Spireites match report: Chesterfield FC 0 MK Dons 1

Paul Cook - Pic: James Williamson
Paul Cook - Pic: James Williamson

Chesterfield tasted defeat for the first time this season in League One on Tuesday night when they lost 1-0 to MK Dons.

The Spireites, who had a 100 per cent league record going in to the clash, created plenty of opportunities during the end to end encounter which they failed to take.

The visitors provided the killer blow early after the re-start through Benik Afobe, who was a thorn in Chesterfield’s paw all evening, after a strong run and finish.

Paul Cook, the Chesterfield manager, kept faith in the same eleven that comfortably overcame Rochdale on Saturday and were unlucky not to get at least a point against Karl Robinson’s Dons.

Afobe showed speed and strength to get away from the Spireites back line until Ian Evatt bailed his colleagues out with a well-timed tackle as the striker closed in on goal.

The visitors had ruffled Chesterfield’s feathers during the opening exchanges and caused the hosts to uncharacteristically miss-place a handful of passes pressed high up the field.

Jay O’Shea fizzed in an effort which Dave Martin came to collect inside his six yard box before a strong run and cross from Tendayi Darikwa presented Sam Morsy with a chance to shoot. The midfielder dropped his shoulder, made some space and fired an effort that Dave Martin was equal to diving low to his right.

Dons were quick to respond, however, and Afobe was involved once more to set up Dean Bowditch who skewed a shot wide of the right hand post via a Ben Reeves deflection.

Gary Roberts almost had the home faithful on their feet when he found space in the area, his shot from the angle looked destined for the net only for Kyle McFadzean to clear inside the six yard box.

Martin was called in to action once more when Morsy’s blockbuster from distance looked destined for the top corner only for the Dons keeper to palm the ball to safety to his right.

Roberts was beginning to have more influence on the game and it was from his corner that Evatt saw a towering header cleared off the line, before the follow up presented Sam Hird with a golden chance he could only direct on to the post from inside the six-yard box and the goal gaping.

The Spireites were building momentum before the half-time interval and Anthony Kay had to be well positioned to cut out Morsy’s threaded pass for Romuald Boco’s run in on goal.

The hosts picked up where they had left off before the break and Doyle was gifted a glorious opportunity to continue his scoring spree when Antony Kay hit his clearance straight in to the face of McFazean.

The ball fell kindly for the Irishman, who had bagged four in the last three, and a clear run on goal only to curl his effort wide of the far post. It would prove costly as the visitors were soon ahead.

Afobe cut in from the right, slowed Jones down before darting in to the area and unleashing a rocket which almost split Lee in two at his near post to give Dons the lead.

The powerful striker, who was on loan at Sheffield Wednesday last season from parent club Arsenal, posed a physical threat for Hird and Evatt throughout the contest.

Cook had clearly seen enough and brought Armand Gnanduillet on to give Dons a taste of their own medicine. He had an early sight too but failed to connect with Roberts’ inviting centre to the far post.

The visitors broke with speed and when Afobe found Baldock on the over lap, the right-back, on for the injured Lee Hodson, squared the ball across goal where there were no takers.

Afobe was guilty of squandering a straight forward chance when he failed to connect at the far post from Darren Potter’s left win cross with just Lee to beat in the Spireites’ goal.

Chesterfield flooded forward for what would have been a late equaliser their efforts on the night warranted - the best of the chances falling to Evatt who climbed well only to head over with the angle against him.

Dons almost provided a sucker punch after a strong run from Afobe presented substitute Will Griggs with a sight of goal the substitute couldn’t take.

Spireites (4-2-3-1): Lee; Darikwa, Evatt (c), Hird, Jones; Morsy, Ryan (Gardner 80); Boco (Gnanduillet 62), Roberts, O’Shea (Banks 62); Doyle

Subs: Chapman, Raglan, Johnson, Dawes

Dons (4-2-3-1): Martin (McLoughlin HT); Hodson (Baldock 53), McFadzean, Kay, Lewington (c); Potter, Alli; Bowditch (Grigg 88), Reeves, Powell; Afobe

Subs: Flanagan, Randall, Hitchcock, Burns

Bookings: Roberts 30, Morsy 86 (Chesterfield); McFadzean 30, Reeves 45, Baldock 83 (MK Dons)

Referee: Darren Drysdale (Lincolnshire).

Attendance: 5,811 (246).