts County were sat just inside the play off spots after a convincing 3-0 victory over Hartlepool United last week meaning this was certain to be a tough match for the Spireites. The two sides had met just a eleven days earlier in the Johnstones Paint Trophy in a game that the Spireites had won 3-1 at Meadow Lane. However, both sides had fielded weakened teams in the JPT and today’s League 1 match was a different matter altogether.
We arrived to the ground just as the Notts County players coach arrived and I had pictures with manager Martin Allen, Neal Bishop, Sam Sodje, Jude Stirling, Lee Hughes, Karl Hawley and ex-Spireite Ishmel Demontagnac.
After a short time we decided to head through the turnstiles and take our seats for the 30th league game at the B2Net Stadium. The travelling County supporters had sold out the away end and there was a brilliant atmosphere inside the ground on another lovely sunny October day.
The match kicked off in front of a bumper crowd of 8,342, the B2Net Stadium’s biggest crowd so far this season, and the visitors started well forcing Greg Fleming to make two good saves inside the first couple of minutes. Dean Morgan then had a good chance to put the Spireites ahead, but his shot from just yards out flew over the crossbar.
The Magpies played much better than Chesterfield in the first half, and they deservedly took the lead on the 21st minute courtesy of Ben Burgess’ glancing header.
Alexandre Mendy had an excellent opportunity to level the scores not long after the deadlock had been broken, but his shot from the edge of the area was way off the target. County’s dominance of the first half paid off when Alan Judge doubled the away side’s lead on the 38th minute and Karl Hawley had a golden opportunity to make it 3-0 just before the break, but his attempt to lob the keeper just missed the target.
It was a disastrous first half for Chesterfield who were being totally outplayed by County and the Spireites looked on course for a 4th consecutive league defeat.
Chesterfield came out in the second half playing some much better football and looking like they could get back in to the game. That is exactly what happened on the 52nd when Craig Westcarr scored against his former club to make the score 1-2.
The Spireites went looking for an equaliser and put pressure on the County defence in an attempt the level the scores. The attacks died down after 3 substitutions which, in my opinion, weakened the side as Dean Morgan, Craig Westcarr and Mark Randall were replaced by Danny Whitaker, Jordan Bowery and Craig Clay.
Notts County put the game beyond doubt with a goal on the 88th minute to make the score 3-1. Sam Sodje’s shot was saved by Fleming but the ball rebounded back in to th net to make it 3-1. The win put Notts County up to 3rd in the league table while Chesterfield fell back in to the relegation zone in 22nd place. The Spireites have now lost their last 4 league games against Charlton, Colchester, Sheffield Wednesday and now the Magpies.
After the game I got my picture with County’s first goalscorer Ben Burgess and coach Carl Muggleton, who had 3 spells with Chesterfield during his playing days.
I enjoyed today because of a wonderful atmosphere inside the ground and the lovely weather, though it would have been nice to have got the right result too!
Not long until my next match though as I am at Sheffield United vs. Sheffield Wednesday tomorrow!