Chesterfield need to find spark for play-off clash against FC Halifax Town after limping over line

Chesterfield secured the point they needed to make the play-offs after a goalless draw against Woking in front of more than 9,000 fans at the Technique Stadium.

By Liam Norcliffe
Monday, 16th May 2022, 10:58 am

The Spireites finished seventh and are now three wins away from a return to the Football League.

TO THE SHAY

We now know that Chesterfield will visit FC Halifax Town in the play-off elimination round on Tuesday, May 24.

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The players showed their appreciations to the Spireites fans at the end of the game.

The Shaymen finished fourth and beat the Blues 2-0 at The Shay only last month, a victory which left them third and five points clear of fourth so there could be some slight disappointment that they have not finished higher and got themselves straight into the semi-finals.

However, Halifax ended the season with the best home record in the league, losing just three times, which outlines the size of the task Paul Cook’s men face.

The Spireites head to West Yorkshire with three defeats and a draw from their last four, one win in their last five, two wins in their last 10, and they have not scored in their last three so they are going to have to find a formula and a spark from somewhere.

If Chesterfield progress past the Shaymen, they will face another away trip, this time to Solihull Moors, who finished third, on Sunday, May 29.

Notts County host Grimsby Town in the other elimination tie, the winner travels to Wrexham.

LIMPED OVER THE LINE

They got there in the end. Phew. Chesterfield needed just a point to guarantee a top seven spot and that is what they got. One goal for Woking and that would have been Town’s season over. It was not the win and convincing performance we were hoping for but they can now draw a line under the season and move on.

Credit to Dagenham and Redbridge, who took care of their own business with an impressive 3-0 win against title hopefuls Wrexham. The Daggers let a two-goal lead slip against Chesterfield in October. Had they held on, they would have been in the play-offs.

FORMATION

Cook scrapped the three-man defence and went with his more favoured 4-2-3-1 formation and he says he intends to generally stick with that from now on.

It got them their first clean sheet in 10 matches so that is one positive heading into the play-offs.

The fluidity and creativity was still missing, though, with Saidou Khan’s header against the woodwork in the first-half the closest they came to scoring. Danny Rowe’s thunderbolt from distance brought a save out of Craig Ross, who then parried Liam’s Mandeville’s rebound. Khan had another shot on target but, other than that, there was not much to get excited about.

They had Scott Loach to thank for helping them secure the point they needed, he made a superb block in the first-half from Inih Effiong.

FITNESS

Rowe got 90 minutes under his belt which was a big plus ahead of next week. As we know, he is someone who can produce a piece of magic to unlock a defence or score from distance.

Gavin Gunning, Akwasi Asante and Joe Quigley all missed out, but there is a chance one or two of them could be back for The Shay showdown.

TEAM

4-2-3-1: Loach; King, Williams, Grimes, Whittle; Weston (McCourt, 65), Kellermann; Mandeville, Rowe, Khan; Denton (Tyson, 68). Unused subs: Maguire, Miller, Whelan.