Spireites FT: Chesterfield 2 Daventry 0

Gary McSheffrey
Gary McSheffrey

Chesterfield go in tomorrow’s FA Cup second round draw but had to wait until the second half before breaking the deadlock against non-league Daventry.

Darran Foster, manager of Southern League Central Division Daventry Town, has already made history as the first man ever to lead the 127 year old Northamptonshire side to the FA Cup first round.

He was backed at the Proact by his family; his brother Nigel is club secretary, his dad, John, is groundsman at Communications Park and his son Daniel was mascot today, whilst the rest of the Foster clan, all Daventry born and bred, were cheering on the likeable character from the stands.

The non-leaguers were playing their seventh straight cup game after a record run in the FA Trophy to match their FA Cup exploits.

One of only two defeats this season, in the Southern League Cup, when they put out a weakened side and lost to Kettering, came during that run of knockout games. Eight league wins in nine outings have come their way this term; they lost at Dunstable at the start of last month.

Paul Cook selected a very strong 11, ‘the strongest available,’ he said ahead of the game as Spireites sought to avoid a fourth home defeat against non-league opposition since their 1997semi-final appearance; Enfield, Morecambe and Basingstoke recently embarrassing the side at Saltergate.

With around 800 Purple Army fans up for the cup, the atmosphere at the Proact Stadium was terrific right from the start for a game that Spireites desperately need to win convincingly after a run of just one win in eight, that victory being the JPT win at Mansfield Town half a dozen outings ago.

The early exchanges was a low-key sparring session between two sides oceans apart in the football world. Banks hit wide after a run as Spireites toiled.

McSheffrey went into the book for a foul borne out of frustration after losing out to Lorraine.

Talbot’s burst down the right to retrieve a ball that looked set to go out for a goal-kick led to a cross being headed by Richards, partially cleared by Daventry to McSheffrey whose subsequent shot looked to be going wide before Doyle flung himself in at the far post but his touch was just a tad too light.

Simpson headed a Doyle shot away as Chesterfield started to have some impetus but from the clearance Roberts was booked for a foul on Beckley as the hosts continued to be frustrated by the resolute Southern Leaguers.

Howell crossed after creating an opening but he was unable to find a colleague as Daventry began to grow in confidence. Morris got down ahead of Doyle from a Richards cross before the non-leaguers won the game’s first corner that Lee punched clear.

Cooper got a touch to deflect a Lorraine shot into the side netting and the resulting corner took two phases to clear.

Doyle, now more on the right, danced into the box but his cut-back to Roberts then found Ryan but his effort was deflected for an unproductive corner.

Oulton created a great opening by himself but his box-edge shot was too easy for Lee and the winger held his head in frustration.

Cooper’s cross earned a home corner but nothing was conjured by McSheffrey as the half ended with booing from the home fans.

Spireites came out for the second half at a much higher tempo, and they needed to. McSheffrey forced a fine save from Morris before Ryan picked up a yellow.

Banks hit wide from 20 yards and Roberts saw an effort hacked away before a rack of changes, Beckley being stretchered off being the most notable.

ROBERTS broke the deadlock on 69 when he looped in sub O’Shea’s right sided free-kick and there was huge relief around the Proact.

O’Shea’s introduction really lifted Spireites and he was involved in most home moves.

Simpson made a terrific last gasp tackle to deny Doyle and O’Shea notched up the late shots, three well saved and one high.

The game was put to bed on 88 minutes when Banks squared for RYAN whose 25 yarder took a huge deflection to take it above Morris, onto the bar and in.

Daventry almost scored a last gasp consolation but Confue’s shot hit his own man Robinson, their efforts certainly deserved some reward but it’s Spireites who go into the hat.