Chesterfield start life without James Rowe with comeback win against Dagenham and Redbridge

Chesterfield started life without James Rowe with a comeback win against Dagenham and Redbridge.

By Liam Norcliffe
Sunday, 6th February 2022, 10:15 am

The visitors took the lead through Josh Walker on 35 minutes but Kabongo Tshimanga equalised from the penalty spot before half-time.

And the Spireites went ahead from the same situation just after the hour-mark as King was brought down in the area again and Tshimanga slotted in from 12 yards.


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Spireites enjoyed their afternoon at the Technique Stadium.

Whether he wants the manager’s job or not caretaker Danny Webb is certainly doing himself no harm with two successive wins. The word out of the camp is that Webb has a lot of support from the players and is very well liked. He wouldn’t commit to an answer on whether he would be throwing his hat into the ring but I sensed he would like another crack at management after a short spell at Leyton Orient five years ago. If the squad continues to respond positively to him then why not keep him on for longer and ride that ‘new manager bounce’ for at least a few more weeks and then reassess the situation for the rest of the season?


This was a much more progressive performance than the last home game against Aldershot Town, which turned out to be James Rowe’s final game at the Technique. Chesterfield kept the ball on the floor more, didn’t go as direct as often and there were more combinations in their passing. There were some nervy moments defensively in the first-half but they were solid after the break. Dagenham were a dangerous opponent in the first 45 but I was surprised by their lack of drive after the half-time whistle.


Jak McCourt was given a rare start – his first in the league since September and his first in all competitions since November. And boy did he take it. He punched passes into the forward players, he crunched into tackles and powered shots at goal. There were one or two stray passes and miss-hit crosses but you can’t blame him for any rustiness. He was my man of the match. Under Rowe he seemed destined to be loaned out but with the change in management and performances like this, perhaps he will be staying after all.


This was like the Akwasi of last season when he plundered in goals week-after-week before his serious injury. There were no goals from him here but his all-round performance was excellent. His strength, hold-up play and ability to roll a defender is up there with the best in the division and we saw lots of examples of that to suggest he is edging closer to getting back to his best. This is the most sharp we have seen him since his return which is very encouraging.


It is two years since former Spireite Jordan Sinnott passed away, aged 25. Chesterfield’s players wore t-sirts with his name on during the warm-up and there was a minute’s applause for him in the 25th minute. Credit to referee Robert Massey-Ellis who blew his whistle to delay the taking of a throw-in so both sets of players could join in the applause.


3-4-1-2: Loach; Kerr, Grimes, Croll (c); King, McCourt (Oyeleke, 65), Khan (Kellermann, 88), Whittle; Mandeville; Asante, Tshimanga. Unused subs: Williams, Miller, Quigley.