Pre-season report: Lincoln City 2 Chesterfield FC 1

Chesterfield FC v Nottingham Forest Paul Cook
Chesterfield FC v Nottingham Forest Paul Cook

League Two champions Chesterfield slipped to defeat at Conference Premier side Lincoln City in their latest pre-season fixture.

Jordan Burrows and Alan Power gave the hosts a two goal advantage in the first half before Charlie Dawes halved the deficit.

Dan Gardner came within inches of an equaliser for the Spireites when his volley smacked the post with the keeper seemingly beaten.

Tommy Lee returned in goal for the first time this pre-season while Chesterfield named six trialists in their starting line-up at Sincil Bank.

Charlie Raglan starts alongside Liam Cooper in the centre of defence while Romy Boco and Nicky Featherstone lined up in a midfield four.

Tuesday night’s three goal hero at Alfreton Town Armand Gnanduillet partnered former Liverpool man Adam Morgan in a two-man attack.

The visitors were dealt an early blow when trialist Morgan limped off with a foot injury when attempting to shoot and was replaced by Dawes.

It meant a re-shuffle in the pack with Boco moved inside in support of Gnanduillet as Dawes adopted an attacking position on the right of midfield.

In a tentative start to the game from both sets of players, neither team had threatened the score line until the 15th minute when former Chesterfield trainee Burrows gave the hosts the lead.

The 21-year-old striker was presented with a glorious opportunity when Ben Tomlinson saw his shot blocked by Liam Cooper’s sliding challenge, which Burrows calmly slotted past Lee from close range.

The goal gave Lincoln a timely shot in the arm as they began to move the ball well through midfield in to Burrows, who led the line for the hosts with Tomlinson and Conner Robinson in support out wide.

Lincoln doubled their lead on the half hour when Power robbed Featherstone on the edge of his own area, advanced unchallenged and curled a shot around the defender and in to the far corner of the net.

Chesterfield needed to get back in to the game quickly and Dawes provided an immediate response when he received the ball on the edge of the area before sliding the ball back across goal and in to the bottom corner.

Dawes, the former Sheffield Wednesday youngster, proved a useful outlet for the Spireites and he was central to a move which almost brought about the equaliser just moments later. He shifted the ball inside to Boco who dummied his way past a couple of red shirts before unleashing a swerving effort that Paul Farman could only palm into the path of Luke Clarke, who had strayed marginally offside.

There were only two survivors - Lee and Boco - from the first 45 minutes of play for the start of the second half for Chesterfield, as the Spireites returned to a more familiar 4-2-3-1.

Paul Cook could be heard barking orders from the touchline, as he encouraged his side to step up and take control of the game. There were a few tasty challenges too from both sets of players, Sam Morsy found his way into the referee’s book.

Chesterfield began to find pockets of space in the opposition’s half and Roberts showed speed of thought to slot Eoin Doyle in one-on-one with Farman, who managed to get his fingers to the Irishman’s attempted lob, and with Tony Diagne denied the striker’s follow up.

Power had sight of goal and blazed over the bar from the edge of the area after good work down the right by Lincoln substitute Jake Caprice.

Farman was called in to action again moments later after Sam Morsy’s charging run into the box found Gardner, who got a toe to the ball but couldn’t redirect it past the Lincoln stopper.

Ryan flashed a driving effort from distance narrowly wide of Farman’s right hand post before Lee was called in to action to comfortably stop Tomlinson’s scooped shot which lacked the pace to trouble the Spireites keeper.

Tomlinson squandered a fantastic opportunity to extend Lincoln’s lead when he latched on to Kegan Everington’s cross, and when the danger wasn’t cleared Everington curled an effort over the bar with the goal gaping.

Gardner smashed the post with a volley from the edge of the area and Boco brought a save from substitute keeper Luke Chambers as Chesterfield went in search of a late equaliser.

Lincoln: Farman; Miller, Diagne, Brown, Newton; Nolan, Power, Jordan; Robinson, Burrow, Tomlinson

Subs: Chambers, Kabba, Everington, Simmons, Caprice, Belkouche

Chesterfield: Lee; Holmes (Darikwa HT), Raglan (Evatt HT), Cooper (Hird HT), Humphreys (Jones HT); Boco, Clarke (Morsy HT), Featherstone (Ryan HT), McElroy (Gardner HT); Gnanduillet (Doyle HT), Morgan (Dawes 14; Roberts HT))

Subs all used.

Goals: Burrows 14; Power 30; Dawes 31

Bookings: Morsy 53, Roberts 76

Referee: Darren Drysdale

Attendance: 952 (148)