Leyton Orient 1 Chesterfield 1: Match Report

Frenchman Jimmy Juan celebrates his debut goal for the Spireites by Tina Jenner
Frenchman Jimmy Juan celebrates his debut goal for the Spireites by Tina Jenner
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While France may have lost its triple A rating in the financial markets, the Spireites look to have unearthed a potential A-rated star in Frenchman Jimmy Juan.

Initially playing in the centre of a five-man midfield, Juan won tackles and passed accurately.

Iin the second half, after falling behind to a quality David Mooney strike from a Lee Cook pass just before the break, the Spireites switched to 4-4-2 and Juan’s game improved all the more.

Alongside fellow debutant David Davis, there was steel and a purpose to the engine room that has been absent far too often this season. The new pair look capable of leading an unlikely recovery.

Juan was clearly the leading contender for Man of the Match before his neat equaliser. Jack Lester, on as a sub seconds earlier, judged the bounce of the ball well and laid it into the path of left-back Liam Ridehalgh whose cross picked out Juan.

Back to goal, the tall midfielder turned well to slide the ball home from adjacent to the penalty spot. It was Chesterfield’s first league goal at Orient since 1909 when they used to play at nearby Millfields Road.

While only a draw, a 17th league game without a win and a 22nd game in all competitions without a clean sheet, there were signs of improvement in quality.

A third debut-maker, right-back James Hurst, also showed his class both defensively and as a raider, as did Ridehalgh at left-back in only his second game for the club. Hurst’s acquisition allowed Drew Talbot to push up to wide midfield and his endeavour benefited a department that has been the most criticised by the fans this term.

The midfield at Brisbane Road, particularly in the second half, looked capable of driving the side forwards.

The clear weakness on display was up front. Jordan Bowery worked hard as a lone striker in the first half and alongside Scott Boden after the switch. But they lack the power and penetration to indicate that, as a front two, they can lead the revival.

As a result, Sheridan’s on-going recruitment drive must concentrate on this area. Lester retains the quality but won’t play every game while Boden and Bowery have a key role to play, but not together from the start.

The Spireites rode their luck from time to time against a well-organised Orient side.

Sheridan said: “I’m pleased with the way we played and I thought we worked very hard.”

Orient (4-4-2): Butcher 6, McSweeney 7, Cuthbert 7, Forbes 6, Chicksen 6, Cox 7, Spring 7, Smith 6, Cook 7 (Laird 68, 7), Mooney 8 (Cureton 84), Lisbie 6 (Tehoue 75). Subs (not used): Ben Youssef, Porter.

Chesterfield (4-5-1): Lee 7, Hurst 7, Trotman 6, Robertson 6, Ridehalgh 7, Talbot 6, Davis 7, Juan 8, Whitaker 6, Boden 6, Bowery 6 (Lester 68). Subs (not used): Fleming, Niven, Mendy, Smith.

Goals: Mooney 42 (Orient); Juan 68 (Chesterfield).

Ref: Graham Scott (Oxfordshire).

Booking: Davis (Chesterfield).

Attendance: 4,174.