ChesterfieldHC rue missed opportunities

Matlock Baileans v Beeston. Pictured for Matlock (in white) is Gemma Phipps.
Matlock Baileans v Beeston. Pictured for Matlock (in white) is Gemma Phipps.

Chesterfield were left disappointed not to get anything from their visit to Coventry & North Warwick after creating numerous chances but failing to convert any of them.

It was the home side who started the brightest, with the Coventry centre forward causing havoc in the Chesterfield defence, creating a few early half chances.

Chesterfield did have the first opportunity to score from a penalty corner and Pat Grant’s shot was turned around the post by the defender on the line.

Coventry soon took the lead from a penalty corner after Matt Lloyd in goal failed to clear the initial shot and the rebound fell perfectly for the Coventry forward to slot the ball into the net.

After that point, the Chesterfield defence settled down and smothered any Coventry attacks, with Josh Brocklehurst at sweeper making some timely challenges and interceptions.

The home side continued to have the bulk of the possession but were failing to threaten the Chesterfield goal, and the visitor’s pace on the break was illustrated when Christian Battye won the ball in midfield releasing Tom Curley and Chris Cowley into space behind the Coventry defence, with Cowley seeing his shot just miss the right post.

The visitors were unlucky not to equalise from a penalty corner when Pat Grant picked out Adam Bointon and his deflected shot hit the inside of the post and rolled across the line to safety.

Chesterfield continued to threaten on the break and Billy Fouflias had the best chance of the half but pulled his shot wide of the left post with just the goalkeeper to beat.

The second half continued in the same fashion as the first, with Coventry looking to retain possession but not creating many chances, while Chesterfield always looked threatening on the break.

Tasos Varsimidis forced the goalkeeper into a good save when he broke through the Coventry defence from right back and had a reverse stick shot from a tight angle.

The Coventry defence were having to put in last ditch tackles to keep the visitors at bay, but some of these resulted in a string of penalty corners that Chesterfield were unable to convert, with Bointon just missing a pass to the left post and Vasmisidis having his shot saved.

As time started to run out for Chesterfield they were forced to advance further up the pitch, but this opened up extra space for Coventry to exploit.

The home side found the second goal that they were looking for with five minutes left to play when a long diagonal ball picked out their centre forward who was finally able to turn and beat Alex Kennerley for the first time all game, and he unselfishly passed the ball to his strike partner to score past the helpless Lloyd in goal.

Chesterfield were perhaps unlucky not to pull one back immediately, when quick thinking by Christian Battye from a free hit outside the circle allowed him to pick out Bointon in front of goal to score, but the umpire disallowed the goal for not taking the free hit from the correct position.

The home side were reduced to ten men for dissent for the final passage of the game, but defended deep and repelled any threat that Chesterfield had to offer.

This result leaves Chesterfield at the bottom of the table after seven games, but despite improving performances, they are going to need to score more goals if they are going to have a chance of survival. Chesterfield entertain Bridgnorth at St Mary’s on Saturday (1.30pm start).