MATCH REPORT: Chesterfield 4 Cheltenham 1

Proact joy: The Spireites celebrate another Chris Atkinson goal
Proact joy: The Spireites celebrate another Chris Atkinson goal
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PAUL Cook’s influence was again clear as the Spireites swept aside third-placed Cheltenham, making it 11 games without defeat against Mark Yates’ side.

Chesterfield, who had to suffer a few spells of defending, were slick going forward and generally solid at the back as they climbed into the top half of the table.

Chris Atkinson opened the scoring with his fifth of the season, all of them in Spireites wins, but the vital goal came from Sam Togwell at the end of the first half.

Kaid Mohamed headed in to give Cheltenham hope but Marc Richards, who came in for Scott Boden for his first start in two months, restored the two goal cushion within two minutes.

The indefatigable Jack Lester came off the bench to score with his first touch to kill off hopes of a comeback.

The Spireites’ two new loan signings, winger Jay O’Shea (MK Dons) and left-back Conor Townsend (Hull) both had to make do with a spot on the bench. Townsend’s recruitment spells the end of Liam Ridehalgh’s loan (Huddersfield).

Following a couple of wayward efforts by Tendayi Darikwa and Drew Talbot, Brennan Dickenson drilled an early shot inches high after Atkinson’s run.

The Spireites took a deserved lead when Richards played the ball to Darikwa who cut it back for Atkinson to shoot low, from 12 yards.

Marlon Pack’s 27th-minute free-kick, caught comfortably by Tommy Lee, marked the first time the visitors had posed any threat to the blue backline though another free-kick from the same player soon after caused more problems as the ball pin-balled in the box.

Scott Brown had to block a Dickenson shot as the Spireites looked to regain the initiative. The home side broke away and Darikwa hit the bar but the ball fell kindly for an unmarked Togwell to head home from six yards in the 45th minute.

Talbot shot across the face after some neat Darikwa play whilst Dickenson and Whitaker both hit high as Chesterfield looked to add to their advantage after the break, but as with the Spireites’ second, a goal came against the run of play.

Billy Jones delivered a corner and Mohamed ended Cheltenham’s long scoring drought against Spireites, it was their first goal in the last eight meetings, but before you could contemplate any sort of comeback, Richards half-volleyed in after Dickenson’s assist after a quick break.

Keith Lowe shot inches over as Robins battled on but Chesterfield still had plenty of fuel in the tank.

Richards headed on target just before being replaced by Lester, who bundled in the ball following fellow sub Luis Boa Morte’s right-wing corner.

CHESTERFIELD (4-2-3-1): Lee 6, Talbot 7, Hird 7, Cooper 7, Smith 6, Atkinson 8, Togwell 8, Darikwa 9, Whitaker 7 (Clay 63, 6), Dickenson 6 (Boa Morte 70, 6), Richards 7 (Lester 74). Subs (not used): O’Donnell, Forbes, Townsend, O’Shea.

Goals: Atkinson 16, Togwell 45, Richards 59, Lester 75.

CHELTENHAM (4-2-3-1): Brown 6, Lowe 7, Bennett 7, Elliott 6, Jones 6, Carter 6 (McGlashan HT, 6), Pack 8, Goulding 6 (Harrad 67, 6), Penn 6, Mohamed 6, Zebroski 6 (Duffy 79). Subs (not used): Roberts, Deering, Andrew, Hanks.

Goal: Mohamed 57.

Ref: Gareth Salisbury (Lancashire)

Bookings: Talbot, Zebrowski, Pack, Bennett.

Attendance: 4,333.