Boy did we need that! With Leyton Orient stuffing Yeovil 3-0 we relied on a win to stay above the bottom four, and that’s exactly what we got! It still wasn’t a superb performance but it was better… We are slowly improving. But as I’ve said before, all we need at the minute is three points regardless of the performance and today we’ve come away victorious and played some decent stuff at times. Happy days!
The game started fairly evenly with both teams getting to grips with each other. A luscious pitch allowed for some proper football to be played and this was evident in the first few minutes as the ball was knocked around well. Chesterfield probably edged the opening exchanges in terms of possession but it was the Sky Blues who took the lead after 9 minutes. Some good work allowed Jordan Willis to pick the ball up out wide in an advanced position, he then crossed brilliantly for Marcus Tudgay to head across goal and in to the far corner to make it 1-0!
A similar pattern continued after the first goal as both teams enjoyed some spells of possession. The home side began to create some chances though, and after going close on 13 minutes they nearly equalised just minutes later. On-loan striker Coalan Lavery let fly from the edge of the area and Lee Burge was nearly left red faced after the shot went under him, but to the Keeper’s relief, the ball fortunately deflected off his back and rolled just wide of the post.
The Spireites continued to look for a way through but the City defence were defending admirably, with the two Centre Backs being particulary strong. In terms of our defending also, we seemed very composed as we mopped any danger up well and played the ball out from the back which was aesthetically pleasing. The Sky Blues continued to look dangerous up the other end too though as they countered with menace, and a Grant Ward corner caused problems with 31 minutes played.
However, towards the end of the first period the home side enjoyed a good spell as they looked dangerous. Frustratingly, they got an equaliser just 3 minutes before the break. A decent passing move allowed Jay O’Shea a little pocket of space on the edge of the area, he then unleashed a strike which deflected off a City body and flew in to the bottom left corner past Burge. The Sky Blues had one final effort before the whistle through Dominic Samuel, but the teams went in level at half time.
Chesterfield came out fired up in the second half and they pressed early on for a second goal. With 52 minutes on the clock, Coalan Lavery showed good feet before cutting inside and firing an effort from a difficult angle. Burge responded well however and diverted the shot behind for a corner. City did have periods of good play though, but it was the home side who created more up to the hour mark. The away defence continued to stand strong and thwart the home attacks however, and on 65 minutes their endeavour payed off as the Sky Blues took the lead. A swift passing move allowed Chris Stokes to attack down the left before he saw his cross cleared, but it only landed on the edge of the box. The new man, Grant Ward, then showed quick feet before flashing a ball in to the danger area for Sanmi Odelusi to tap home from six yards to make it 2-1!
After scoring our second, we probably edged the game as confidence seemed to grow. The home side did still look capable though and the game became fairly open. Chris Stokes stung the hands of Lee in the Spireites goal before Lee Burge made a smart stop down the other end. Chesterfield then threw another attack on 76 minutes but City cleared up to Frank Nouble who was lurking on the halfway line. The striker then used great strength to roll his man and race clear towards goal, he then showed great composure to finish and give the Sky Blues a 3-1 lead. Delerium in the away end!
As you could imagine with City, the final 10 minutes of the affair turned out to be a nervy one as the home side threw bodies forward. The defence were looking relatively comfortable still as they dealt with what Chesterfield threw at them, but on 86 minutes Lee Burge was beaten again. A neat passing move on the edge of the area allowed Gary Roberts to play in Gboly Aryibi who then evaded his marker to rifle the ball home and make it 3-2. Adam Barton then had a goal ruled offside, but pressure continued to pile on City and we stood firm and held on for a precious 3 points in Tony Mowbray’s first away game.
I have to say, that was one of the better performances I’ve seen recently, and more importantly it’s three points! In terms of getting the ball on the deck and playing, I believe we did that well today with the pitch undoubtedly helping us achieve that. Although we didn’t create a bucket load of chances, when we did create them we were clinical (as opposed to Tuesday night where we couldn’t hit a barn door).
Defensively we were also very good in my opinion, with Jordan Willis making a good impact on his return. Chris Stokes also proved again that he’s capable enough at this level, and Aaron Martin and Matty Pennington were absolutely superb. The midfield also looked a bit more of a unit, with Fleck and Barton’s passing ability helping City keep possession along with Ward’s ability to win the ball. I think the new man went missing at times in the first half, but he worked hard and was very effective in the second with an assist topping it off.
Going forward we created enough chances and played some great stuff at times, and our clinical nature surprised me as all of the goals were well worked finishes. If we can replicate this performance against Fleetwood on Tuesday, and defend like we did today hopefully we can get another victory. Obviously conceding two goals doesn’t look good, but we defended well as a whole and we were unlucky with both goals we conceded in my opinion.
There’s no doubt that there is still major room for improvement but since Mowbray’s appointment I have to say there has been changes… And positive ones thankfully! It’s compulsory that we gain at least a point now on Tuesday, and I’m confident we can get at least that. They also won today 1-0 against Rochdale so it will be a tough game, but hopefully we can pull further away from danger.
Lee Burge – 7
Chris Stokes – 7
Aaron Martin – 8
Matthew Pennington – 8
Jordan Willis – 7
John Fleck – 7.5
Grant Ward – 7
Adam Barton – 7
Dominic Samuel – 6
Marcus Tudgay – 7
Frank Nouble – 7
Odelusi – 7
Jackson – N/A