Northampton came to the Proact with a direct style, but it was nullified by a terrific Chesterfield performance.
Chesterfield have had a great week, signing deals with Tommy Lee, Liam Cooper and James O’Shea - the latter was majestic throughout and a constant thorn in Northampton’s quest for a fourth straight win.
Chesterfield scored three goals in seven early minutes, with O’Shea opening the scoring, and a double from Marc Richards, which underlined the instinct of a striker who has scored 57 goals in League Two since August 2009.
Chesterfield found the finish for the three openings in the first half. A strike partner for Richards looks another piece in the jigsaw, while a left winger is also on my wish list.
While Northampton’s defence was repeatedly rattled by Chesterfield’s counter attacking style, Chesterfield re-shuffled back line bagged a second home clean sheet of the season against Northampton, brushing aside their formidably powerful strike duo.
Clive Platt was quiet, whilst Adebayo Akinfenwa was subbed as the transfer listed Neal Trotman put in a tremendous job; Trotman’s return was like a another piece in that jigsaw. Sam Hird filled in at right-back as injury ended Drew Talbot’s run of 46 consecutive starts!
Trotman’s future remains interesting, but Craig Clay’s form interests me more. On average, Chesterfield have scored a goal every 42 minutes and conceded a goal over every two hours in the 12.7 hours with him on the pitch this campaign.
Northampton have gone 2-0 up in seven consecutive home games in the league, however, no League Two side has picked up fewer points on their travels this season than Aidy Boothroyd’s men.
I think Northampton looked in need of a defensive midfielder.
Paul Cook’s men went level on points with the Cobblers, both teams now sat just five points off third place.
Northampton missed a huge chance to not only jump into the play-offs, but leave Chesterfield in all kinds of bother had they won.
Chesterfield would be on top spot, and 14 points clear of fourth place Rotherham, if you turn all their defeats against bottom eight sides into victories.
By Jonathan Kirby