Curtis Weston's moment of magic keeps Chesterfield in touch with leaders Stockport County at top of National League

Curtis Weston’s superb late volley pinched an important win for Chesterfield against Eastleigh and moved them back up to second in the league.

By Liam Norcliffe
Sunday, 30th January 2022, 9:59 am

Weston’s wonderful strike on 89 minutes stole the points for Town in an even contest at the Silverlake Stadium.

NOT A CLASSIC

Weston’s winner was memorable but the game overall was very forgettable. There was plenty of effort and commitment from both sides but there was a real lack of quality in the final third. I

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First-team coach Danny Webb took charge of the Spireites against Eastleigh.

In the first-half, Eastleigh came the closest to scoring with Josh Hare’s near post header, Vicent Harper’s long-range drive which Scott Loach did well to tip round the post and Tyrone Barnett’s header over. Up the other end, it said a lot that Laurence Maguire looked most likely to score for the Spireites with two efforts on target, the second of which was Town’s best chance of the game.

Liam Mandeville tried his luck from distance after the break but the second-half was a complete non-event until Weston’s volley. A draw would have been a fair result but Chesterfield have conceded late goals to draw in games they should have won against Bromley and Torquay earlier in the season so this evens things out a bit.

MOMENT OF MAGIC

Weston’s winner was totally out of keeping with the rest of the game, particularly the second-half which was very dull. Mandeville delivered a free-kick into the box from out wide, the ball was headed clear but there was Weston to volley in from about 20 yards for his first goal in almost two years. It was a great technical strike and one that was worthy of winning any game.

FINAL THIRD

It’s not quite clicking at the moment, is it? There does seem to be a lack of fluidity at times and too often it breaks down too quickly and too easily. Manny Oyeleke is a big miss in midfield with the control he brings. Against the better teams in the division they are going to need to keep possession better otherwise they will struggle.

TOUGH WEEK

The win at least ends what has been a rough week on a positive note. Nobody really knew how James Rowe’s suspension and absence would affect the players but you can’t fault their focus even if the quality was missing.

These three points probably take the heat off the situation a tad and will give the board a bit of time to work out where they go from here. Had they lost then the calls for clarity would have been even louder.

TITLE RACE

The Spireites dropped to fifth before kick-off after many of those around them won in the 3pm games so the table looked a lot better later in the evening when they jumped back up to second with this victory. Just six points separates leaders Stockport and seventh-placed Solihull Moors. It looks like we are going to be in for a thrilling race for promotion. It is quite remarkable that Chesterfield are averaging more than two points a game, have only twice in 24 matches and are still not top of the tree.

TEAM

3-4-1-2: Loach; Kerr, Croll, Maguire; Williams, Weston, Kellermann, Whittle; Mandeville; Quigley (Asante, 65), Tshimanga (Grimes, 90).

Unused subs: Miller, Khan, Denton.