Chesterfield: Strong side called up for Senior service

Manager Paul Cook at Fleetwood by Tina Jenner Fleetwood Town v Chesterfield
Manager Paul Cook at Fleetwood by Tina Jenner Fleetwood Town v Chesterfield
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Chesterfield manager Paul Cook is set to name a strong line-up for tonight’s Derbyshire Senior Cup third-round tie against Long Eaton United at the Proact Stadium.

The Spireites have been frustrated by the weather over the past week which has been the cause for consecutive postponements at Northampton Town and Cheltenham Town respectively.

They line up against a Long Eaton side who play in the Northern Counties East League Premier Division some five tiers below Chesterfield in the football pyramid.

United, managed by former Derby County, Hull City and Notts County player Charlie Palmer, go into the game full of confidence, however, having won their last four games convincingly and without conceding a single goal.

They sit midtable in the NCEL Premier - five places and 17 points ahead of Staveley Miners Welfare - and possess one of the meanest defences in the league, having racked up eight cleansheets so far this campaign. Their problems lie at the other end of the pitch where they are one of the division’s lowest scorers.

Shaun Rickford is United’s main threat in front of goal and he has been among them of late, bagging five in a rare 7-0 win against Glasshoughton Welfare. He scored twice against the same opposition in the reverse fixture in their last outing.

Despite the drubbings of Glasshoughton, Long Eaton average just over a goal a game.

But it is thought that Cook will use the opportunity to give some of his senior players a run out ahead of Saturday’s League Two clash at home to Bury.

Chesterfield supporters could get their first glimpse of new recruit Dan Gardner, who signed from FC Halifax Town on Saturday for an undisclosed fee, as well as goalkeeper Ian Dunbravin, who arrived on a month’s loan on January 2.

While Gary Roberts and Sam Morsy have been on the fringe of making a return to first team duties from injury.

Roberts has been sidelined for the past month with a hamstring injury sustained during the FA Cup defeat to Southend United on December 7.

But the influential 29-year-old has made a swift recovery and was hopeful of playing a part against Northampton and Cheltenham over the New Year period.

Morsy has missed the last two months after he suffered a knee injury in the goalless draw away at Bristol Rovers at the end of October.

The match could provide much-needed minutes for one or two others in the fold, including Nathan Smith, Matty Brown, Gary McSheffrey and Jamie Devitt.