Spireites 67 year run without a win at Coventry continues after conceding a 50th minute goal from the League One Player of the Month, Adam Armstrong.
The 18 year-old Newcastle United loanee turned rapidly after receiving from Jacob Murphy to fire beyond Tommy Lee’s outstretched left hand from just inside the box.
First time league starter Ryan Kent, 18, on loan from Liverpool, Armstrong and Murphy, 20, borrowed from Norwich City, gave Chesterfield’s defence a torrid time, particularly after the goal. But for some great Lee saves, a few offside flags and some wasteful finishing, the hosts could have scored more.
City had 20 shots, eight on target, to Spireites six and two and a 13-3 corner count in favour of Tony Mowbray’s team indicatedthe attacking prowess of the hosts.
Chesterfield’s two efforts on target both required decent interventions from keeper Lee Burge. Debut maker Chris Herd’s looping header required a shove over whilst sub Mani Dieseruvwe, who came on at half-time for Lee Novak, who took a knock on his thigh, saw a 25 yarder tipped round the post.
Neither men were on the park at the final whistle; Herd, on his first competitive appearance since picking up a serious knee injury in February, did well to make almost 80 minutes whilst Dieseruvwe, booked for a foul, picked up a second yellow late on after trying to punch the ball into the net from a Gboly Ariyibi cross. It was the 20 year-old’s second red card of the season in what was only his 14th sub appearance for the club.
In addition to losing Novak, Dan Gardner had to be replaced i after feeling ill.
City had the best of the first half play with their best two chances coming from loose Chesterfield passing. Liam O’Neil hit over for the visitors whilst Murphy hit wide and Armstrong and Jim O’Brien shot over.
Armstrong gave City the lead and as Chesterfield began to take more risks, the speed of Coventry’s attacking youngsters caused countless problems.
Both sides had efforts ruled out through offsides, Sylvan Ebanks-Blake being Spireites’ ‘scorer’ but it was always Coventry that looked the more likely side to threaten as they counter-attacked at will against a side that, though it was arguably the strongest 11 put out by the manager this season, still clearly has to gel together with Herd new in and O’Neil in midfield for the first time, a role he showed great promise in.
Saunders rued: “We gave the ball away far too many times.If you give the ball away as much as we did in front of your own goal, you are always going to be suspect to counter attacks. ”
Spireites will now be sweating on Novak’s fitness ahead of the visit of leaders Burton Albion on Saturday as they seek to end a run of three games without a win.
Coventry: Burge 6, Ricketts 6, Martin 7, Johnson 8, Stokes 7, Vincelot 7, Fleck 8, O’Brien 6 (Antoine-Fortune 75), Murphy 9, Kent 8, Armstrong 8 (Lameiras 84). Subs (not used): Charles-Cook, Thomas, Morris, Phillips, Tudgay.
Goal: Armstrong 50
Chesterfield: Lee 7, Herd 6 (Banks 79), Hird 7, Evatt 7, Jones 6, Morsy 6, O’Neil 7, Gardner 6 (Ariyibi 40, 6), O’Shea 5, Novak 5 (Dieseruvwe HT), Ebanks-Blake 5. Subs (not used): Cairns, Raglan, Humphreys, Gnanduillet.
Ref: Darren Bond (Lancashire)
Booked: Hird, Morsy (Chesterfield), Vincelot (Coventry)
Sent-Off: Dieseruvwe (Chesterfield) Two Yellows, second 88 minutes