SPIREITES MATCH REPORT: Wycombe 2 Chesterfield 1

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Chesterfield boss Paul Cook was furious after seeing his side squander a lead, and control of the game, to lose at Adams Park.

After Jay O’Shea had put the Spireites in the lead, they conceded a scrappy goal from Kortney Hause right on half-time and lost out to Jo Kuffour’s first goal for the Chairboys 10 minutes after the break.

Cook fumed: “We weren’t in control, we’re losing games. We lack hunger, desire and fire in our bellies. We got beat by a far hungrier team in the second half. Yes, we were strolling, we were going to go on and win the game but there is an undercurrent of softness at the club. It’s going to change.

“There’s a pattern to what we do. We concede goals, we’re weak. It’s there for everyone to see. Personnel will change, but I can’t do it in a day. I can’t come in and make everything right. We come away from home and we get beaten and we let everybody down.”

After indicating the players’ first day off since before Christmas was cancelled - “They’re in at nine o’clock on Sunday, - he added: “Our travelling supporters are bored with excuses, how well we played or how unlucky we were. We’re perpetual losers; we have a habit of it.”

How different things looked ahead of the fourth official holding up the ‘One extra minute’ board ahead of half-time.

Having reverted to the team that destroyed Port Vale at Vale Park, the Spireites soon got into their stride and Marc Richards forced the game’s first save of note with an angled shot.

The visitors took a deserved lead when O’Shea shimmied by a player from the second phase of a corner to blast a rising, slightly deflected, shot beyond Jordan Archer.

The scorer then rattled the bar with a peach of a 20-yarder and Luis Boa Morte had a header saved as the tempo of the game was dictated by Cook’s charges.

Right on 45 minutes, Wanderers won their first corner in something of a comedy style. Everyone seemed to stop expecting the whistle to go for an offence and Boa Morte blasted the ball out for the kick. However the scrappiness of the earning of the corner was nothing compared to the execution of it.

Josh Scowen delivered from the left and Hause seemed to control with his arm, while pulling Tommy Lee’s shirt as well as holding him down. The ball moved at snail’s pace towards the line with both attackers and defenders collapsed on the line in a scene more reminiscent of Wycombe’s co-users of the ground, Wasps Rugby Union Club.

It clearly crossed the line, Hause raised a hand and the goal was his, but how there was no offence committed remains a mystery.

The goal lifted the previously inert hosts though the first second-half action saw Richards head against the bar.

From then on, the spring in Chesterfield’s step disappeared and Wycombe filled the void. Former Spireite Dean Morgan, anonymous before the break, spurned a golden opportunity, snatching at a shot when he was clear.

Mark Randall could have put the Spireites ahead again but Archer’s dive kept his header out. Wanderers broke from the resulting corner and Sam Wood fired wide, but they were soon in front and in control.

Morgan’s free-kick hit the wall but the ball was dinked back into the danger area where Kuffour, in a real goal drought, flicked the ball over his shoulder with the outside of his boot. The ball was far too high for Lee, dropping in under the bar to change the complexion of the contest.

Morgan hit the bar with another free-kick before Brennan Dickenson’s shot was well blocked by the home keeper. It was to be the sub’s last meaningful action for the club. He’s returned to Brighton with his loan having finished.

Training will be very tough this week, but it’ll be Cook’s phone that will be working hardest as he looks to try to get in the squad the endeavour he’s desperate to see.

Wycombe (4-4-2): Archer 7, Harriman 7, Hause 6, Winfield 6, Dunne 8, Grant 7, Lewis 7 (Stewart 90+3), Scowen 7, Wood 6, Morgan 7 (Ainsworth 90+3), Kuffour 6. Subs (not used): Harrison, Spring, Andrade, Oli, Morias.

Chesterfield (4-4-1-1): Lee 6, Talbot 5 (Lester 57, 5), Cooper 7, Hird 6, Smith 8, Darikwa 7, Togwell 6, Randall 5 (Whitaker 73), Boa Morte 5 (Dickenson 70, 5), O’Shea 7, Richards 5. Subs (not used):O’Donnell, Trotman, Clay, Boden.

Bookings: Cooper, Hird, Randall, Boa Morte (Chesterfield); Lewis, Morgan (Wycombe)