Victory for Spireites in Pre-season Opener.
Chesterfield cruised to victory by a 3-0 scoreline against Matlock Town at the Autoworld Arena in the club’s first pre-season friendly of 2015. Jay O’Shea opened the scoring from the penalty spot in the 14th minute, Sylvan Ebanks-Blake added a second just four minutes later with a forceful header and Armand Gnanduillet sealed the win with a powerful strike from close range in the closing stages.
In the opening moments, O’Shea took matters into his own hands with a weaving run that culminated in a strike from the edge of the area which sailed narrowly wide of the post. Just 14 minutes had been played in this contest before the Spireites were awarded a penalty, after Ebanks-Blake was brought to ground by opposing goalkeeper Jonny Maxstead.
O’Shea stepped up and calmly converted to the left-hand side of Maxstead to give his side an early lead in this contest. With 18 minutes on the clock, the advantage was doubled through a powerful Ebanks-Blake header after the striker met Dan Gardner’s driven cross from the left-hand side of the field.
A hopeful ball into the penalty area provided the perfect opportunity for Ebanks-Blake to attempt an overhead-kick near the six-yard line, although the striker’s effort evaded the crossbar by a considerable distance. Gardner then latched onto a neat through-ball and advanced towards goal, only to be denied by a low diving save from Maxstead who comfortably gathered possession.
On the stroke of half-time, Daniel Jones fired the ball towards the head of Sam Clucas who was waiting near the penalty spot, but the forward ultimately failed to make an adequate connection in a more than inviting position.
After the break, Gboly Ariyibi drove forward and tried his luck with a low strike from around 18 yards that never troubled Maxstead and eventually bounced out of play for a goal-kick. Gnanduillet fired a low ball across the face of goal and found the feet of a trialist, who struck first-time against the body of the opposing goalkeeper when expected to net Chesterfield’s third of the evening.
Once again, Ariyibi took the initiative by beating his marker and firing straight into the palms of Maxstead from around 20 yards. The home side found themselves with a rare chance on the Chesterfield goal in the latter stages of this second period after a low ball into the area was met by a trialist, who took one extra touch before firing against the resolute body of Charlie Raglan.
Jake Beesley thought he had added Chesterfield’s third goal of the evening with a powerful finish from close range, only to be denied by the linesman’s off-side flag. In the 83rd minute, Gnanduillet added a third to seal victory with a forceful effort from around 12 yards that Maxstead was absolutely powerless to stop.