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Match Reports

Chesterfield 1-2 Notts

Langstaff and Chicksen win nervy affair

11 February 2023

Match Reports

Chesterfield 1-2 Notts

Langstaff and Chicksen win nervy affair

11 February 2023

Goals either side of half-time from Macaulay Langstaff and Adam Chicksen earned us a nervy win at the Technique Stadium.

Langstaff opened the scoring, only for Armando Dobra to level on the brink of half-time.

But, after Jeff King was sent off for the hosts, Chicksen pounced to score in front of a sold-out away end to extend our winning run to four.

Luke Williams made three changes to the side that ground out an excellent ten-man victory against Torquay United the previous weekend.

Ruben Rodrigues was the unfortunate man to see red at Plainmoor, opening the door for Jodi Jones to make his first start in an attacking midfield role alongside Cedwyn Scott, who came in for Sam Austin.

The other change came deeper in midfield, with John Bostock joining Austin on the bench as Jim O’Brien stepped in.

Williams welcomed Richard Brindley and Tobi Adebayo-Rowling back into his squad following their injuries, with Geraldo Bajrami his other substitute.

Within two minutes of kick-off we had come close to opening the scoring as a Jamie Grimes error allowed Langstaff to nip in ahead of Ross Fitzsimons and roll the ball goalwards. There wasn’t quite enough pace on it, though, and a defender managed to divert it away from goal.

After a bright start, an uncharacteristically sloppy spell followed, with Ash Palmer firing over from 12 yards and Joe Quigley sending a shot wide as the hosts threatened to punish us.

We regained our composure, though, and after Jones had curled the ball straight at Fitzsimons and Chicksen had headed Aaron Nemane’s cross over the bar, we had the lead in sensational style.

It came in the 25th minute with a delightful ball over the top from Sam Slocombe which caught the Spireites’ defence cold. Langstaff took an incredible first touch and found the perfect finish beyond Fitzsimons to send the sold-out away end wild.

We weren’t at our composed, free-flowing best though and the hosts always looked capable of threatening an equaliser – particularly on 40 minutes when Quigley emerged from nowhere to meet a cross from the right, only to see Slocombe save his effort.

There was then a controversial moment as Dobra unnecessarily shoved Aden Baldwin into a pitchside camera as the ball was running out of play. The winger went down holding his face after being shoved in the chest by Rawlinson, with both players going into the book.

Nevertheless, it looked like we were destined to go into the break ahead when Slocombe cleared the ball from a goal kick deep into two added minutes. The ball went unchallenged, however, allowing Chesterfield to head it over our backline, forcing Baldwin to concede a corner from which the ball fell kindly for Dobra to lash home from close range.

The referee blew his whistle seconds after the restart and Dobra was in the spotlight again as the players returned to the dressing room, going down theatrically after what video evidence later revealed was the faintest of nudges on the back from Cedwyn Scott as he ran past. Despite once again receiving attention for an apparent head injury, he made a miraculous recovery and was fit to continue in the second half.

Jones led our charge after the break, brilliantly outmuscling a defender and seeing a dangerous low cross cleared before, moments later, sending Langstaff through one-on-one with a sensational turn and pass, only for Fitzsimons to make an excellent save.

It felt like a big chance had passed us by but we managed to retain decent control of the game until the next pivotal moment when King, who had been booked for his over-zealous celebrations in front of our supporters following the equaliser, misjudged a challenge on Scott and was given a second yellow card on 64 minutes.

And shortly afterwards we so nearly nudged ourselves in front when Bostock, on for O’Brien, lofted a beautiful ball over the top for Scott only for Palmer to make a superb last-ditch tackle to deny him a certain goal.

We weren’t to be denied much longer, though, as on 72 minutes Nemane scampered away down the right and pulled the ball back from the byline. Players were queuing up in the middle but Chicksen was the man to meet it with a calm finish in front of our jubilant supporters.

Anyone who thought it would be comfortable from there was to be sadly mistaken as our hosts pushed intently for an equaliser, with a couple of low crosses narrowly evading their targets in the middle.

But, after seven agonising minutes of added time, the referee finally blew his whistle to confirm another tremendous victory.

STARTING XI: Slocombe; Cameron, Baldwin, Rawlinson; Chicksen, Nemane; O'Brien (Bostock 60'), Palmer, Jones, Scott (Austin 78'); Langstaff

UNUSED SUBS: Brindley, Bajrami, Adebayo-Rowling

BOOKINGS: Rawlinson 45', Scott 76', Jones 90'

ATTENDANCE: 9,706 (1,961)


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