Arsenal legend Ian Wright and other TV pundits react as Chesterfield 'turn over' Portsmouth in FA Cup
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The much-anticipated first round tie did not disappoint from a Chesterfield point of view, with the National League leaders overcoming the League One table toppers 1-0 on Sunday afternoon.
Had you not known much about either team, you could have been forgiven for thinking that it was Town who were in League One and two divisions higher than their opposition.
And that is the way the TV pundits saw it too, with there being no doubt that the Blues deserved the victory.
Arsenal legend and two-time FA Cup winner, Ian Wright, who was at the game, said on ITV:"I thought Chesterfield did well. They had Portsmouth’s number. I was very disappointed with Portsmouth – I think they had three shots in the game. For a team with such an unbelievable unbeaten record I was expecting a bit more. But you can’t take anything away from Chesterfield. It is fantastic for them to get through. The league is the priority, but they can just have fun in the FA Cup. Cooky set up his team really well – we didn’t see anything out of the centre-forward Bishop. This is another step for Chesterfield to get what they want and that is promotion. They are a very good team from what I saw today.”
Joining Wright pitchside at the SMH Group Stadium was Spireites favourite Kevin Davies. He said: "The performance was outstanding. I said before the game that I would not be surpried if they won because of the confidence, belief, the manager and the players at the club. This is a club that is now used to winning and the fans expect to win. There is no better feeling than being in the hat for the next round of the FA Cup believe me. Portsmouth had the majority of possession, but they didn’t really do much with it. You expected them to put Chesterfield under pressure for the last 10-15 minutes but there was nothing from them. They were disappointing overall, but give Chesterfield credit because they protected the goalkeeper really well – he had very little to do. Portsmouth have gone full strength and they have been turned over.”
After the dust had settled on an exciting afternoon, the BBC’s highlights show got underway and again the pundits were adamant that Chesterfield were deserved winners.
Former Sheffield United striker, Danny Webber, said: "You could see that they were all over them. Paul Cook always sets up his teams where they smother you and then in transition they always get the ball down and play. With the amount of chances the created they were very good for the win. Paul Cook aways demands a work ethic and he won’t have any bad eggs in his team.”
Ex-Swansea City and Everton defender, Ashley Williams, started his analysis by looking at the winning goal, scored by Tom Naylor.
He said: "It’s a good goal to be honest. It is a good free-kick, he (Mandeville) has put it in a dangerous area, he (Naylor) attacks, question marks over the goalkeeper, I don’t think he needs to come for that, but it was a good finish and Chesterfield were worthy of the win.”
He continued: “Paul Cook is just so wily, he has been around the block, he knows how to win games like that. You know what you get with his teams. He wants his team to be stubborn, hard to beat, press teams, but when they have got the ball they are always calm and composed. Portsmouth are having such a good season, but it is not that surpising when you know they have lost to a Paul Cook side.”