On Saturday 12th November I was at the B2Net Stadium to see Chesterfield’s first ever FA Cup tie at the new ground against League 2 Torquay United.
Chesterfield have had a dismal record in the FA Cup since incredibly reaching the semi final back in 1997. Amazingly, in the 14 years since the Spireites have failed to beat a single league club, and have only reached the 3rd round once! Meanwhile, Torquay United had reached the 4th round of the competition last season and were looking to do well again this season.
Despite such contrasting form in the competition in recent years, and Chesterfield poor start to the season, I still felt that we were favourites coming in to this game with Torquay playing in a lower division.
The home side began brightest, putting the Gulls defenders under pressure and keeping possession well. The defence managed to hold out this early pressure and they began to create some chances of their own.
The breakthrough came for the Gulls on the 20th minute when Danny Stevens scrambled the ball home after a mixture of good build up play and lacklustre defending, putting the League 2 side ahead.
The teams cancelled each other out for the rest of the first half and heading in to the break Torquay were a goal ahead.
Chesterfield came out strong in the second half and levelled the scores courtesy of Jordan Bowery’s 5th goal in the last 3 games. Craig Westcarr fired in a good cross that was met by Bowery and he put the ball in the net to make it 1-1.
On the 72nd minute the Gulls regained the lead when Rene Howe broke away from Dwayne Mattis and slid the ball under the goalkeeper’s body. With 2 minutes to go Kevin Nicholson put the tie beyond doubt with a free kick that flew past Soderberg to make it 3-1.
I was disappointed, yet sadly not surprised that Chesterfield had fallen at the first hurdle of the FA Cup. The only upside is that it gives the side a chance to concentrate on the League, but I would have liked a good cup run.
After the game I had pictures with Torquay United manager Martin Ling and players Rene Howe, Lathaniel Rowe-Turner, Taiwo Atieno and Kevin Nicholson.