Spireites Defeated by Peterborough United.
Chesterfield succumbed to a 1-0 defeat at London Road against a team with play-off aspirations of their own in the form of Peterborough United, with Michael Bostwick’s first-half strike acting as the difference between the two sides. Ricardo Santos was dismissed mid-way through the second period, but the Spireites evidently failed to capitalise on this particular numerical advantage during the time that followed.
Paul Cook made one alteration from Tuesday’s convincing win against Gillingham, as Sam Morsy returned to the side in place of Gboly Ariyibi after the culmination of a two-match suspension.
In the opening moments, a failed clearance by a member of the hosts’ defence fell to Jay O’Shea who struck first-time on the volley and onto the roof of the net. Ben Alnwick produced two stunning saves in quick succession, as both Jimmy Ryan and O’Shea were left frustrated by the denial of their efforts.
On the counter-attack, Luke James opted to cut inside onto his stronger foot and fired waywardly wide of the post from the edge of the area. With 27 minutes on the clock, Bostwick put the home side in front with a low finish from around 12 yards following a scramble in the penalty area.
Looking to extend their advantage, James took the initiative with a drive towards goal that culminated in a thunderous attempt that Tommy Lee pushed impressively over the crossbar. On the stroke of half-time, Bostwick spurned a glorious opportunity to grab his second of the afternoon as he fired low and wide of the post from a matter of yards.
Immediately after the break, James crossed low for Conor Washington who directed the ball straight at Lee on the six-yard line who reacted extremely well to prevent a second goal for the home side. Forward for a corner-kick, Sam Hird met a driven delivery with a back-heeled attempt that Alnwick pushed onto the crossbar and away from danger.
On 65 minutes, Santos was dismissed as a consequence of his second yellow card of the afternoon following two consecutive and ultimately deliberate fouls of which Sam Clucas was the recipient. With the opposition reduced to ten men, the Spireites went on the offensive and Gabriel Zakuani almost put the ball into the back of his own net only for the post to rescue his mis-placed back-pass.
Maintaining the pressure for a potential equaliser, Gary Roberts tried his luck from distance and forced a remarkable diving save to the right-hand side by Alnwick. For the full five minutes of additional time, Cook’s men continued to push but to no avail and ultimately resigned themselves to a defeat on their travels.