Spireites Defeated by Sheffield United.
Chesterfield fell to a 2-0 defeat against Sheffield United at Bramall Lane, who picked up their first three points of the 2015/16 campaign for new manager Nigel Adkins. Che Adams struck twice, at the beginning of both the first and second period to confine the Spireites to their first league defeat of the season.
Dean Saunders made a total of three changes from Tuesday’s Capital One Cup exit at the hands of Carlisle United, with Drew Talbot, Sylvan Ebanks-Blake and recent loan signing Lee Novak taking the places of Charlie Raglan, Gboly Ariyibi and Armand Gnanduillet.
With just three minutes on the clock, Adams opened the scoring with a thunderous strike from close range that Lee was powerless to stop after the young winger pounced on a loose ball inside the area. Billy Sharp took matters into his own hands with a lone run that culminated in a low shot that evaded the post by some distance, after intercepting a headed pass from Ollie Banks.
Waiting in the area, Sam Hird connected with a Talbot cross and volleyed straight into the stands from a matter of yards. A knock-down by Ebanks-Blake fell to the feet of Dan Gardner on the edge of the area, who took one touch before firing narrowly wide of Mark Howard’s post with the goalkeeper firmly rooted to the spot.
Forward from left-back, Daniel Jones received a short pass from Jay O’Shea and tried his luck with a ferocious attempt that sailed wide of the post but worried Howard nonetheless who was diving at full stretch to his right-hand side. Jose Baxter took up free-kick duties on the edge of the area and his effort was denied by a convincing save from Lee who pushed the ball to safety.
Just before the half-time whistle, Novak broke free of the defence and fed a through-ball towards O’Shea who failed to control and an important interception followed to bring the attack to an abrupt end.
Only a single minute of the second period had been played when Adams netted his own and Sheffield United’s second goal of the afternoon, as good inter-play between the young winger and Sharp allowed the space to shoot past a helpless Lee from around eight yards. Conor Sammon almost grabbed his side’s third of the afternoon with a forceful strike from the edge of the area, but the striker was denied by a stunning low save from Lee.
Just inside the area, Stefan Scougall got in on the act with a low strike that forced another impressive save from Lee who instigated another Chesterfield attack. Forward from right-back, Talbot met Gardner’s cross and volleyed waywardly wide of the target as the Spireites aimed to reduce the deficit in the hope of a late comeback.
As the game entered its closing stages, the Spireites came closest to a goal through an Ebanks-Blake header that cannoned against the post and a member of the opposing defence cleared any remaining danger. For the full five minutes of additional time, Chesterfield continued to push but to no avail and fell to their first league defeat of the 2015/16 campaign.