SPIREITES: Chesterfield FC front men show signs of forging promising partnership

Crewe Alexandra vs Chesterfield - Sam Clucas stretching for the ball - Pic By James Williamson
Crewe Alexandra vs Chesterfield - Sam Clucas stretching for the ball - Pic By James Williamson

Chesterfield huffed and puffed but were unable to find a way through a dogged Crewe Alexandra defence during a goalless draw at Gresty Road.

Gary Roberts was at his inspirational best in an encouraging first half for the Spireites though the visitors couldn’t make their dominance count.

Roberts, the former Crewe man, sliced through the hosts’ defence and even had a goal chalked off for a marginal offside call after more good build up play.

Sam Clucas and Eoin Doyle showed further signs of their attacking menace, with good link-up play and an emerging understanding in a fluid Spireites attack.

Crewe couldn’t get near Chesterfield at times though came in to the game as openings were fashioned at either end in a fast-flowing encounter that became stretched.

Tommy Lee was called in to action late on to deny a swerving shot from the unlikely boot of left-back Greg Leigh before Chesterfield came close to sending the vocal travelling support home happy on a dreary Cheshire afternoon.

Sam Morsy wriggled his way through on the edge of the hosts’ penalty area but Ben Garratt, in the Crewe goal, was equal to the drive diving low to his right.

And, shortly after the game, Spireites boss Paul Cook was pleased with the way his side performed against a side who had beaten Peterborough and Coventry at home of late.

He said: “First half I thought we were really good, I thought we started the game very well. We were a threat, we created lots of chances and we know we’ve got to put them away.

“That was a bit more back to how we play. I thought Crewe grew in to the game second half and started to pose us one or two problems and it became end-to-end.

“I thought we shaded the game, but you take a point and we move on.

“We’re learning a lot about our club and our team at the minute and it’s important we take those strides nice and slow.”

Steady progress was called for by the Chesterfield manager who watched his side pick up a third consecutive clean sheet in all competitions.

“I don’t think we gave Crewe many chances during the game, we’ve gone three games now without defeat. When you’re in a division like ours it’s tough to go on any sort of run,” he added.

“It’s great credit to the lads, we know we need to score more goals but we’re doing our best. (Charlie) Raglan and (Ian) Evatt played well today.

“The lads commented just before we went out on to the pitch and as a manager it’s nice to hear that. We’re aware of the supporters and we want to do well for them.”

Cook will have a decision to make in midfield for the visit of Barnsley to the Proact Stadium this coming Saturday after Morsy picked up a fifth booking of the season.

The Spireites will also have further options in attack when Armand Gnanduillet returns from a month’s loan at Tranmere Rovers, which saw the striker bag two in four games.

Crewe Alexandra (4-3-3): Garratt 6, Guthrie 5, Davis 6, Dugdale (c) 6, Turton 6, Inman 7, Baillie 5, Leigh 6, Brandy 5, Haynes 5 (Cooper HT, 6), Grant 6 Subs: Shearer; Atkinson, Saunders, Waters, Ness, Tate

Chesterfield (4-2-3-1): Lee 6; Darikwa 6, Evatt (c) 7, Raglan 7, Jones 6, Morsy 7, Ryan 6, O’Shea 6 (Humphreys 85), Roberts 7, Clucas 7, Doyle 6 Subs: Wright, Boco, Banks, Gardener, Ariyibi, Beesley

Bookings: Turton (Crewe); Evatt, Morsy (Chesterfield)

Referee: Chris Kavanagh (Lancashire)

Attendance: 4,557 (844).