Ebbsfleet United v Chesterfield preview: John Sheridan's men will have to be wary of ex-Spireite Gozie Ugwu as Town target fourth straight National League win
Chesterfield will be hoping to continue their steady improvement in the National League when they travel to struggling Ebbsfleet United on Saturday (3pm).
The Spireites have won four of their last five league games, including three on the bounce, a run which has moved them up to 18th and five points clear of the relegation zone.
Although boss John Sheridan will not be getting carried away, he will be encouraged by their recent form.
Town head to Kent to face an Ebbsfleet side who are second bottom of the National League, are without a permanent manager and have conceded the most goals in the division.
However, since the departure of boss Gary Hill on October 10, his assistant Kevin Watson has guided them to the FA Cup first round and back-to-back league wins.
The Fleet finished 8th last season under Hill, just missing out on the play-offs.
But financial struggles, which apparently saw players paid on time just once in 12 months, meant that a number of key players left the club in the summer and after a run of just one win in nine league games, Hill departed after 11 months in charge.
Gevaro Nepomuceno is confident he can score more goals for Chesterfield after notching his first against Notts CountyJohn Sheridan’s changes are taking Chesterfield up the table, says fans writerFormer Chesterfield striker Gozie Ugwu scored the crucial stoppage-time winner from the penalty spot in the 3-2 victory against Sutton United on Saturday and bagged two more in the 4-0 thrashing of Chorley on Tuesday night.
Ugwu joined the Spireites in the summer of 2017 from Woking after finding the net 21 times but he failed to score in 19 appearances for The Blues.
The 26-year-old spent time on loan at Boreham Wood and Ebbsfleet last season before joining the club on a permanent deal in the summer.
Speaking to the DT earlier this year after leaving Chesterfield, Ugwu, said: “It’s such a shame I couldn’t be able to do that (score goals) at Chesterfield, I went there knowing what I can do on the pitch, but there were so many factors that affected me.
“It was an opportunity I couldn’t really make the most of, with so many factors off the pitch.
“Being at Chesterfield, especially when they went down, the fans still showing up, still supporting the boys, that strong sense of support - I’ve not really seen something like that before.
“It’s just a shame I couldn’t make the most of that and show them what I can do.
“It’s a club I’ll still be fond of and hope for the best, they should be back in the Football League where they belong.”
As well as Ugwu, The Fleet have some ex-Football League players in their ranks including former Charlton Athletic and Bolton Wanderers defender, Laurie Wilson, and midfielder Myles Weston, previously of Wycombe Wanderers, Southend United, Gillingham, Brentford and Notts County.
The Stonebridge Road side have won four of their 19 games this season, have 16 points - five fewer than Town - and are three points from safety.
Their previous league win before last Saturday was a 3-0 success over Barnet on September 24.
They have made it through to the FA Cup first round where they will play Notts County at home after beating Woking in a replay.
When the two teams met last season Chesterfield won 1-0 away and drew 3-3 at the Proact.
In terms of team news, Sheridan almost has a full squad to choose from with defender David Buchanan back in training and pushing Jay Sheridan for the left-back spot, although they will still be without midfielder Sam Wedgbury for around another three weeks.
Goalkeeper Luke Coddington was not involved in the matchday squad against Notts County but he is not injured.
Possible line-up (4-1-3-2): Jalal; Yarney, Evans, Hollis, Sheridan; Smith; Rowley, Weston, Nepomuceno; Denton, Boden. Subs: Gerrard, McGlashan, Mandeville, Fondop, Spyrou.