On Saturday 2nd November, I went to the Proact Stadium to watch Chesterfield play Scunthorpe United.
Chesterfield came in to this afternoon’s match at the Proact Stadium desperately wanting to get back to winning ways. Despite staying in the automatic promotion places in League 2, an awful run of form had seen the side from Derbyshire fail to pick up a victory in their last six league games. Today’s opponents were Scunthorpe United, who came in to this game on the back of a disappointing 4-1 defeat to York in midweek. However, the Iron were certainly no pushovers as they had won three of their last five games.
Paul Cook made four changes from the side that had picked up a point away at Bristol Rovers last week. The suspended Eoin Doyle and injured Sam Morsy were both absent, while Tendayi Darikwa and Armand Gnanduillet fell to the bench. In their places were Drew Talbot, Jay O’Shea, Marc Richards and Ollie Banks who was handed his first league start. For Scunthorpe, Brian Laws also made four changes to the team. Luke Waterfall, Etienne Esajas, Jimmy Spencer and Terry Hawkridge replaced Christian Ribeiro, Niall Canavan, Matt Sparrow and Deon Burton.
The Spireites started the game strongly and almost took the lead inside the first five minutes. Jamie Devitt’s cross was met by Marc Richards, but the striker couldn’t keep his headed effort on target.
However, Richards made up for this miss by putting the Spireites ahead in the 8th minute. Some poor defending from the Iron allowed the striker to pick up the ball inside the box and slot it past the goalkeeper to open the scoring.
Scunthorpe struggled to create any good opportunities in the early part of the contest. Tommy Lee was rarely threatened and their best chance fell to Sam Winnall, who fired a strike over the crossbar from the edge of the area.
The Spiretes looked to further their advantage and Gary Roberts caused numerous problems for the Iron defence. The Liverpudlian hit a low strike that flew just wide of the target, before fellow midfielder Jay O’Shea forced a good save from Sam Slocombe just before the break.
Devitt, one of Paul Cook’s summer signing’s, was looking a real threat for Chesterfield as they continued to dominate much of the action. After forcing a save from the ‘keeper with a long range shot, Devitt then came even closer to finding the net when his free kick smashed off the crossbar.
Richards thought he had scored his second of the game when he headed home Roberts’ cross but it was ruled out by the offside flag. The Spireites then hit the woodwork for a second time this afternoon as Roberts’ cross took a deflection and bounced off the bar.
As the Spireites became frustrated at failing to take these chances, the visitors began to push in search of a late equaliser. And after forcing Tommy Lee to make a number of saves, Scunthorpe did level with just two minutes to play. Luke Waterfall jumped highest to meet Terry Hawkridge’s cross and directed the ball home to snatch a point.
It was hugely disappointing for the Spireites, whose lack of clinical finishing had once again cost them all three points. It is now seven league games without a win which is relegation form! Next weekend gives them a perfect opportunity to stop the rot as non-league Daventry Town visit the Proact in the FA Cup.
Chesterfield 1–1 Scunthorpe United
Richards ‘8, Waterfall ’88
Lee, Talbot, Humphreys, Banks, Cooper (Hird ’57), Evatt, Devitt (Darikwa ’68), Ryan, Richards, O’Shea (Gnanduillet ’78), Roberts
Slocombe, Byrne, Dawson, Syers, Mirfin, Waterfall, Esajas (Adelakun ’68), McAllister, Spencer (Iwelumo ’81), Winnall, Hawkridge