Spireites Defeat Ilkeston.
Chesterfield came away with a 3-1 win from this pre-season friendly against Ilkeston at the New Manor Ground, courtesy of Jay O’Shea’s penalty-kick, Armand Gnanduillet’s forceful first-half header and a simple finish from Rai Simons during the second 45 minutes. Liam Marshall netted the only goal of the game for the home side, which in the end was rendered meaningless.
In the opening moments, Joe Doyle beat Dan Gardner to a loose ball on the right-hand side and crossed towards Kingsley Williams who fired wide of the post with his first-time strike from close range. With just 14 minutes on the clock, the Spireites were awarded a penalty after Gnanduillet went one-on-one with Evandro Rachoni before being brought to the ground.
O’Shea stepped up and sent the goalkeeper the wrong way to give his side an early first-half lead, despite the home side’s relatively bright start to proceedings. On 28 minutes, Gnanduillet doubled his side’s lead with a towering header from around eight yards that was made possible by an irresistible cross from Gardner who had evaded his marker with an individual run.
Sylvan Ebanks-Blake went down under a challenge from Matt Baker inside the Ilkeston penalty area but the referee opted against awarding a spot-kick and instead gave a free-kick to the home side. Involved once again, Ebanks-Blake took matters into his own hands and advanced towards goal only for the attack to be cut short by a magnificent sliding challenge from a member of the hosts’ defence.
Just two minutes were left to play in the first period when Ilkeston reduced the deficit courtesy of a stunning header from skipper Marshall, who positioned himself well and connected firmly with a driven corner-kick near the penalty spot.
After the break, Jonathan Edwards aimed to latch onto a neat through-ball but Charlie Raglan was quickest to react in that situation and anticipated the danger before firing the ball out of play for a throw-in. Charlie Coulson almost levelled the scoreline with a powerful strike from around 12 yards that cannoned against crossbar with half-time substitute Aaron Chapman firmly rooted to the spot.
Curtis Burrows then squandered a glorious opportunity to net an equalising goal for the home side, as the forward rushed his effort from the edge of the area and dragged the ball wide of Chapman’s post. With 21 minutes left to play, the Spireites reinstated their two-goal lead courtesy of Simons who met Gboly Ariyibi’s incisive cross before striking past a helpless Rachoni on the half-volley from around 12 yards.
As we entered the closing stages, Oliver Luto took up free-kick duties and aimed to test the reactions of Chapman but the defender ultimately failed to hit the target. Just before the final whistle, Byron Harrison directed a low ball across the face of goal towards Emmanuel Dieseruvwe who only managed a slight connection and watched the ball eventually bounce out of play for a goal-kick.