Spireites emerge victorious at Meadow Lane
Chesterfield returned to action after a three-week break and just three days of training to beat Notts County 1-0 at Meadow Lane on Saturday. Gavin Gunning’s 32nd minute free-kick proved to be the winner against Neal Ardley's in-form side. James Rowe handed a debut to goalkeeper Grant Smith whilst Jak McCourt and Joel Taylor returned to the starting eleven. The home side started on the front foot and looked to cause Chesterfield some early problems. Enzio Boldewijn laid off to Rueben Rodrigues who lifted his first-time effort over the crossbar. However, Chesterfield began to dominate, putting the Magpies under pressure. McCourt dragged his effort wide and Akwasi Asante failed to find the back of the net with his header. In the 24th minute Marcus Dinanga’s effort was turned behind by the alert Connell Rawlinson for a corner. Just over ten minutes later the Spireites’ sustained period of pressure paid off and they took the lead. Gunning’s free-kick bounced awkwardly and evaded numerous bodies to find its way into the far corner of the net. Chesterfield notched up nine corners in the first half and headed into the break with a one-goal advantage.
County responded well in the second half. They had more of the ball and moved it around quickly getting into some dangerous positions. Top-scorer Kyle Wooton headed Boldewijn’s cross from the right over and Will Evans’ excellent block stopped Rodrigues’ effort. In the 55th minute George Carline did well to control a difficult ball and knock it down to Dinanga. County ‘keeper Luke Pilling initially spilled the striker’s effort but recovered the ball before it would prove costly. The home side failed to carve out clear-cut chances as Chesterfield had opportunities to get the second goal. Asante failed to direct his effort on target and Laurence Maguire couldn’t keep his shot down with around ten minutes remaining. Substitute and debutant Adi Yussuf should have sealed the victory with the last kick of the game when he went one-on-one with Pilling, however the ‘keeper made a superb stop to keep him out. Chesterfield (3-5-2): G. Smith; Evans (C), Maguire, Hollis; Carline, Gunning (Clarke 80’), McCourt, Weston, Taylor; Dinanga (Mandeville 62’), Asante (Yussuf 85’) Unused Substitutes: Yarney, M. Smith