Spireites’ showing against MK Dons was described by visiting manager Karl Robinson as: “The most difficult game we’ve played this season.”
That’ll be scant consolation for his Chesterfield counterpart Paul Cook who saw his side batter Dons in the first half before the game’s key moment, when Eoin Doyle hit the ball just wide and within a couple of minutes Benik Afobe scored the only goal of the game for the visitors.
Thirteen shots against eight and 14 corners to two shows how dominant Spireites were at times in the game, played between two teams that want to pass and entertain.
Dan Gardner made a brief appearance off the bench, his first competitive minutes of the season, and looked sharp. He could be in line for a start at Highbury. Ian Banks continued his fitness build-up with another sub appearance and Armand Gnanduillet, also appearing off the bench, showed enough power and desire to be in the manager’s thoughts.
The overall performance was solid enough for Cook to probably keep the same starting 11. Left back Dan Jones has settled in, his raids down the flank and willingness to get early crosses in to the box have earned him new fans whilst on the right side of midfield the other new face, Romy Boco, has also shown up positively.
Saturday’s opponents, Fleetwood Town, managed by Graham Alexander, won 2-0 at Scunthorpe in midweek to make it three from three, Jamie Proctor and Gareth Evans were on target. They’ve also won at Notts County and at home to Crewe Alexandra, losing only to Rotherham United in the Capital One Cup to an extra time goal from Matt Derbyshire.
The Cod Army, who won the League Two play-off final in May, beating Burton Albion thanks to an Anthony Sarcevic goal, have clearly adapted well to life in a higher sphere though Spireites will be hoping to continue their unbeaten record on Fleetwood’s own turf, two wins and a draw have come in their three visits, all within the last 16 months.