Spireites Report: Cheltenham 1 Chesterfield 0

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SPIREITES lost to a stoppage time Paul Benson header when they could have nicked all three points.

Both teams were unchanged from respective weekend wins, Spireites first away triumph since early December whilst Mark Yates’s side have lost just once in 11 and they’ve not failed to pick up a home point since September.

Chesterfield went into the game unbeaten in 11 previous meetings with the Robins and without ever having conceded a goal at Whaddon Road.

The first half was a tight affair with few clear cut chances, but the best of the few fell to the visitors. The rough diamond that is Armand Gnanduillet whipped in a right footer from the right corner of the box that Scott Brown did well to catch.

That shot from nothing showed the good side of the big Frenchman, who just eight minutes later was presented with a gilt edged chance. Jay O’Shea delivered the ball on a plate for the striker but his unmarked six yard header ended up bouncing down with all of the power of the cross nullified. Brown must have thought his birthday had come early as he gathered the ball to chest in simple fashion. Marlon Pack headed over from similar range from a Billy Jones cross for Robins’ best pre-break chance.

Conor Townsend, Sam Hird and sub Jack Lester all went close as the visitors enjoyed the better of the second half play. Hird saw a rocket blocked ahead of Jason Taylor striking a beauty just over the top in the 77th minute, Robins’ first real second half effort.

Lester whipped a volley within a whisker but, with three minutes of stoppage time added, Jones whipped in a cross for Benson to head home to end Cheltenham’s long run without a goal here against the Spireites.

Spireites performance was solid if not spectacular and ironically somewhat better than in the win at Dagenham on Saturday.

Bristol Rovers come to town on Saturday, their manager John Ward was in the stands to weigh up his side’s next challenge.

Cheltenham (4-2-3-1): Brown 6, Lowe 7, Hector 7, Elliott 7, Jones 5, Taylor 6, Pack 7, Penn 6 (McGlashan 65, 7), Deering 8 (Mohamed 86), Carter 7 (Harrison 65, 6), Benson 5. Subs (not used): Roberts, Duffy, Harrad, Jombati.

Chesterfield (4-4-2): Lee 6, Talbot 6, Trotman 7, Cooper 8, Smith 7, O’Shea 6, Hird 6, Togwell 7, Townsend 7, Gnanduillet 6 (Darikwa 81), Richards 6 (Lester 62, 6). Subs (not used): Barrington, Whitaker, Brindley, Randall, Clark.

Bookings: Richards, Smith (Chesterfield.) Att: 2195.