Cook finds the right recipe

Eoin Doyle, centre, celebrates after scoring Chesterfield's second and conclusive goal
Eoin Doyle, centre, celebrates after scoring Chesterfield's second and conclusive goal
0
Have your say

Chesterfield made it back-to-back wins in the league with a fine 2-0 win against Cheltenham in their first home game of the season.

Gary Roberts scored one and made the other for Eoin Doyle in their home debuts as the Spireites notched up consecutive clean sheets in League Two.

It took them until December last season to achieve the same feat, which in itself speaks volumes of the progress made under manager Paul Cook, who still has club captain Ian Evatt to come into the equation.

The defender is nearing match fitness while Liam Cooper is also waiting in the wings after making a full recovery from a side strain that had kept him out of the win at Bury on opening day.

Sam Hird, who remains on the transfer list, and on-loan Ryan Edwards, impressed again at the heart of the back four in an area Chesterfield have strength in depth.

With competition for places all over the park, Marc Richards was given the nod ahead of Doyle and Armand Gnanduillet as Cook continued with Roberts occupying the role behind a lone front man.

And it was Roberts, a summer signing from Swindon, who was so often the architect going forward. His deep cross from the left flank had enough on it to keep Richards interested and the striker, at full stretch, headed narrowly wide of the target.

Byron Harrison had a sight of goal for Cheltenham before Russell Penn was first to test Lee with a driving effort from distance that the Spireites keeper grabbed at the second time of asking.

The visitors continued to flood forward and Harrison looped a header over Lee’s bar from Sido Jombati’s right wing cross and Jermaine McGlashan attempted a right footed curler that sailed just wide.

And, as it looked like the Robins were getting a foothold in the game, Chesterfield took the lead with a swift break from the back.

Richards held the ball up under pressure and threaded a precise pass through to Roberts, who twisted the defender one way and then the other, before unleashing a powerful effort that found the right corner of the net via a deflection.

Utility man Ritchie Humphreys, continuing in a midfield role, did well to beat his man in the air but sent a header wide of the target after Roberts had kept alive Richards’ cross from the left.

A flowing, patient attack from right to left resulted in Jimmy Ryan trying his luck from range before he was fouled and from the resulting free-kick Roberts had Scott Brown scrambling across his goal to prevent the Spireites from doubling their advantage.

The visitors almost levelled when a rare mix up in the hosts’ defence between Nathan Smith and Hird presented an opportunity for Harrison, who lifted a shot over the advancing Lee but Edwards slid in to preserve Chesterfield’s lead at the break.

Tendayi Darikwa replaced Smith at the break and made an immediate impact when he ran on to a through ball and teed up Jay O’Shea, whose side-footed volley was well saved low to his right by Brown.

Cheltenham had the ball in the back of the net through Ashley Vincent’s close-range header, but the linesman’s flag cut the visitors’ celebrations short.

Lee had to make a crucial stop to deny Harrison when, after a mazy run through a crowded penalty area, the striker found himself six yards out with a sight of goal.

The game began to hot up midway through the second half with both sides showing their physical attributes. Sam Morsy and Ryan in the Spireites’ engine room stood up to the test and played an integral part as Cheltenham continued to press for an equaliser.

Chesterfield kept their heads and a neat interchange between Darikwa and substitute Doyle saw the winger one-on-one with the Robins’ keeper, who stayed on his feet and made the save.

Roberts tried a chip from 20 yards that was far more comfortable for the keeper moments later before O’Shea sent a shot just wide of the post as the Spireites pushed for a second.

Vincent thought he had broken Chesterfield’s resistance when he met Craig Braham-Barrett’s cross but Edwards managed to deflect the ball away for a corner that came to nothing.

The Spireites were on the attack and it needed another vital stop from Brown to stop O’Shea, who tricked his way round a couple of challenges to create an opening.

In an end to end period of the match, a good ball from Penn released McGlashan who went to ground under the challenge of Hunphreys, but the referee waved away their protests.

McGlashan had a glorious opportunity to send the visitors away with a point but he delayed his shot and a combination of Darikwa and Drew Talbot recovered to clear the danger, despite a hint of offside.

Doyle got his second goal of the week to make the points safe in the 90th minute with a low drive that took a slight deflection on its way into the net, with Brown rooted to the spot.