Lester: Achieving safety is still in our hands

Drew Talbot gets forward against Grimsby.
Drew Talbot gets forward against Grimsby.

Chesterfield manager Jack Lester is calling on his side to channel the efforts of performances past after a shattering defeat to fellow strugglers Grimsby sent The Spireites bottom of League Two.

Mitch Rose’s late penalty proved the killer blow while Barnet beat Forest Green, leaving Chesterfield at the Football League’s basement.

Seven games now remain for league status to be maintained but, with games in hand over teams around them, Lester is refusing to give up hope.

"It's still in our hands and we have to win games - it's as simple as that,” he said.

"This eleven were excellent against Notts County but for whatever reason that wasn't there today.

"There were a lot of nerves out there today because it was a relegation battle in front of a full house.

"We are staying positive and we want a performance or two from these players that we've seen before this season. Whether we see that or not, we'll just have to wait and see.

"We have to bounce back - we have no choice. This should have at least been a draw and that's a positive to take.”

A draw would not have been unfair on the visitors, enjoying a profitable day on the counter attack as Zavon Hines headed straight into James McKeown’s gloves.

Some Aaron Ramsdale heroics looked to be enough for the point, saving on numerous occasions from point-blank range while Alex Whitmore cleared off the line.

But a handball from Sid Nelson afforded Rose the opportunity from 12 yards, one he duly took to end Grimsby’s 21-game winless run, leaving The Spireites six points from safety.

"I thought we should have been a couple of goals up before they scored their goal,” added Lester.

“We certainly had the better of the first half and should have gone in one or two goals up.

"Was it a penalty? I'm not sure it was. It just seems that when the big decisions need to be made, we are on the wrong end of them and we can't afford that at this stage of the season.

"It's tough to take because it's so late in the game and we at least deserved a draw."