Three wins out of three for sparkling Chesterfield

Chesterfield FC v Braintree Town'Curtis Weston scores for Chesterfield in the second half.
Chesterfield FC v Braintree Town'Curtis Weston scores for Chesterfield in the second half.

A Curtis Weston goal made it three wins from three for Martin Allen’s Chesterfield, who are yet to concede in the National League.

It was a scrappy affair against part-time Braintree at the Proact but the Spireites were worth the 1-0 win and three points against a side who came looking for a point.

The newly promoted side did have a couple of chances but it was Town who dominated possession throughout and once they led the result never really looked in doubt.

After a poor first couple of minutes, Chesterfield threatened their visitors through Gozie Ugwu who beat the offside trap only to be tackled brilliantly by Michael Clark.

The Spireites saw plenty of the ball in the opening stages but were struggling to find their front men, whereas Braintree created a shooting chance at the first real opportunity, Christie Pattison’s low drive well held by Shwan Jalal.

Town’s lacklustre start in possession carried on and almost resulted in an away opener, Drew Talbot’s heavy touch seized upon by Daniel Rowe who ran in on Jalal but couldn’t beat the stopper with his shot.

With 20 minutes gone the hosts finally found their passing boots and kept hold of the ball long enough to create space on the right for Talbot, eventually winning a corner that Michael Nelson headed just past the post.

Braintree were packing the midfield and looking to contain their hosts while Chesterfield tried to switch play to get their full-backs into attacking areas, with limited success.

The pace and trickery of Zavon Hines finally helped Town break out of the Braintree restraints in the middle, the forward haring to the left before dinking in a cross that Ugwu connected with but couldn’t direct on target.

Six minutes into the second half Hines was the first of the Spireites to show his frustration at the lack of breakthrough, losing the ball and then leaving Rowe in a heap with a rash tackle.

Martin Allen opted for a change to try and unpick the lock, Brad Barry coming on for Ugwu leaving Hines to partner Marc-Antoine Fortune in attack.

And it was the latter who created the opener and changed the game completely.

A free-kick up to Fortune saw him produce an intelligent nod down into the path of Curtis Weston who ran on into the box and supplied a deft finish.

The goal made life so much easier for the Spireites, who looked more confident and comfortable in possession against a Braintree side who just couldn’t get anything going in the final third.

When Jalal was threatened, it was by a wildly miscued Will Evans clearance that looped up into the air and forced the keeper to punch off his own line.

Chesterfield managed the rest of the game cleverly, a professional performance maintaining their perfect start under Allen.

Chesterfield: Jalal, Talbot, Binnom-Williams, Nelson, Evans, Weir (Muggleton 90), Weston, Carter, Hines (Wedgbury 81), Ugwu (Barry 55), Fortune. Not used: Smith, Shaw.

Braintree: Killip, Muleba, Webber, Clark, Hill, Durojaiye, Della-Verde (Bettamer 62), Lyons-Foster, Pattison, Rowe (Allen 71), Thompson. Not used: Frimpong, Ochieng, Bettache.

Goalscorers: Weston 58.

Yellows: Hines 51.

Referee: Andrew Miller. Assistants: Edward Pidduck, Jonathan Bickerdike.

Attendance: 4,927 (50 away fans).