Spireites bidding to give Wembley dream a flier

Fitness race: Striker Craig Westcarr.        photo: tina jenner
Fitness race: Striker Craig Westcarr. photo: tina jenner
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Spireites are 180 minutes away from a potential trip to Wembley.

A play-off defeat in 1990 to Cambridge United, the first such match ever played under the Twin Towers, and a win in the 1995 version against Bury were Chesterfield’s previous visits to the famous North London district.

Now John Sheridan’s former club, Oldham Athletic, stand between them and a first trip to the redeveloped stadium in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy.

The Latics, who visit the B2net in tonight’s first leg, have had the better of this season’s contests. A 5-2 win at Boundary Park and a 1-1 draw at the B2net a couple of weeks ago indicate Paul Dickov’s side are massive favourites for the two-legged tie.

Add to that the fact that key defenders Neal Trotman and Liam Ridehalgh are cup-tied, and the odds seem to favour Oldham no-end. Sheridan will be hoping defender Simon Ford (knee) and winger or striker Craig Westcarr (ankle) will be fit enough to be considered for starts whilst midfielder Mark Randall (hand) could come into contention as well.

There have been no reports of further injuries picked up in Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Orient. Mark Allott, rested at the weekend, comes back into contention as does Nathan Smith, who is likely to replace Ridehalgh at left-back.

Whilst league position is clearly the top priority Sheridan said: “No matter what game we play, I’m going to try and win it. It’s a massive game for us and I’m going to try my best to get us to Wembley. The fans deserve something to cheer about and we’ll be doing our best to get a positive result in the first leg.”

He confirmed his recruitment drive is far from over, stating: “I’m trying to bring one or two more players in. We need to fill in one or two positions, try and work hard, push on and try and get the results we need to get out of the position we’re in.”

Due to the cold snap, there is a pitch inspection at 2pm today. Should the pitch be deemed unplayable, the match will take place tomorrow at 7.45pm. All match tickets will be valid for Wednesday.