Spireites FT: Chesterfield 0 Burton Albion 2

Paul Cook
Paul Cook
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Chesterfield fell to a 2-0 home defeat to Burton.

Both sides struggled to keep hold of the ball in the early stages, as play was negotiated predominantly in the middle of the park with very little penalty area action.

Hussey tried to change that and would have felt he should have scored when he smacked the combination of post and bar after an inswinging corner sparked a goalmouth scramble.

Burton did take the lead moments later when McGURK picked the ball up 30 yards from goal and broke through Chesterfield’s defence before calmly slotting past Lee.

And it didn’t take long for the visitors to double their advantage when a break down the right saw Hussey with time and space to pick out a cross that McGURK rose highest to power a header into the bottom corner.

The Spireites were shell-shocked and looking for a way back into the game with barely 15 minutes on the clock.

It almost came when the returning Roberts floated an inviting centre towards Porter to challenge defender and goalkeeper. Pickford half-punched and the ball fell for Doyle, whose shot was charged down for a corner.

Ryan took the resulting flag kick which wasn’t cleared and, with his second attempt, lofted a ball to the back post for Talbot to attack but it was easy for Pickford.

McGurk was giving Chesterfield all sorts of problems and had the pace to nip in front of Lee from a long ball but his touch was too heavy and the ball just got away from him.

Burton should have had another when Phillips made progress down the left and whipped in a cross that Ryan sliced into the path of Weir, who volleyed over the bar from six yards when it looked easier to score.

A sequence of crunching tackles from both sets of players - one of which left Burton’s Phillips in a heap on the floor - added a little extra spice to this encounter.

And, with Phillips on the deck, Chesterfield flooded forward in search of a foothold in the game. They almost got it when Humphreys crossed to the back post for Darikwa, who volleyed into the turf, and Sharps had to be on hand to head away from danger with Porter sniffing.

The man on loan from Sheffield United had a chance moments later when Talbot’s cross was deflected towards the back post but he headed over from within the six yard box with Pickford flailing.

The Spireites lacked rhythm and twice Ryan uncharacteristically misplaced passes to Humphreys down the left. Doyle found space but opted to shoot first time rather than carry the ball towards goal and his effort was blocked by Cansdell-Sherriff.

Porter and Darikwa linked up well but the striker miscued his volley harmlessly wide of Pickford’s left hand post.

Porter repaid the compliment moments later but his shot from distance was blocked for another Chesterfield corner that came to nothing.

Ryan’s deflected shot from distance wrong-footed Pickford in the Burton goal but it went behind for a corner, which was easily cleared by Burton at the near post, as Chesterfield went into half time two goals behind.

The South stand did their best to get Chesterfield going after the break but it was the visitors who should have extended their lead through that man, McGurk. Bell pounced on to a loose ball from Cooper and shifted it to the right for McGurk, whose first touch was heavy and gave Cooper chance to recover in time on the slide.

Burton had another chance to go further ahead. Edwards met Hussey’s inswinging corner and sent a header towards the bottom corner that was blocked on the line by his own team-mate Sharps.

Gnanduillet, moments after replacing Porter, headed a Roberts corner over. The Ivorian under-21 international then challenged for O’Shea’s centre and this time sent a powerful effort wide and took a blow to the head for his troubles.

Burton’s Phillips was guilty of not putting the visitors three ahead when his effort went wide with the angle against him. Pickford did well to keep Burton’s two-goal lead when he pushed Doyle’s effort away from goal.

Pickford had to be on his toes to tip a Gnanduillet thunderbolt over his bar.