Spireites Fall to First Pre-season Defeat.
Chesterfield fell to their first pre-season defeat by a 3-1 scoreline against Hull City at the Proact Stadium, with Ian Evatt’s first-half header rendered meaningless by a comeback that involved goals from Harry Maguire, Andrew Robertson and Calaum Jahraldo-Martin.
In the opening moments, Sylvan Ebanks-Blake capitalised on a poor touch by Curtis Davies before driving into the area and firing into the arms of Allan McGregor from an awkward angle. An attempted cross by Jay O’Shea from the right-hand side sailed straight towards goal and troubled McGregor who only just managed to tip the ball over the crossbar.
Further up the field, Maguire connected with a driven Sone Aluko cross from the right-hand side and volleyed straight into the stands when expected to at the very least test the opposing goalkeeper. With just 18 minutes on the clock, the Spireites opened the scoring through a thunderous Evatt header from close range after Tendayi Darikwa produced a stunning cross on the right-hand side.
A low ball into the area made its way through a raft of bodies and towards Sam Clucas, who aimed to strike first-time only to misjudge the bounce and watch the ball eventually trickle out of play for a throw-in. On 37 minutes, the visitors levelled the scoreline courtesy of a towering Maguire header which Tommy Lee was absolutely powerless to stop on its way towards the bottom left-hand corner of the net.
Just before the half-time whistle, Clucas tried his luck with a curled effort from around 20 yards that sailed high and ultimately wide of McGregor’s crossbar.
Only six minutes has been played in the second period before Hull City completed the comeback, as Robertson received an intricate pass and directed the ball past Lee on the half-volley from around eight yards to give his side the lead. Dan Gardner then sent a hopeful ball into the path of Ebanks-Blake from inside his own half, although the striker would’ve been in a more than inviting position if not for a raised off-side flag.
Gboly Ariyibi’s introduction just past the hour mark added an immense amount of energy on the flanks, with the winger’s ability to interchange and make marauding runs forward being clearly evident. Dame N’Doye’s first involvement in the second 45 minutes consisted of an ambitious attempt from distance that was always rising and never troubled Lee in the slightest as he simultaneously readied himself for a goal-kick.
With 15 minutes left to play, the away side doubled their advantage through substitute Jahraldo-Martin who beat Lee all-ends-up with his strike from just inside the area. The last real chance of note during this contest fell to Brian Lenihan on the six-yard line after meeting a low Jahraldo-Martin cross from the left-hand side, but somehow the visiting player managed to evade the crossbar with his effort and send the ball straight into the stands.