Chesterfield: Spireites looks to the future after cup success

Chesterfield manager Dean Saunders
Chesterfield manager Dean Saunders
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Chesterfield manager Spireites manager Dean Saunders has spoken of his relief at their FA Cup first round win at FC United of Manchester.

Two goals inside the opening 12 minutes gave the Spireites a solid platform and two more in the second half gave the visitors a comfortable cushion before a stoppage time goal from the National North side made it 4-1 on Monday.

Saunders said: “We’re through; it was a difficult game. The cameras were at the game for an upset so we were on our guard and we started the game off great and probably that start gave us the win and enabled us to have a comfortable night.

“We were on a hiding to nothing. We won 4-1 and we should have beaten them by scoring four; that’s what everyone will say but I’ve been in football a long time and these games are not easy.

“Their fans were magnificent, bouncing behind the goal, it was like a Championship match.

“If we hadn’t have had that good start or if they’d have got back to 2-1 it would have been a difficult night.”

Regarding the second round draw, a home game against Walsall, he added: “It’s a tough draw, probably the toughest we could have had but if you make progress you’re going to have to beat tough teams.”

The draw ended a run of eight straight away ties in all cup competitions for Chesterfield, but history isn’t kind in FA Cup games against the Saddlers, four pairings, four knock-outs for Spireites.

League ever present Dan Gardner was left out of the game in Manchester due to a sore neck.

“He said he was alright,” commented Saunders.

“But by resting him he’ll definitely be alright for the weekend game.”

Spireites host Oldham Athletic on Saturday, with the Latics having posted just one win in 16 in all competitions and just two wins all season. Indeed, David Dunn’s side have failed to score in their last three outings including last weekend’s goalless cup draw at Mansfield Town.