A formation change was behind Joe Rowley’s omission from Chesterfield’s starting line-up for Sunday’s defeat by Grimsby.
The 19-year-old midfielder was in and out of the team at the start of the season, but had played every minute of Town’s 12-game unbeaten run leading up to the FA Cup clash.
And in the three games prior to the Mariners’ visit to the Proact he’d worn the captain’s armband.
After the 2-0 loss Martin Allen praised Rowley’s contribution from the bench but said it was a tactical decision to leave him out at the start.
“We changed our formation to play at home, went 4-4-2 with two wide players to push up onto their back four, two central midfield players with experience, pace and tenacity,” he said.
“We made some good opportunities with Alex (Kiwomya) playing much wider.
“With Alex playing wider it was hard to get Joe in.
“When he came on I thought he did superbly. He’s a good player Joe, definitely one to carry on with, but I had to make a decision. At home we haven’t had enough enough wins.”
Allen called it a ‘positive move’ to switch to a 4-4-2 and was pleased with the way his side performed in the shape.
“I thought it was a positive move to play 4-4-2 and go up against them,” he said.
“In the first half, apart from the corner, we looked like a far better team than them.”
Chesterfield will be without Rowley’s services this weekend when Salford visit due to a suspension for five yellow cards in National League action.