CHESTERFIELD notched their first win of the season in some style at one of their favoured locations.
For the seventh successive time, Chesterfield earned something at Dean Court. This time, after their worst start to a season in 110 years, they saw three players score maiden goals for the club for the first time since 1927.
French winger Alex Mendy plus strikers Craig Westcarr and Leon Clarke all hit the target for the first time in Chesterfield colours after John Sheridan’s men had been under the cosh for the opening half hour.
The win saw the visitors leapfrog Bournemouth in the table and the third goal pushed the goal difference to a level that ensured an escape from the drop zone.
It was the Cherries’ fifth straight defeat after a great season last term. Their chairman, Eddie Mitchell, had riled fans on a radio phone-in by suggesting that they should ‘go and watch Southampton’ if they weren’t satisfied. On the final whistle, he went on to the pitch to face up to the home fans in the Steve Fletcher Stand, addressing them via the public address system.
Phrases such as ‘will the bloke in the leather jacket whose eyes are bulging come over here for a one to one’ and ‘if you don’t want me, who do you want?’ ensured there was a somewhat hostile atmosphere for a few minutes. It all seemed a very ill-advised act.
No doubt the home fans’ ire was fuelled by Lee Bradbury’s side’s failure to score in their dominant spell at the start of the game.
The Spireites defence had been reshaped early on when Simon Ford received a big knock on his head and was clearly dazed. Dean Holden came on and played a blinder despite an early yellow.
Shaun Cooper, Marc Pugh, Adam Barrett and Nathan Byrne all had fierce shots that were kept out or were inches away. They piled up their corner-kick count but Tommy Lee and his backline were as solid as at any time under Sheridan.
Then, on 31 minures, a rare Chesterfield break saw Clarke deliver towards Westcarr, the ball was a tad high for him but Mendy stood tall at the far post to head home from close in. It was the first time this season Spireites had led a league game.
Byrne and Ryan Doble could have levelled before the break whilst Pugh and Doble saw a terrific double save from Lee in the second period’s opening minute. However that proved to be the last moment the result was in doubt as Spireites began to take full control.
A short pass from Danny Whitaker saw Westcarr find some space and he hammered a rising shot into the net’s roof from just inside the box to double the lead.
Lee had to make another excellent intervention to touch a Pugh close ranger onto the bar before Clarke, from close range, diverted a Westcarr effort beyond Darryl Flahavan. It was deserved reward for an impressive debut for the troubled striker.
Clarke said: “I thought Adam Barrett was going to clear it, but he didn’t move his feet quick enough so I just managed to get a touch on it and luckily for me it went in, I’m really happy about it.”
A delighted Sheridan said: “The most pleasing thing is that we came here to try and win the game and luckily for us, our performance gave us a clean sheet and three goals, but the three points is the most important thing.
“I’m very pleased for the players and their effort, they’ve put a lot of effort in this season without getting the results we should have. I expected a very hard game and that’s what they gave us for the first half hour and they put us under a lot of pressure.”
Chesterfield take their new-found form into a home game with last season’s rivals, Bury, tomorrow night, who are also struggling this time around.
Bournemouth: Flahavan 6; Purches 6, Cooper 7, Barrett 6, Malone 6; Byrne 7 (Fletcher 66), MacDonald 6 (Molesley 58), Arter 7, Pugh 8; Doble 5 (Stockley 66, 6), Thomas 5. Subs (not used): Jalal, Cummings.
Chesterfield: Lee 8; Talbot 7, Ford (Holden 10, 8), Grounds 8, Smith 7; Mendy 7, Allott 6, Johnson 6 (Randall 76), Whitaker 7; Clarke 7 (Bowery 84), Westcarr 6. Subs (not used): Fleming, Boden.
Bookings: Holden 17 foul, Grounds 51 foul, Clarke 71 celebrations (all Chesterfield).