Spireites FT: Chesterfield 0 Gillingham 1

On the ball: Nathan Smith for Spireites
On the ball: Nathan Smith for Spireites

CHESTERFIELD manager Paul Cook celebrated his 46th birthday yesterday but any celebrations will be muted tonight.

Richards laid off for O’Shea but Legge tackled well to deny the Irishman a shot. Lee had to dive right to paw away a Whelpdale shot following the game’s opening corner, won by and taken by Weston, as Gills enjoyed some decent possession in the opening 10 minutes.

The leaders continued to see more of the ball than their hosts, but Spireites’ rearguard looked in good order and when Chesterfield did break, their movement was decent, Gillingham remained the side looking most likely to break the deadlock, but without dominating, though Talbot curled an effort beyond the far post after an O’Shea pass.

Gillingham took an early lead after the re-start. Trotman’s outstretched leg conceded a corner, the first from the right hand side. Weston delivered to the near post where McDONALD had to make the slightest of glances to head home with 50 minutes on the clock.

Lester and Henshall came on for Clay and O’Shea as Spireites sought to keep their slender play-off hopes alive.

Henshall’s early involvement in what is his senior debut was promising, a low cross in won another corner that troubled the leaders’ defence.

Barrett bundled over Togwell in the box, but as has become the norm, no penalty was awarded in Spireites’ favour; it’s approaching 50 league games without a spot kick for Chesterfield now.

Chesterfield were enjoying the bulk of the play now and looking capable of working an opening against the section’s meanest defence.