Chesterfield 1 Shrewsbury 1: Spireites are frstrated again
Chesterfield's inability to hurt teams left them frustrated after a 1-1 draw with Shrewsbury did little to alleviate their relegation worries.
The Spireites have just nine games left now to make up an eight point gap between themselves and League One safety.
And their problems worsened against the Shrews, captain and talisman Ian Evatt being stretchered off with what looked like a serious knee injury.
Evatt will not only be a big miss at the back where his physicality and experience has kept Town in games at times, but he was the only Town players to get a shot on target all afternoon.
That shot, a sweeping six-yard volley from Dan Gardner’s cross, levelled the game just before the break.
Another ‘must win’ game at the Proact got off to the worst possible start, Shrewsbury taking the lead in the third minute.
Some good defensive work by Evatt was undone by Reece Mitchell’s decision to try and dribble out of trouble, Gary Deegan nicking the ball and finding Freddie Ladapo whose shot was palmed out byThorsten Stuckmann only as far as Tyler Roberts, the 18-year-old tapping home.
Both Roberts, on loan from West Brom, and Ladapo were a handful in the first half but largely looked after by the Town defenders.
Shaun Whalley however eluded them on a number of occasions and was unlucky to see a 22-yard shot hit the inside of the post.
Aristote Nsiala missed the other golden chance for the visitors, failing to make contact with a free-kick that reached him at the back post.
Paul Hurst’s side were made to pay for that wastefulness when Gardner crossed and Evatt fired home.
But with half an hour remaining he was carried off, a question mark hanging over the rest of his season.
For the remainder there was plenty of running around from Chesterfield players but little quality, no final ball and no saves for Jayson Leutwiler to make.
This was the 17th straight game in which Town have failed to hit the net more than once and they’ve recorded just a single victory in Caldwell’s 10 matches in charge.
Those statistics portray just how miraculous it will be if he masterminds an escape.
Chesterfield: Stuckmann 7, Hird 6, EVATT 7 (Angel 64), Anderson 6, Mitchell 4 (Jones 73), Donohue 6, Dimaio 5, Gardner 5, Grimshaw 4 (Faupala 78), Dennis 6, Ebanks-Blake 6.Not used: Kakay, Fulton, Rowley, Simons.
Shrewsbury: Leutwiler 7, Riley 7, Sadler 7, Nsiala 6, El-Abd 6, Whalley 7, Rodman 7, Morris 7, Deegan 7, Ladapo 6 (Dodds 78), Roberts 7 (Humphrys 78). Not used: Brown, Yates, Leitch-Smith, Halstead, Payne.