REPORT: Wycombe Wanderers 1-0 Chesterfield

Andy Kellett takes on the Wycombe defence. Photo by Gareth Williams.
Andy Kellett takes on the Wycombe defence. Photo by Gareth Williams.

Saturday’s 1-0 defeat at Wycombe may have been first Chesterfield’s first in seven League Two matches but it nevertheless saw the Spireites drop into the division’s bottom two.

Luke O’Nien’s superb 54th minute strike condemned Jack Lester’s men to defeat at Adams Park, on a day when they edged possession but struggled to parlay ball retention into clear-cut chances, despite some intricate play.

The Spireites ultimately went in level at the break thanks only to a superb intervention from Cameron Dawson mid-way through the half, and a more fortuitous one in its dying moments courtesy of the woodwork.

Craig Mackail-Smith had looked certain to give the hosts the lead after 25 minutes when Joe Jacobson’s left-sided cross was not properly cleared, but Dawson somehow made himself big enough to block the forward’s fierce point-blank shot, and then smothered a tamee follow-up effort.

A long-range effort from Robbie Weir took a looping deflection two minutes later, and the Spireites had a penalty appeal waved away when Kristian Dennis went to ground following a tussle with Jacobson as the deflected ball came back down into the box.

But even Dawson was helpless when Sam Saunders shaped a stunning free-kick toward the top corner in the final moments of the half after Weir had fouled Adebayo Akinfenwa.

The on-loan Sheffield Wednesday keeper was rooted to the spot as Saunders’ 25-yard strike whistled through the air, and was relieved to see the ball rebound away from danger after rattling the crossbar.

And the hosts took the lead eight minutes after the restart when O’Nien came in off the right and struck a fine left-footed effort from the corner of the box beyond Dawson’s reach into the far corner.

The Spireites saw a Louis Reed free-kick deflect off the wall shortly after, but Eberechi Eze came close to doubling the hosts’ lead eight minutes after the hour with a first-time strike from outside the box.

Late substitute Connor Dimaio had Wycombe keeper Scott Brown scrambling across his goal three minutes from time as his lofted free-kick threatened to creep in at far post before bouncing wide, but it proved to be as close as Chesterfield came to snatching a point.

Wycombe: (4-4-2): Brown; Jombati, Stewart, El-Abd, Jacobson; Saunders, O’Nien, Eze (Bloomfield 85), Mackail-Smith (Southwell 90+1); Akinfenwa, Tyson (Cowan-Hall 73)

Subs not used: Ma-Kalambay, Gape, Freeman, Scarr.

Chesterfield: (4-2-3-1): Dawson; Wiseman, Hird, Evatt, Binnom-Williams; Weir (Dimaio 85), McCourt; Rowley, Kellett (O’Grady 70), Reed; Dennis (German 81)

Subs not used: Parkin, Mitchell, De Girolamo, Brownell.

Referee: Nicholas Kinseley

Attendance: 4,522