Chesterfield move 22 points clear at top of National League after battling win against Dagenham & Redbridge - report

Chesterfield moved 22 points clear at the top of the league after battling to a 2-1 win against Dagenham and Redbridge.
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In-form James Berry fired the Spireites ahead after half an hour but Ryan Hill equalised just after half-time.

Ollie Banks had a chance to quickly put Town back in the lead but he struck a penalty against the crossbar.

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But Armando Dobra scrambled home from close-range on 75 minutes to secure a seventh successive league win for the Blues and extend their lead at the top.

Chesterfield visited Dagenham & Redbridge on Tuesday night.Chesterfield visited Dagenham & Redbridge on Tuesday night.
Chesterfield visited Dagenham & Redbridge on Tuesday night.

This was also their 11th away victory of the season, just one shy of equalling a club record 12. It takes them to an impressive 80 points and if they keep up their relentless form then they could be in with a shout of beating Wrexham’s 111 points record for the division.

But either way, there is no doubt that Chesterfield are heading back to the Football League in style.

The Spireites’ line-up was much-changed from the win against Eastleigh on Saturday. There were six changes with Jeff King, Ash Palmer, Mike Jones, Dobra, Banks and Joe Quigley replacing Ryheem Sheckleford, Tyrone Williams, Tom Naylor, Michael Jacobs. Liam Mandeville and Will Grigg. Summer signing Bailey Hobson was named in the squad for the first time this season and he made his debut late on.

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Two positive results on the road for Dagenham, who had the second worst home record in the division before kick-off, had moved them up the table and away from the relegation zone.

Second-placed Bromley were not in action and manager Andy Woodman took a watching brief at this game ahead of Chesterfield’s visit to Hayes Lane later this month. Also taking in this clash was Ebbsfleet United’s interim boss Danny Searle, who will be bringing his side to Derbyshire this weekend.

It was a scrappy first-half in wet and windy conditions but Chesterfield led at half-time thanks to Berry’s sixth goal of the season.

There was a half chance for Dobra in the first five minutes but he hooked the ball over the bar after some smart link-up play between Bailey Clements and Berry down the left.

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The Spireites controlled possession but a lot of it was in safe areas and it was Dagenham who had the first big chance when a long ball forward sent Inih Effiong one-on-one with Harry Tyrer but the Town keeper made a good block.

Midway through the half, Jones came to the Blues’ rescue with a superbly-timed sliding tackle on the edge of his own area to prevent Hill from getting a shot on goal. Back down the other end, Banks pulled the trigger but Quigley could not get out of the way and it hit his legs.

With Chesterfield struggling to break down the Daggers, Berry moved over to the right wing, with Dobra switching to the left, and it paid off soon after when Banks took aim from distance, keeper Eliott Justham could only parry it, and Berry reacted quickest to bury the ball into the bottom corner for this third goal in as many games.

The long ball over the top continued to be Dagenham’s best threat and that method led to a half chance for Effiong after the break but he lifted the ball over the bar.

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The hosts equalised nine minutes into the second-half when Hill fired across Tyrer into the bottom corner.

Chesterfield had a chance to quickly retake the lead when King was brought down in the box but Banks smacked the resulting penalty against the woodwork.

But with 15 minutes remaining the Spireites did go back in front when Dobra scrambled home from close-range.

Effiong came close to drilling in an equaliser five minutes later and Town survived a late scare to hold on to go further clear at the top

Chesterfield: Tyrer; King, Palmer, Grimes, Clements; Jones, Oldaker; Berry (Mandeville, 80), Banks (Hobson, 50), Dobra; Quigley (Grigg, 60).

Unused subs: Williams, Sheckleford.

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