Lester and Thompson were the heroes as Spireites won 3 points for the first time since September.
Chesterfield’s task this afternoon was a simple one. Avoid equalling the club’s worst ever winless run. Back in 1960-61 and again in 1999-2000 Spireites went 18 league games without a win. In both of those seasons they were relegated.
Wednesday’s performance in the JPT showed a marked improvement and the manager would be hoping his recent signings could help the upward curve continue in the side’s first visit to Colchester’s new ground.
Perched adjacent to the A12, the Weston Homes Community Stadium is a neat and tidy home, more than adequate for United’s needs. Only one of the two ends housed fans as there were far more empty seats than full ones. The ground is also in the wilderness with few, if any, facilities of interest to football fans within a mile or two.
With the wind swirling around, both sides earned early corners and from Spireites first, the ball was half cleared and Ridehalgh received. His cross in was perfect for LESTER to head in his first away goal since April 2010 with just six minutes played.
Lee had to dive at the feet of Duguid to prevent an angled shot but the ball flew towards Wordsworth though he was unable to get his head on to the ball as United looked to hit back.
Boden’s cross found the head of Trotman who hit the bar from close range but the referee gave a free-kick to the hosts.
Colchester were enjoying the bulk of the play but not managing to overly worry Lee and his back-line.
But Colchester levelled on 32 minutes when Allott’s ball back clipped Thompson’s knee and GILLESPIE pounced to score from just outside the box, a goal that will undoubtedly be tagged as ‘sloppy’ by the manager after the match.
Henderson shot inches wide from the box-edge as Chesterfield began to back pedal. Robertson tackled Wordsworth when a goal looked a decent bet as Spireites struggled to clear their lines. Thompson headed just wide from a Ridehalgh corner in a rare sortie for Chesterfield. Despite their lack of attacking of late, the visitors restored their lead a minute before the break. Ridehalgh delivered a free-kick from the right touchline and THOMPSON, in his first league game for the club, headed firmly home from the far post.
The hosts were constantly switching their attacking formation, rotating players and positions but none were providing the necessary penetration. They introduced another permutation when debut- maker Massey replaced Bond.
United’s fans were beginning to show their frustration as their side were unable to break down a resolute visiting outfit whose midfield pressing was solid and defensive play tough. Lee’s handling from a Henderson cross was faultless as Colchester continued to press. Thompson headed a Ridehalgh corner down and Lester almost got a turn and shot in as the bottom of the league side looked to exploit Colchester’s need to push ever more forward.
Boden slipped a curler inches wide after receiving from Davis, a chance that could have wrapped it up. Thompson was winning header after header as United pumped the ball into the box at every opportunity. The 289 visiting fans watched nervously as the clock seemed to tick down at an extraordinarily slow rate. Thinking of killer goals at Wycombe and Scunthorpe, nerve ends were frayed and none of the supporters wanted to proclaim anything while ever there was time on the clock.