Analysis: Fans lost patience with lack of creativity and urgency in drab MK Dons stalemate

A point gained or two lost? Opinion on that appeared to depend on where you were situated in the ground on Monday.

Tuesday, 3rd January 2017, 10:15 am
Updated Monday, 9th January 2017, 1:13 pm

If you were in the dugout, it was a good result, if you were in the stands it was not.

The atmosphere in the Proact in the final stages of the 0-0 draw with MK Dons could not have been more different to the atmosphere at the end of the 1-0 win over Bolton.

Against the Trotters, Town fans roared their men home.

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On Monday, home supporters lost their patience.

Other than the absence of a game winning goal, the major difference was that the Spireites gave the fans very little to cheer about against a side in the bottom seven.

Despite Danny Wilson’s vehement post-game assertion that MK Dons are a quality side, for at least an hour they looked anything but.

The game was there for the taking and yet in the first half neither side showed anything like intensity or desire.

As spectacles go the first 45 minutes was on a par with the 1982 Disgrace of Gijón farce between West Germany and Austria.

Chesterfield didn’t register an attempt at goal until the 18th minute and even then, it wasn’t clear if Ched Evans’ volleyed effort into the arms of Dave Martin was a cross or a shot

Evans then stopped his captain Gary Liddle from going in on goal, sticking a foot out to trap the ball while in an offside position.

The best moment of the game for Town came late in the first half, Ian Evatt heading goalwards from a corner, only for Martin and a defender to block on their line.

For a good 25 minutes after the break, the tedium continued, before finally someone took control – the visitors.

Ed Upson should have done better from just inside the box but spooned a shot over and Nicky Maynard followed that effort with the game’s first moment of real skill, his overhead kick saved by a full stretch Ryan Fulton.

Chesterfield had the young keeper to thank again with seven minutes remaining, his fantastic save denying a rampaging Daniel Powell, who had outpaced Tom Anderson.

It was in the final stages that the atmosphere turned, Chesterfield twice guilty of dallying over free-kicks that could have been used to launch an attack.

The boos and cries of ‘attack, attack’ provoked Wilson into wild gestures for fans to get behind the players, but that only seemed to further incense some in the main stand.

After the game he insisted that Chesterfield couldn’t go gung-ho against a team that would have ‘blown them away’ in a toe-to-toe battle.

But Town did so little with their 40 per cent of the possession, mustering just three attempts at goal all afternoon, appearing content at times just to lump the ball clear.

There was no sign of counter attacking football at pace.

Before the break Reece Mitchell provided one or two nice moments, making darting runs with the ball, but there was none of that in the second half.

Mitchell made way for Gboly Ariyibi who failed to make an impression and even Jay O’Shea was unable to lift crowd spirits when he got hold of the ball.

It was the third consecutive outing without a goal for the Spireites and while the clean sheet is an undoubted positive, the lack of creativity is some cause for alarm.

Chesterfield: Fulton, O’Neil, Donohue, Evatt, Anderson, Mitchell (Ariyibi 66), O’Shea, Liddle, Nolan, Beesley (Wilkinson 61), Evans. Not used: Gardner, Dimaio, Allinson, Simons, Morrison.

Attendance: 5,554 (394 away).