Chesterfield look to make it back-to-back wins against inconsistent Lincoln City

Lincoln City v Mansfield Town - Lincoln City manager Danny Cowley - Pic By James Williamson
Lincoln City v Mansfield Town - Lincoln City manager Danny Cowley - Pic By James Williamson

Spireites host Lincoln City at the weekend in what is a must win for both sides.

Chesterfield go into the game on the back of an encouraging 2-1 win over Swindon as they look to claw back the five point gap to Port Vale and League Two safety.

They face an Imps side needing three points to keep their faltering play-off bid alive.

City have won just one of their last five and have slipped down to ninth in the table.

But they come in to the game on the back of 1-1 draw at Mansfield, wtih boss Danny Cowley describing it as their best away display of the season.

“In terms of our away performances it was probably about as good as we’ve been,” said Cowley. “Regardless of the result, even if we’d ended up losing 1-0 – which would have been harsh on us – I would have been proud of our efforts.

“That now has to be the standard. We played with a good intensity and a real enthusiasm. We certainly deserved the late goal.”

But Alan Johnson, who covers Lincoln City for Lincolnshire Live, says you never know what you will get from Cowley’s inconsistent men.

“Lincoln were excellent on Tuesday at Mansfield and just about deserved all three points,” he said.

“The game prior to that, however, was a 4-1 thrashing at home to struggling Crewe and arguably the worst performance under Danny Cowley.

“We are yet to see a real impact by the January signings, though winger Danny Rowe, on loan from Ipswich has shown flashes of brilliance.

“He’s still finding his feet and fitness after barely featuring in Ipswich’s first team squads this season.

“Lee Frecklington is another player who will come good - to sign Rotherham’s captain and bring him home was a real coup for the club.

“Even though he has dropped a division he doesn’t seem as fit as the players we already had, but that will come.”

Lincoln, who are expected to line up in a 4-4-2 formation, will be without long term absentees defender James Wilson and first-choice goalkeeper Josh Vickers.

And they will also be without captain Luke Waterfall, who was red carded in the draw with Mansfield.

Johnson is backing Neal Eardley as the player Chesterfield need to watch

“It’s not often you rave about a full-back, but with Neal Eardley you have to,” he said.

“I would be very surprised if he doesn’t win the Imps’ player of the season and he’s an 8 out of 10 (or more) performer every week.

“He likes to get forward on the overlap and possesses a brilliant delivery too.”