Spireites’ FA Cup hosts tomorrow, MK Dons, go into the game buoyed by a terrific run of results in League One.
Their smash and grab win at Bramall Lane on Tuesday followed on from a 6-0 win over Colchester United last Saturday, whilst prior to that Karl Robinson’s men saw off Port Vale and Swindon Town, both at home.
Unbeaten in nine in League One, they now sit at the top of the division’s scoring charts and in 3rd spot in the table and will provide Paul Cook’s team with as tough a route into the glamour of Round Three as is possible this season.
Chesterfield, who’ve not won a second round game since 1996, haven’t won away in the FA Cup at the home of a team from the same division that they trail in the table since 1952, Barrow were beaten back then, so the statisticians will be all saying a Spireites win is well overdue.
Cook will have to do that without key man Dan Jones. The raiding ex-Owls left back will miss three games after his last minute red card following a brawl with Izzy McLeod in the draw at Crawley Town last Saturday.
The manager will have to decide whether to put in 37 year old Ritchie Humphreys against a quick, attack minded side, or drop left sider Sam Clucas from an attacking midfield slot to play the No.3 position.
Clucas has played there occasionally this season and moving him back will give either Dan Gardner or Romy Boco the opportunity to come in.
Cook will also be sweating on the availability of skipper Ian Evatt, who was replaced at Crawley after picking up a nasty facial wound.
Sam Hird has been declared fit but hasn’t played for over three months after picking up a knee ligament injury in the win at Port Vale whilst on-loan Georg Margreitter’s loan from Wolves is about to end, so Hird could be given this opportunity to aid his fitness regime rather than next weeks’ home clash with Bradford City where points are at stake.
Dons will be hoping skipper Dean Lewington will report fit, but Danny Green is unavailable after he picked up two yellows in the 1-0 victory at Sheffield United.