Spireites pay price for missed chances

Chesterfield v Colchester Craig Westcarr
Chesterfield v Colchester Craig Westcarr

Chesterfield 0, Colchester United 1

Chesterfield FC created plenty of chances but slipped to a second straight defeat following a 30th minute strike from Michail Antonio.

The decider stemmed from a corner which was half cleared by the head of midfielder Mark Allott. Unfortunately, Antonio gained possession within shooting range and beat Greg Fleming with a low shot through a crowded area.

Played under glorious sunshine on the hottest October day on record, images of singer-songwriter Elton John beamed down from the stands, reminding fans of his much-anticipated concert at the B2net next June.

The Blues forced 15 corners - an average of one every six minutes - but they were unable to make them count and the closest they came was from a Leon Clarke shot which rebounded off a post.

It was one of those days when nothing would go in for the hosts.

Kicking towards the town end in the first half, Chesterfield bossed the early exchanges and winger Alex Mendy came close with a good shot.

From the right, he cut inside for a left foot shot but he aimed inches too high with a left-foot shot from the edge of the area.

And Colchester keeper Ben Williams - who made his league debut with the Spireites in 2003 on loan from Manchester United - fluffed a pass-back from Pat Baldwin and allowed it to go behind for a flag kick.

Dean Holden got the slightest of touches on the corner with his head but he was unable to turn it into the net from close range.

Another corner fell to Jonathan Grounds in space but his shot went too high as Chesterfield looked for the opener.

But the Essex side, with five men in midfield and Kayode Odejayi on his own up front, remained alert and took the lead on the half-hour against the run of play.

There was a moment of danger for the Blues shortly before half time when Grounds handled just outside the area but fortunately Anthony Wordsworth’s free kick from 25 yards was well off target.

Early in the second half a series of neat passes ended with a Nathan Smith cross from the left flank. Clarke took control and his shot hit the far post and was bundled away for a corner by a scrambling defender.

Midfielder Lee Johnson was replaced by Mark Randall while striker Scott Boden came on for Whitaker as manager John Sheridan shuffled the pack in search of an equaliser.

However, a leveller proved elusive and Colchester made few friends with a cynical display of time wasting as the clock ticked down.

Chesterfield: Fleming, Holden, Grounds, Talbot, Smith (Bowery 90+1), Allott, Whitaker (Boden 80), Mendy, Johnson(Randall 63), Westcarr, Clarke. Subs not used: Downes, Smith.

Colchester: Williams, Okuonghae, Baldwin, Wilson, Coker, Izzet, Bond, Wordsworth, Antonio (Duguid 80), Odejayi, Henderson. Subs not used: Heath, White, James, Gillespie.

Referee: Dean Mohareb (Cheshire).

Attendance: 6,295.