Cambridge Utd 2 Chesterfield 1: Spireites getting close to stringing a number of results together, says boss Jack Lester

Matthew Briggs squares for Kristian Dennis to score at Cambridge. Picture by Gareth Williams/
Matthew Briggs squares for Kristian Dennis to score at Cambridge. Picture by Gareth Williams/

Top scorer Kristian Dennis continued his fine start to the season as Chesterfield fell to a disappointing 2-1 defeat at Cambridge United.

Dennis recently revealed he would trade his goals for a better league position for the struggling Spireites.

And it was another case of Dennis scoring and the struggling Spireites tasting defeat. The 27-year-old hit his ninth of the campaign to put the Spireites on course for their first successive away league wins in close on 18 months.

But an eight-minute double from Jeavani Brown and top scorer Uche Ikpeazu stole the spoils on a blustery afternoon at the Abbey Stadium. The goals were once again disappointing to concede and it is the manner in which the defence switch off that will worry boss Jack Lester.

After breaking his league duck last time out at Crawley Town, new boss Lester understandably named the same starting line-up. It was a slow opening 45 minutes as both sides struggled to force any clear-cut chances. Joe Anyon had a simple save to make early on to keep out George Marris, but did not have much else to do before the break.

The Spireites got into better positions with the ball but are still lacking that real creative cutting edge. Hosts Cambridge did have the ball in the net, but it was way after the whistle was blown for a foul on Anyon by skipper Leon Legge.

The visitors were caught in possession with Jaco Ibehre missing a great chance to take the lead when he fired over. Anyon was indebted to a deflection to turn Piero Mingoia’s goal-bound shot over before Brown poked wide.

After the break the Spireites found themselves ahead. Scott Wiseman was visibly disappointed to be hauled off for Matt Briggs, but it was Briggs who unlocked the door.

The wing-back powered his way to the hosts’ byline and whipped the ball in to leave Dennis the simplest of tap-ins to give Lester’s men the lead in the 55th minute.

But after providing the assists, Briggs was caught out twice for the goals. He gave away the foul that saw Brown beautifully fire a free-kick beyond Anyon on 70 minutes. And just eight minutes later he was beaten down the wing with Ikpeazu bundling home after a decent double save from Anyon.

Lester said afterwards: “I think we’re quite close to stringing a number of results together and I look forward to that.

“We’re working with what we’ve got, we’re sticking together and we should have won the game.

“The performance was good and you should be winning the game when you dominate the ball like that.

“We’re getting better. We probably should have taken nine points from our last three games, but we haven’t.

“That’s indicative of the position we’re in, the nerves and the edginess.”

Lester believes the Chesterfield fans have not seen the best of scorer Dennis Lester added: “I don’t think we’ve seen the best of him either. With the work we’re going to be doing with him he’s going to get sharper, fitter, I can only see him improving.

“It’s not easy to get chances and the next best thing to not scoring is getting chances because your movement, anticipation and awareness is there.”

“I love the fact he’s getting lots of chances.”

Cambridge: Forde, Halliday, Taylor, Legge, Carroll, Mingoia (Elito, 65), Deegan, Brown, Maris (Dunk, 65), Ikpeazu, Ibehre. Unused subs: Mitov, O’Neil, Howkins, Taft, Foy.

Chesterfield: Anyon, Wiseman (Briggs, 53), Hird, Evatt, Kellett (Dimaio, 59), Barry, Weir (De Girolamo, 83), Reed, Flores, Rowley, Dennis. Unused subs: Jones, Maguire, Sinnott, McCourt.

Att: 4,529 (422 away).

Referee: John Busby.