Match Report: Chesterfield 3 Aston Villa 1

Sam Hird takes the plaudits - Pic James Williamson
Sam Hird takes the plaudits - Pic James Williamson

League One Spireites worked their way to a morale boosting victory against Premier League outfit Aston Villa, last night.

Tendayi Darikwa and Sam Hird bagged first half goals for the promoted side, before Jack Grealish pulled one back for Paul Lambert’s side.

Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert (right) and assistant Roy Keane during the pre-season friendly at the Proact Stadium, Chesterfield. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday July 30, 2014. See PA story SOCCER Chesterfield. Photo credit should read: Simon Cooper/PA Wire

Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert (right) and assistant Roy Keane during the pre-season friendly at the Proact Stadium, Chesterfield. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday July 30, 2014. See PA story SOCCER Chesterfield. Photo credit should read: Simon Cooper/PA Wire

Sam Morsy confirmed the win with an 84th minute strike after he had been set up by Eoin Doyle.

With Liam Cooper absent from the team sheet, speculation grew that he’d be on his way to Leeds United in the morning.

However just before kick off the West Yorkshire club tweeted that they had pulled out of the deal after a second bid had been rejected, Spireites confirmed that they had indeed elbowed such a bid.

There was a great cheer when the defender came on as a substitute which seemed to confirm he will be staying in Chesterfield for the time being, at least.

NSST - 30-07-14 - Armand Gnanduillet tangled with Brad Guzan - Pic James Williamson

NSST - 30-07-14 - Armand Gnanduillet tangled with Brad Guzan - Pic James Williamson

Villa put out a starting eleven that included several fringe players, Matty Lowton playing in his home town was one of the more recognisable men, and they were soon up against it.

Gary Roberts forced an early save from Brad Guzan in his first game after World Cup duty with America but the keeper could only watch on in embarrassment as Darikwa’s ball into the box from the right deceived everyone and rolled in at the far post with just six minutes played.

Armand Gnanduillet and Hird both had stabs at goal from the host’s first corner as Spireites dominated proceedings.

A cross following on from some delightful skill from Gary Roberts was met by Gnanduillet’s head but he was unable to beat Guzan and the same combination came together soon after from a set-play and the keeper again prevailed.

Callum Robinson had a header chalked off for offside and Graham Burke hit the bar on the half hour mark as Villa began to get a firmer foothold in the game.

With half-time approaching Dan Jones enthralled the home crowd with a superb run and cross, Gnanduillet’s header forced a top drawer Guzan save but from the corner, on 43, Hird converted with an outstretched leg.

Ritchie Humphreys may have something to say about the goal as the shot clearly grazed his chin on the way in.

Romy Boco forced another save straight after the break but Villa responded well having made half a dozen changes and two of the subs soon unlocked Spireites defence.

Charles N’Zogbia broke strongly down the right and his cut back fell for Grealish to convert, via the post, from 15 yards.

The pace dropped as the game wore on, N’Zogbia coming close with a 25 yarder whilst Robinson should have done better with a cross that Evatt cleared whilst Darikwa hit the side netting after a quality move by the home side.

Morsy wrapped it up with his third goal in five days.

It turned out to be a thoroughly enjoyable Summer evening for the 3,730 who paid to watch the spectacle. Chesterfield send a team to Dronfield Town tomorrow.

Chesterfield; Lee; Darikwa, Evatt (Onogwigun 89), Hird (Gardner 72), Jones (Maguire 90); Ryan (Dawes 85), Morsy (Clark 86), Boco (O’Shea 54), Roberts (Raglan 76), Humphreys (Cooper 46), Gnanduillet (Doyle 72)

Aston Villa; Guzan, Lowton (Bacuna 46), Herd (Okore 46), Donacien, Bennett (Stevens 46), Gardner (El Ahmadi 46), Johnson, Carruthers, Burke (N’Zogbia 46), Tonev (Grealish 46), Robinson.