Spireites Claim Narrow Victory Against Walsall.
Chesterfield sealed a 1-0 victory against Walsall at the Proact Stadium yesterday afternoon and as a result, enhanced their own opportunity of eventually claiming a place in the play-offs come the end of the season. An unlikely source provided the only goal of the game, as Sam Hird netted late in the second period to claim all three points for the Spireites.
Paul Cook named an unchanged side from last Saturday’s defeat against Peterborough United for this particular encounter.
In the opening moments, Jay O’Shea took matters into his own hands with an individual run that culminated in a shot that sailed straight into the stands. With just eight minutes on the clock, Ollie Banks had the ball in the back of the net following a driven cross from Gary Roberts only for it to be disallowed because of an earlier infringement.
Showing his aerial prowess once more, Banks connected with Drew Talbot’s cross from the left-hand side and directed the ball narrowly wide of Richard O’Donnell’s post who was firmly rooted to the spot. Anthony Forde tried his luck with a speculative attempt from distance that never troubled Lee in the slightest.
Looking for an opener, Talbot played the ball to Sam Morsy who struck tamely into the palms of O’Donnell from approximately 25 yards. On the stroke of half-time, Tendayi Darikwa delivered for Sam Clucas who failed to connect on the six-yard line with his outstretched foot.
After the break, Andy Taylor fed the ball to James Baxendale who failed to force a save from Tommy Lee as his effort from a matter of yards went wide of the target by a considerable distance. Moving on in this second period, Jimmy Ryan took the decision to strike from 30 yards and watched the ball fly out of play for a goal-kick.
Just before the hour-mark, Clucas went to ground inside the area but play was signalled to continue by the referee who had absolutely no intention of awarding a penalty-kick in that particular scenario. To prevent an opening goal for the away side, Darikwa reacted quickest and cleared the danger before Jordy Hiwula could reach the ball just two yards from goal to net an almost certain tap-in if not for the energetic right-back’s recovery.
With only four minutes of normal time left to play, Hird connected with Ryan’s driven corner-kick and directed his header past O’Donnell with conviction to open the scoring and ultimately give his side a late lead in this contest. For the full four minutes of additional time, Walsall pushed for an equaliser but to no avail and as a result the Spireites claimed an important three points to maintain their charge for a play-off place come the end of this season.