Chesterfield slumped to a sixth straight league defeat after Tony McMahon scored from 15 yards, turning in a Billy Clarke cross made possible after a clearance from Charlie Raglan rammed into the body of the striker and bounced kindly for him, enabling a quick dash into the box and a pass to the unmarked scorer.
That goal came on 72 just moments after City had forced two excellent saves from Tommy Lee to push efforts round the post from Kyel Reid and James Hanson, the latter who bundled the second corner into the net, but illegally and his effort was ruled out.
Before the break Lee had to save well from Reid whilst Clarke hit the post from the second phase of a corner, McMahon the man who crossed in. For the Spireites, Ian Evatt, Sylvan Ebanks-Blake and Ollie Banks all went close but former Chesterfield keeper Ben Williams wasn’t tested often or hard enough.
Whilst the out of form hosts may well rue their bad luck with the goal, City were the livelier side throughout most phases of the game and always looked the more likely scorers and there’s no doubt that Mark Smith has clearly tightened the defence, the attack looks lightweight and isn’t being presented with the frequency of chances by the midfield and wide-men that the interim manager would want.
The defeat leaves Chesterfield now looking over their shoulders at the bottom four, just two points behind.
Evatt skippered the team today in the absence of suspended Sam Morsy, who was replaced in central midfield by Sam Hird. On the wing, Gboly Ariyibi came in for Dan Gardner while Dion Donohue wasd in for the injured Lee Novak; Sylvan Ebanks-Blake replaced Mani Dieseruvwe in attack.
Phil Parkinson’s Bantams had former Spireite Ben Williams in goal but two others, James Meredith and Jordan Bowery, had to make do with a spot on the bench.
Chesterfield: Lee, O’Neil (Simons 76), Evatt, Raglan, Talbot (Humphreys HT), Hird, O’Shea, Banks, Donohue, Ariyibi (Gardner 61), Ebanks-Blake. Subs (not used): Chapman, Dieseruvwe, Maguire, Daly.
Bradford: Williams, Darby, McArdle, Burke, Leigh, McMahon, Liddle, Evans, Reid (Meredith 90), B.Clarke (Cole 81), Hanson. Subs (not used): Cracknell, N.Clarke, Marshall, Knott, Bowery.
Goal: McMahon 72
Ref: James Adcock (Notts)
Booked: Humphreys, Ebanks-Blake (Chesterfield), McArdle (Bradford)
Attendance: 6,795 (1,461 from Bradford)