Chesterfield FC halt losing streak but goal drought goes on

Chesterfield halted their losing streak with a 0-0 draw with Dover, but have now failed to find the net in five consecutive outings.

The Spireites dominated the second half after a dire first 45 minutes and hit the woodwork twice in a frenetic final few seconds, but had to settle for a point at the Proact.

Having lost six on the spin before the visit of the struggling Kent side, Town will take some positives from the result and their second half control.

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But it wasn’t enough for some in the 4,303 crowd, boos heard both at the break and at the full-time whistle.

The home side fashioned an early shooting chance when a corner was only cleared as far as Drew Talbot and he set his sights but hammered it high and wide.

Chesterfield had a real let-off in the 12th minute when they fell asleep after conceding a corner, Dover took it quickly and a cross into the middle was headed over by Tim Schmoll.

The Spireites struggled to find their front men with service of any real quality for a long spell, the home support voicing their discontent as high balls to the diminuitive Lee Shaw were dealt with by the three giant Dover centre-backs.

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There was a chance for the little striker on 25 minutes, Laurence Maguire’s low cross helped on by Curtis Weston, but Shaw slipped and the ball bounced back to Weston whose effort from an acute angle was well saved.

Gozie Ugwu and Jerome Binnom-Williams struggled to make an impact in the first half an hour but linked up well on one occasion when the striker flicked the ball inside and Binnom-Williams drove forward and shot over the bar.

That was about as good as it got in a dire first half, boos filling the air as referee Leigh Doughty signalled half-time.

Martin Allen withdrew Maguire, who like several others had a poor first 45 minutes, and sent on Zavon Hines at the break.

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Chesterfield’s top goalscorer instantly livened things up, starting a move that led to a corner which was eventually headed over by Binnom-Williams.

Seconds later Hines danced his way to the byline and pulled it back for Joe Rowley who shot over.

As the game approached the hour mark Town finally put together some free flowing football and almost took the lead.

Hines started the move on the left before play was switched and Barry crossed into the area, Shaw helping it on to Rowley who saw a fierce drive parried wide by Mitch Walker.

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Town probed and probed as Dover sat in and defended for their lives, countless balls swung into the box and pumped up front without joy.

The goal almost arrived deep in injury time, with Dover down to 10 men following Aryan Tajbakhsh’s dismissal for a second yellow.

Michael Nelson’s cross from the left was headed onto the post by Brad Barry and in agonising scenes, Curtis Weston put the rebound against the bar before the final whistle sounded.

Chesterfield: Barry, Maguire (Hines 46), Nelson, Hollis, Talbot, Binnom-Williams, Weston, Rowley (Reid 77), Shaw, Ugwu (Evans 85). Not used: Burton, Weir.

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Dover: Walker, Passley, Connors (Nortey 67), Diarra, Essam, Schmoll, Brundle, Tajbaksh, Jeffrey (Daniel 65), Sho-Silva (Effiong 72), Allen. Not used: Okosieme, Massanka.

Yellows: Barry 23, Weston 51, Nelson 84; Sho-Silva 36, Tajbakhsh 67, 90, Diarra 81, Brundle 87

Reds: Tajbakhsh 90.

Referee: Leigh Doughty. Assistants: Scott Taylor, Robert Wainwright.

Attendance: 4,303 (137 away)