Match Report: Chesterfield 1 Bournemouth 0

Holding up: Veteran striker Jack Lester shields the ball from a defender.'         Picture: steve parkin.
Holding up: Veteran striker Jack Lester shields the ball from a defender.' Picture: steve parkin.
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Loanee Liam Ridehalgh’s stunner lifted Spireites of the foot of the table for the first time since Bonfire Night.

John Sheridan’s back line also put in a magnificent shift to earn their first clean sheet in 25 games to end an unwanted club record against a Bournemouth side that had all but forgotten to lose away from home.

Spireites, without three points in a home game since September, went into the match with an unchanged starting line-up following the win at Colchester United last Saturday.

Alex Mendy was on the bench but the likes of Dean Morgan, Craig Westcarr and Simon Ford didn’t make it, presumably with Monday’s Johnstone’s Paint Trophy trip to Oldham Athletic in mind.

Bournemouth, coming into the game unbeaten in 11 away games in League One and also having won their last two games, both at home, made two changes. Michael Symes and Harry Arter were out so Steven Gregory and Shaun MacDonald came in.

Former Chesterfield favourite Steve Fletcher was on the bench alongside Symes.

MacDonald fired the game’s first shot well wide as both sides battled for early supremacy but neither side could find the key to breach their opponents’ defence.

The first corner came when the game was a quarter completed and Marc Pugh’s delivery flew over everyone and drifted for a throw. It was that kind of opening.

Simon Francis dragged a half-chance well wide on 26, only the game’s second shot, on what was a tricky surface after torrential rain an hour before kick-off.

Ex Spireite loanee Charlie Daniels followed that up with a sky-high long and Wes Fogden pulled one off target as the game struggled along. Ridehalgh was the first Spireite to sniff a chance but he was crowded out as he entered the box. Three back-to-back corners for the visitors put pressure on Tommy Lee’s goal, but the keeper, in his 150th club appearance, wasn’t troubled.

Francis was booked for a foul on Ridehalgh and his free-kick was headed over by Josh Thompson five minutes ahead of the break, the hosts’ first dangerous sortie.

That was soon followed by Jack Lester bursting through the middle after a Stephane Zubar slip but Darryl Flahavan’s leg save the shot as, for the first time, Spireites looked dangerous.

Fogden headed wide straight after the restart and Talbot retorted with a decent cross in ahead of Spireites’ first corner of the game that saw David Davis slice his effort hopelessly off target.

Flahavan had to be at his best to tip a Lester left footer wide after Scott Boden’s pass as the game began to expand and Spireites didn’t have to wait long to take the lead.

Ridehalgh received just outside the box, he had to manoeuvre his body into position ahead of unleashing a left footed cracker from 20 yards to register his first ever senior goal.

He didn’t hold back on his celebrations.

Steve Cook headed into the side netting, the travelling fans from their angle thought it had gone in, then Pugh chipped one just over as Cherries introduced Symes and went 4-4-2 to try and get back into the game.

Wes Thomas, no longer isolated up front, headed wide and then he saw Lee save his shot after Neal Trotman had blocked from Daniels. Fletcher came on to add to the Cherries’ firepower whilst Jordan Bowery replaced Boden for Chesterfield.

Gregor Robertson had to block from Symes in a frenetic finale but Spireites held on.

Earlier in the day, defender Aaron Downes extended his loan at Bristol Rovers for the rest of the season.

* Chesterfield (4-4-2): Lee 7, Hurst 6, Trotman 7, Thompson 7, Robertson 6, Talbot 6, Allott 7, Davis 6, Ridehalgh 7, Boden 6 (Bowery 79), Lester 7. Subs (not used): Fleming, Whitaker, Mendy, Smith.

* Goal: Ridehalgh 55

* Bournemouth: (4-5-1): Flahavan 7, Francis 7, Cook 6, Zubar 6, Purches 6 (Symes 64, 6), Daniels 6, Fogden 6, Gregory 6, Macdonald 6 (Fletcher 76), Pugh 8, Thomas 6. Subs (not used): Jalal, Cummings, Carmichael.

* Ref: Andre Marriner (West Midlands)

* Bookings: Francis (Bournemouth)

* Attendance: 6,958