On Saturday 18th February I was at the B2Net Stadium to watch Chesterfield play local rivals Sheffield Wednesday.
Today’s game saw the 3rd match against Sheffield opposition this season and having lost the previous 2, I was desperate for the Spireites to get a result against the Owls today. Neither side came in to today’s game in great form and besides the obvious local rivalry, a win today was vital in helping out Wednesday’s automatic promotion push and Chesterfield survival hopes respectively.
The weather was rainy in the build up to the game but nonetheless there was a decent atmosphere outside the ground with an anticipated sell out crowd. There was also plenty of merchandise on sale ahead of Chesterfield’s upcoming visit to Wembley Stadium for the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy final for which my tickets are now bought!
By the time kick off arrived the sun had come out and as the game got underway both sets of fans were singing and chanting in an attempt to get behind their teams. Wednesday started strongly and for the first 20 or so minutes dominated the game but the Spireites defence rode the storm and managed to keep the scores level.
Chesterfield began to grow in to the game and became more confident as the first half went on. Liam Ridehalgh forced a good save out of Owls goalkeeper Stephen Bywater and on-loan striker Nicky Ajose fired just wide for Chesterfield but that was as close as the home side came in the opening 45 minutes.
Wednesday continued to have their fair share of the possession and always looked threatening going forward. There were shouts for a penalty around the half hour mark when Tommy Lee dived at Ryan Lowe’s feet to push the ball to safety but the referee only gave a corner, and it was Lowe who came close right on half time with an effort just wide of the goal and at the break it was goalless.
Chesterfield came out in the second half with much more confidence and looked much more dangerous up front. However, the height and presence of Gary Megson’s team meant it was difficult to penetrate through the defence. Dean Morgan, who had replaced the injured Gregor Robertson just before half time, caused the Owls defence trouble a few times but the ball was always cleared before he could get a shot away.
Both sides were pushing for the goal that would almost certainly earn them a massive 3 points, and the Owls changed to a 4-3-3 formation in the hope of finding a winner. However, the Owls looked a lot less dangerous than in the first half and the Spireites continued to grow in confidence as the promotion contenders became more and more frustrated.
A pass from Morgan found Ajose on the edge of the area and he charged in to the box before John Bostock lunged in and brought the attacker down. There was no doubt in the referee’s mind as he pointed to the spot to award the Spireites a penalty. With regular taker Danny Whitaker on the bench, it was Dean Morgan who stepped up and confidently converted the spot kick in front of the 2,802 away fans to give Chesterfield the lead on the 78th minute.
Sheffield Wednesday threw everything they had at Chesterfield in an attempt to salvage a point and not long after taking the lead Tommy Lee had to make an excellent save from Rob Jones’ header to stay ahead, but the Spireites back line managed to hold on and the game ended 1-0 to Chesterfield.
I was delighted to have seen Chesterfield defeat Sheffield Wednesday for the first time and the win keeps us in with a great chance of staying up. The defeat isn’t good news for the Owls who are now 5 points behind 2nd placed Sheffield United having played two extra games.
After the game I had pictures with Wednesday’s Stephen Bywater, Nicky Weaver, Danny Batth, Jermaine Johnson, Lewis Buxton, David Prutton, Richard O’Donnell, Chris Lines, Jose Semedo, Ryan Lowe and Gary Madine. I also had pictures with Chesterfield goalscorer Dean Morgan, Drew Talbot, new loan signing Nicky Ajose, Tommy Lee, Neal Trotman and Craig Westcarr before heading home after a wonderful day’s football. Next up for me is the Sheffield derby a week on Sunday!
Chesterfield 1-0 Sheffield Wednesday
Morgan ’78 (pen)Lee, Robertson (Morgan ’45), Trotman, Thompson, Ford, Ridehalgh, Allott, Davis, Talbot, Ajose, Lester (Westcarr ’84) Bywater, Buxton, Batth, R Jones, Semedo, R Johnson, Prutton, Prutton, Lines (Morrison ’66), J Johnson (Bostock ’25), O’Grady (Madine ’54), Lowe